Vaughnette Goode-Walker

Vaughnette Goodde-Walker
Vaughnette Goodde-Walker

My Journalism career began as a Poet, with a Poetry Corner published in the Savannah Tribune, while at Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia. My personal goals and objectives were simple, still a Poet at heart, I wanted a job where I could write all day! In my 30 year career as a Journalist I never filled out a job application. It was “networking” all the way.

I took my first Journalism class at Clark College, today Clark Atlanta University. It was a Community Journalism class taught by Portia Brookins, the daughter of C.A. Scott, publisher of the Atlanta Daily World. While still at Morris Brown I combined the History/ Political Science classes with my love for writing. I was writing poetry and doing “coffee house” poetry in Atlanta and Roz Abrams, a television reporter at WSBTV, heard me perform and suggested I might consider a career in radio broadcasting.

My broadcast career began at WBIE – Radio, in Marietta, Georgia, as a news reporter covering Atlanta City Hall and the Legislative Session of the Georgia General Assembly. I also worked part – time for the Atlanta Daily World as a typesetter and wrote stories for the paper. The sign of the times in which I came of age in my career was “affirmative action” and then the Allen Bakke Case.

Among the founding members of the first chapter of the Atlanta Association of Black Journalists (AABJ). Returned to Savannah and joined WSOK Radio, as News Director and helped organize a local chapter of the Savannah Association of Black Journalists (SABJ). Moved to Chicago in the late 1970s to work as an anchor – reporter at WVON Radio. Then after a brief on air stint in Atlanta at WAOK Radio, I returned to Savannah as a reporter at WTOC TV, then Savannah’s I-95 Radio after a brief stint at WHCJ Radio, Savannah State University’s Radio Station.

In the 1980s, I joined the Radio and Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) and the turning point in my career came after an RTNDA conference in Nashville, Tennessee. The “networking” among my peers, that readied me for my career in Network News.

While working in Savannah, in 1986, as News Director for WAEV 97/WSOK Radio, I married and moved to New York where I worked as an anchor for the National Black Network (NBN). My mentor Mal Goode (no relation) was also there. We met while I worked in Chicago and he was the first black reporter at ABC News in the 1960s. With Mal’s encouragement I went for a round of interviews with the ABC Radio Networks, in New York, and in 1988 I was hired as a Newswriter/Assignment Editor. Nine years later, I returned to Atlanta and worked as a Newswriter at the CNN Radio Network, thanks to my long – time colleague, Pat St. Claire. I eventually joined CNN Domestic as a News Writer and worked as a producer for the CNN College Television Networks. By 1998, I returned to Savannah to “give back” to my Alma mater St. Vincent’s Academy. I taught History and Journalism there for four years. I returned to media, thanks to the Press Institute at Savannah State University and a “networking” opportunity it provided. Thank you, Novella Cross – Holmes. My next job was Newswriter for CNN International in Atlanta and later Headline News. In 2006, coming full circle I joined the Savannah Tribune, thank you Tanya Milton! Worked as Managing Editor for the Savannah Business Journal, thank you Lou Phelps. Currently, I produce a four hour weekly radio talk show, “Bitter Sugar” with Host Miguel Lorne, on BESS 100 FM, in Kingston, Jamaica. The program Live streams on the Internet and covers cultural topics related to the African Diaspora.

Mentors include: Monica Kaufman, Roz Abrams, Bea Barnes, Steen King Miles, Bernadine C. Washington, Mal Goode, Lee May, Ben Tucker, Doug Weathers, Lou Adler, Kevin Magee, Eric Ludgood.

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