Meagan Cuthill, Media Studies '14

Good Day Oregon

Breaking News to the People of Portland

It’s 4 a.m. on a weekday morning and most of us are a few hours away from rolling out of bed and checking the news. While we’re still sound asleep, Media Studies alumna Meagan Cuthill ‘14, is busy breaking that news on FOX 12 Oregon. As a digital producer on the Good Day Oregon morning news program and the Noon News, Meagan starts her day early so that she can stay true to the networks tagline: First, Live, Local.

Meagan manages a number of online platforms at FOX 12 – the station’s website, the FOX 12 mobile app and the FOX 12 Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – keeping the community up to date however they get their news. At the rate things happen, Meagan’s work demands a high level of efficiency and ethics in delivering the facts to the people of Portland – but you’d have to get up pretty early in the morning to have Meagan beat.

Tell me about your experience at FOX 12 Oregon.
While working on the FOX 12 digital team, I’ve been a part of a well-oiled local news machine made up of people who care deeply about delivering information to our community. Being in a newsroom where people believe what they’re doing is a necessary public good is very fulfilling.

I started at FOX 12 in January 2017. At the beginning of 2018, we applied for Best Digital Presence 2017 from the Associated Press Television and Radio Association. A few months later, we received the first place award! It was an amazing feeling to achieve that distinction as a team in my first year. My hard work felt very validated.

What do you think about the role of the news media?
The press has always been an important aspect of democracy and I see its role as more critical than ever given the amount of information that is out there, thanks to technology especially. While journalists do great work in reporting what people need to know, it’s a difficult climate right now, with people in power and many in the general public doubting the legitimacy of news. I think that facts are the ultimate truth: not opinion, not subjective, not things to disregard.

How did your time at USF inform your beliefs?
Changing the world and achieving social justice are definitely fueled by the freedom of the press – and an informed public is a freer public. Knowing what is going on in the world means people can determine how they see issues and decide how they may want to take action. Discussion, debate, understanding – those all come from the exchange of information and then lead to a more just society.

Can you tell me about some hands-on opportunities you had at USF?
When I saw that USFtv was hiring a News Producer for my junior year, I jumped at the opportunity! I knew journalism was what I wanted to pursue after college, so I wanted the experience. I also wanted to inform others about happenings on campus. Working at USFtv helped me learn in a practical way how to best tell stories with camera and editing skills. It meant a lot of long hours on top of my classes, internships, and my job, but it was well worth it preparing me for being a news professional!

My packed schedule definitely prepared me for the rigorous nature of the media industry. Journalism is a grueling line of work: it requires odd hours with lots of elements in motion to bring stories on air, online or on paper. USF set me up to succeed in a demanding newsroom and I am very grateful.

What’s on your plate right now?
At the beginning of the new year, I made goals I wanted to achieve for FOX 12’s digital success in 2019. I’m working on how to better reach our audiences in engaging ways which means trying out different kinds of content. The media has to adapt with changing times, most notably with how to share information online, and I’m excited to be in the thick of it.