For Lindsey Basye ’12, several Emmy nominations and an Emmy Award aren’t the reassurance she needs to confirm she’s on the right path. Instead, the number of people she is able to help measure her success.
Lindsey serves as the digital investigative producer at 11Alive, an NBC-affiliate in Atlanta, Georgia. While her position encompasses many different roles and responsibilities, Lindsey namely produces “The Reveal,” a weekly half-hour investigative show.
“What fuels me is holding the powerful accountable,” Lindsey said. “We’re a voice for the people, and without journalists, people aren’t held accountable.”
This strong dedication to Lindsey’s role as a journalist stems back to her time at Olivet College. Naturally, Lindsey chose to major in journalism and mass communication after her high school newspaper and yearbook adviser introduced her to the field.
“At Olivet College, I discovered the different avenues of journalism,” Lindsey explained. “I was a DJ for WOCR and wrote and edited pictures for “The Echo.” During a class with Joanne Williams, associate professor of journalism and mass communication, I realized that visual storytelling was what clicked with me. I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”
Once Lindsey had her mind made up, her persistence kicked in. During a career fair, she approached the representative from WLNS-TV in Lansing. She had submitted an internship application prior but never heard back. Originally, the staff member told Lindsey that the internship program was full, but they agreed to set up a job shadow. Once Lindsey had her first foot in the door, she prepared to dive in head-first.
“After the career fair, I went in a couple of weeks later for my job shadow,” Lindsey said. “I shadowed Ann Emmerich, who is now at Channel 10, and I went undercover to surprise a student with a soldier coming home. I pretended to work for the office, and I used my iPad to take video during the surprise. After, Ann told me I was the best job shadow she had ever had and asked how she could help me. I told her I wanted an internship, and she took me to the news director to make it happen.”
After completing a tremendously successful internship, Lindsey vowed that she would work at WLNS — and she did. While completing the final semester of her senior year, the news director contacted Lindsey with a position offer, and she began working full time a month before graduating.
“I ended up working at WLNS for 2-and-a-half years,” Lindsey said. “I was able to gain experience as a morning show news assistant. I worked with guests, wrote for the show, was on air doing traffic updates, did digital work and more. My next goal was to work for a station in Grand Rapids; Fox 17 is one of my favorites. After applying for an administrative assistant role, I worked my way up to a new special projects producers role. My news director gave me a list of everything he wanted me to learn how to do — shoot, edit, report, run the live truck, produce, manage the assignment desk. That’s what helped me get the role in Atlanta.”
It’s unusual for a person to jump from a medium-sized market to a top 10 market, like 11Alive, but Lindsey’s persistence had paid off once again. She started as a multi-platform producer, running the assignment desk, reporting and photographing before getting involved with the investigative team. Lindsey pitched herself to help with the launch of “The Reveal,” and with her unwavering hard work and dedication, the new project resulted in a full-time position.
“Some of the work I do now is what I dreamed of in middle school — being in a job that can create change by revealing the truth, exposing wrongs and holding people accountable,” Lindsey emphasized.
Lindsey’s path has come full circle, and she recently spoke to students in Olivet College’s journalism and mass communication seminar.
“One thing that has stuck with me is the financial struggle it is to be journalist,” Lindsey said. “I wanted to be completely honest with today’s students because as a student I didn’t grasp that. You don’t become a journalist for the money. I even worked at Applebee’s while working at my first two stations. That blew their mind, but it’s the importance, not the money or awards, that makes it all worth it.”
Learn more about Olivet College alumni and friends by visiting www.olivetcollege.edu/alumni. Be sure to follow the Office of Alumni Engagement on social media to read more great updates about alumni, like Lindsey, on Facebook @OCAlums and Twitter/Instagram @OC_Alums.