Anastasia Semien’s decision to leave her journalism career to become a public relations officer at the Department of Transportation and Development was not a hard one.
“It was about sitting down and examining where I wanted to be within the next five years,” Semien said. “It was actually an exciting, smooth change
Semien had worked as a journalist for 10 years. Her journalistic pursuits began when she was 18 years old. The public relations officer started freelancing while she was still attending Caddo Magnet High School
Semien explained that her love of journalism started off as a love for English and creative writing. She also credited the injustices that she saw in her community as her push to become a journalist.
“I would wonder why issues in the African American community were either ignored or not covered properly, and I felt compelled to change that,” Semien said.
However, Semien learned that working as a journalist was not only about changing her community. She determined rather quickly that it would also change her.
“At one point, all the crime stories I covered made it harder for me to see the good in the world,” Semien said.
Semien spoke about a crime she covered in which a woman’s boyfriend tortured and killed her child.
“I’m not one who cries easily, and I was in tears before I even finished reading the police report.”
She explained that the report revealed that the child had trauma on almost every part of his body.
Semien said that she had to learn how to keep the tragedies that she covered from affecting her everyday life.
“I would constantly have to remind myself not to internalize the negative aspects of my job and that good things are happening all around me,” Semien said. “I made sure that I covered positive stories as often as I could.”
Semien does acknowledge that her experience as a journalists has made her more cynical. However, she explained that she has no regrets about working as a journalist or changing careers.
“I believe that everything happens for a reason,” Semien said. “I love my job and am where I am today because of those past decisions.”