Orie, thanks for being our guest this month.
Can you tell us a little bit more about Spectrum News?
Spectrum News is a 24-hour cable news channel dedicated to providing viewers with local news, politics, features, sports and weather. At Spectrum News Hudson Valley, we work to provide our viewers with the stories that are important to their local communities across Orange, Sullivan, Dutchess and Ulster Counties, ranging from the news of the day to their favorite sports teams.
How long have you been reporting for Spectrum News and what brought you into this field?
I’m relatively new to Spectrum News, though I have been reporting for the past five years. I joined the Spectrum News Hudson Valley team in October 2017, after working as a freelance correspondent for The Advocate. Prior to that, I produced news and talk programming for Radio Free Brooklyn, a hyperlocal not-for-profit internet radio station. I’ve wanted to work in television news since I was a little kid, so I’m excited to work on-air for Spectrum.
What topics or stories are you most excited to report on for your viewers?
I strive to tell stories that help to inform our community of the news that is relevant to their daily lives and to give a voice to those who are less-often heard in media coverage. When I’m not covering breaking news of the day, I typically report stories related to community social issues that people are talking about. Some examples include local efforts to support community initiatives, or how changes in tax law are affecting the bottom line across the communities we serve. I also enjoy telling stories of how communities are making their mark, and how people are working to make our communities better.
What are a few fun things that most people might not know about you?
I love to explore languages and cultures, and when I can, enjoy traveling. I also enjoy cooking when I have the time, and discovering new places to eat and have a good time. While I work in television, I enjoy watching it too, so my downtime includes a lot of TV shows and Netflix.
What is one of the most memorable interviews or segments you’ve done so far?
I covered a community forum in Newburgh around the opioid crisis. The discussion focused on how the community can explore compassionate solutions to help their neighbors, friends and family suffering from addiction. As someone who has known people who suffered from addiction, and some who have lost their lives, it was emotional to hear the stories from so many parents and friends who spoke passionately about losing loved ones and looking for solutions. One person I interviewed was able to turn his experience as someone suffering from addiction into a role where he now works to support others who were in his position. I like sharing stories of hope, and that was one of them.
Tell us – we promise not to hold it against you – what is your biggest PR pet peeve?
I interviewed a famous comedian once via phone, and while I thought we were the only ones on the line, one of their reps burst in to alert me about a time limit toward the ends of the call. They should have been straightforward and said that there would be another person on the call for the interview, it would have been fine. Honesty is always best. I think sometimes there is a misconception that journalists are always out to paint someone in a bad light, and that makes PR professionals somewhat guarded when we’re speaking with their clients – but many of us just want to know what’s going on and tell a good, fair story.
How many hashtags are too many? (All of us at Impact are looking to impose a legal limit)
Unless I’m being silly, I usually limit it to one or two hashtags. Three is the upper limit, and that’s usually if they’re say-something hashtags. If there are more tags than words it seems odd to me. Although, it also depends on platform (people LOVE them on Instagram!)
What do you love most about living and working in the Hudson Valley?
Honestly the Hudson Valley reminds me of home. I’m a proud Buckeye from the great state of Ohio, and the mix of urban, suburban and rural landscapes with friendly people is something that I grew up with. And I love that “the HV” is full of tight-knit communities all with their unique style. I live in Middletown, and am enjoying getting to know the city better, and find new places and things to discover all the time. But whether I’m in Warwick, or Walden or Poughkeepsie or Rock Hill, there is something new to find that makes each individual community unique.
Name on Hudson Valley gem that all locals and visitors ought to check out?
It’s hard to name one, but the place that I tend to go to most often is Daddy’s Donuts on Rt. 211 in Middletown. It’s on the way to work, so I’m a regular there for my breakfast sandwich and coffee. They also have amazing baked goods, from the apple fritters I eat way too many of, to cookies, cakes and pies. I actually took a gingerbread house back to Ohio from there for my niece. I think I was more excited about it than she was!
For Spectrum customers, we’re always on 24 hours a day on Channel 6 and streaming on the Spectrum TV App. On social, I’m @OrieGivens and we’re at @SpecNewsHV on twitter, and @OrieReports and @SpectrumNewsHV on Facebook.