When Linsey Davis arrived at the University in 1995, a journalism career was not exactly on her mind. The award-winning speaker ABC News thought she wanted to be a psychologist and focused her studies on human behavior and the way people think. Fourteen years later, she moderated two of the Democratic presidential debates of the 2020 election in front of a live and national audience.
I do not think I have ever had to study so hard at UV, Davis remarked in an interview with The Cavalier Daily about preparing for the debates.
On February 1, ABC News named Davis as the anchor of World News Tonight’s Sunday broadcasts of the most watched evening news in the country. A two-time Emmy Award winner, Davis is also a speaker on ABC News Live Prime, networks for the first time in the evening news.
It is no secret that the University has produced many prominent journalists and media executives in the last half century, despite not having a journalism school. From Katie Couric to Margaret Brennan, the University has prepared much to work in the media.
Any good institution worth its salt will help provoke their students to be curious and ask and ask themselves, Davis said. I would say that all this my curiosity and just wanting to ask about certain things was nurtured while I was in the Grounds.
Instead of taking courses in reporting, Davis learned about psychology, astrology, and African-American studies while at University, even taking a course with the late Professor Julian Bond, one of the nation’s leading civil rights leaders. Until she studied abroad in London and took some journalism courses late in her university career, she decided to pursue journalism.
I did not have a change of heart until it was too late, Davis said. But I will say that the psychology degree was not for him I do not mean, you can certainly use it in any, most career paths, and simply by understanding how people work and just like the human behavior behind it all.
Since the University lacked a communications department at the time, she had to enroll in a graduate program elsewhere by landing at New York University.
After earning a master’s degree in communications, Davis worked as a reporter and anchor on local television stations in Syracuse, NY, Flint, Mich. And Indianapolis, Ind. She joined ABC News in 2007 as a New York-based correspondent and made waves in 2009 with a separate Night Line report examining why African-American women of any race or gender are less likely to marry.
Davis has since conducted interviews with prominent figures and influential politicians, including Secretary Hillary Clinton, Vice President Mike Pence, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Myon Burrell, an inmate in Minneapolis who said he was unjustly convicted of murder in part because of Senator Amy Klobuchar, who was the chief prosecutor in the case.
Last summer, as protests against police brutality were on the rise after the death of George Floyds, Davis led a roundtable discussion with black female mayors and also anchored a documentary on the issue of domestic terrorism and hate-inspired violence in the US. black, Davis wants to use her platform to talk about the issues her community faces even if those conversations are uncomfortable.
I’m not afraid to tackle it and face issues and facts, Davis said. Sometimes we do not have these conversations because people worry too much about how we address it or how we talk about it. I think there is a certain importance that I am able to bring to the table when I know that perspective of the Black and Brown people in this community that I live in, and it is my personal experience.
However, she added that all Americans, not just black and brown people should start talking about racial issues.
Davis was also at the forefront of ABC News coverage of the 2020 presidential election, anchoring major political events such as two presidential debates, the vice president debate, the coverage of the presidential election, and Inauguration Day.
It was intense, Davis said. I had two large links, three rings of 200 pages or more. [I spent time] simply passing and talking about politics, talking about economics, talking about climate change, whatever it may be that I can really grasp and grasp the questions I would ask.
ABC News president James Goldston praised her skills as a journalist in a note to staff last week, saying the viewership of her Friday news broadcast increased by over 200 percent last year.
Linsey has had an impressive rise on ABC News as a result of her impenetrable interviewing skills, skill and experience, Goldston said. Her presidential performance moderation debate was nothing short of commanding.
Outside of journalism, Davis is the best-selling author of three children’s books, including one coming out this month which she described as a love letter to our children. She is also a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and vividly remembers walking down the Road Lawn and Rugby and eating at Bodos Bagels as a University student.
He continues to be the best decision I have ever made in my life, Davis said. I loved U.Va. and I would really attribute a lot to who I am my four years there.
Davis will continue to anchor Live Prime from Monday to Friday in addition to being the new World News co-speaker tonight on Sundays.
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