For Day 2 of our Hip History Contest “Meet the Judges” series, we’d like to introduce you to Jatyra Marsh.
Jatyra Marsh’s dream job is to host “Good Morning America,” a dream she already is pursuing as a reporter, producer, and anchor at KYOU News in Ottumwa.
Marsh graduated from Missouri State University in 2019 and landed her first job with the Ottumwa TV station after applying “to so many news stations.” Despite being a newcomer, Marsh does it all at KYOU. She goes out into the community to report on the news, edits her video and scripts, and anchors newscasts.
Marsh says it’s “really hard” to juggle so many responsibilities in her first job, but she appreciates the opportunity to learn a variety of skills early in her career.
To learn the ropes at KYOU, Marsh says, “I just asked a lot of questions. Even though something is being explained to me, I still want to be sure, because I want the show to look good. So, I asked questions again and again, like, ‘Hey, does this look OK? Does this transition make sense with this? Does this story work better at the top of the show or the middle of the show?’ Things like that.”
Marsh says she was drawn to journalism after a high school teacher suggested she try her hand at television reporting because of her love for people and storytelling.
At Missouri State, Marsh says she pursued as many journalism opportunities as possible so she had a strong resume by the time she graduated.
“Do as much work as you can in college,” Marsh says. “Get that internship as soon as you can. If you’re able to, get two internships to really get that practice in and perfect your craft. There’s so much detail that news directors pay attention to. If they don’t see that spark or that thing that grabs their attention; if you’re not grabbing their attention within the first 15-30 seconds of your resume reel, they’re going to move on … Make sure you stand out.”
For Marsh, “creativity and my positive energy” are qualities she believes helped land her first job.
“Hands down, my most favorite part of my job is meeting a new person—always, always, always,” Marsh says. “I love going out and just talking to people and seeing their eyes light up when they get to tell something interesting about their life or what’s going on, or maybe share something heartfelt, heartbreaking, that people need to know. I love talking to people and meeting new people and helping in any way that I can.”
That love for people and positivity is what attracts Marsh to her dream of being the host of a major morning show.
“I would just love to be the first face everyone wakes up to,” Marsh says. “Usually everything they report is just really positive and everyone is really happy to watch ‘Good Morning America,’ and I just want to be the reason that somebody is happy to watch.”
In recent days, Marsh has written about the reopening of Ottumwa’s library, an Oskaloosa family who lost their home in a fire, and the return of artist events at the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center. We’ve also had the honor of her doing a fantastic segment on Uniting Through History’s founder and executive director, Rachelle Chase. Despite the pressures that come with a career in journalism, no day is the same, and that’s one of the reasons she loves her job.
“I really enjoy it,” Marsh says. “It’s always keeping me on the edge of my seat. I’m always on my toes.”