As an anchor and reporter for FOX 54, WFXG-TV, in Augusta, Ga., Lander alumna Miya Payton does not take her job lightly. "I consider it a privilege to exercise my rights and encourage others to do the same," she said. "I believe that knowledge is power, and many of the stories I tell inform our viewers of what's going on in the world around them."
These are values that were instilled in Payton through her experience with Lander's mass communications program. Today, she can be found following up on investigations, attending community events or warning viewers about dangerous weather conditions. But, the Abbeville County native and 2015 graduate of Lander University got her start in front of the camera with WLGTV, the precursor to Lander's LUX Studios.
"During my freshman year, the department received new studio equipment, and I helped put it together," said Payton, recognizing the value of building meaningful experience early on in her undergraduate career. "I saw firsthand what it takes to start a newscast from the ground up."
Later on, Payton had the chance to co-host her own show, He Said, She Said, with fellow alumnus Brian Sherrod, who now works as an anchor and reporter with NBC Nebraska. "It gave me the opportunity to be a producer, assignment editor and host all-in-one," she said.
Highlighting how her time with Lander's student media programs "planted the seeds" for her own successful career in television broadcast, Payton notes that the hands-on approach taken by Lander's mass communications faculty is the key ingredient of success for so many alumni like her. "As a starry eyed freshman with big dreams, I was motivated to learn and do all I could," she said.
"The professors at Lander did more than teach me over the years; they pushed me to never give up."
This story is featured in the Fall 2019 edition of Lander Magazine. Read more at www.lander.edu/magazine.