Community service has been second nature to Taylor Turner since she joined the Brownies in second grade. Later, as a Girl Scout, she organized her own community projects, volunteered in summer camps and ran food drives. She said that led her to a wider sense of community.
Now she has just finished an internship with the international programming department of C-SPAN and is ready for the world.
“I think journalism is a public service,” said Ms. Turner, a rising-senior journalism student at the University of Texas. “It’s community service work because you are keeping the public informed. You’re holding people in higher offices accountable. I feel like my public service is to make sure you take care of other people the right way.”
She discovered visual storytelling in elementary school when she learned how to use a camera and a teleprompter and how to produce a news segment. The excitement of reading the words out loud and delivering the news hooked her right away.
Ms. Turner said she enjoys adding a visual element to the words.
“I like to think that I’m taking what I’m reading, something that is really vivid in my head, and then translating it to somebody else,” she said. “You’re not manipulating a story because you’re telling what’s there, but you get to tell it creatively other than what’s just on the paper.”
She worked with her middle school and high school newscasts, and was an intern at The Houston Press, a weekly alternative newspaper, as a video reporter.
But she found her niche when she spent a month in China in 2013 teaching English to children.
“It just puts things in perspective when you travel abroad,” Ms. Turner said. “I think it’s important to relate for people here back home how everything, even the little things you do, affect us in the global scale.”
She plans to pursue a career in international news as a producer or a broadcast reporter for a news organization.
“We shouldn’t be divided by country, or race or sexual orientation,” she said. “We should respect people’s differences, but know that your actions will affect that other person directly. I think that’s why international news is important.”