Westmont Magazine Inside the Life of a Correspondent
Megan Shrader Alexander ’02 wanted to be a broadcast journalist, so she started out as a communications studies major at Westmont. “I thrived on delivering speeches and winning over my audience,” she says. Deciding she needed to understand the news to report it better, she switched to political science. Today Megan draws on both disciplines as a correspondent for the television show Inside Edition.
She got her start in Nashville, arriving with one suitcase and no prospects. After jobs with a Christian songwriter and a clothing store, she began doing traffic and weather reports for a local radio show. A television station then hired her part time to focus on feature stories and entertainment news. She moved to San Antonio in 2004 to co-host a morning show, “Great Day San Antonio.” For three years she interviewed a wide range of people, from Sir Anthony Hopkins to Mary Lou Retton. Her favorite project was developing a weekly home improvement show, “Mi Casa Makeover,” which renovates low-income housing at no cost to the residents. She particularly enjoyed interviewing fellow alumnus Mike Yankoski ’06 on the talk show about his book “Under the Overpass.”
When her agent submitted a tape to Inside Edition, Megan never expected to get a job with the show, which features pop culture as well as serious news. “Our show is a fun mix of entertainment, fashion, politics and business,” Megan says. “We also feature ordinary people doing extraordinary things. I’m proud that Inside Edition covers politics and occasionally international issues. Americans like pop culture, but they also follow politics, health and business. Our show blends all these things.”
As a broadcaster, Megan has to react quickly to breaking news. She got some experience with this as student body president in September 2001. The morning of 9-11, she organized an impromptu prayer meeting for students and planned a campus-wide memorial service for Sept. 13.
“From day one, I appreciated the conversation at Westmont: How do we respond to this world as Christians?” she says. “I believe deeply that it’s essential for a journalist to remain neutral and treat everyone with respect and dignity. At the same time, how I live my life needs to reflect my personal relationship with Christ. As St. Francis of Assisi said, ‘Preach the gospel; use words when necessary.’”
A board member of Girls Inc., Megan enjoys supporting organizations like United Way by emceeing their events. “Giving back was strongly modeled in my family growing up, and Westmont further reinforced that,” she says. “My parents are caring Christians who believe in service.”
Megan lives in New York City with her husband, Brian, who owns an event-planning company and a cell phone store. They knew each other as children. “He’s very supportive of my career,” she says.
Megan believes God called her into broadcasting for a reason. “Every job is a mission field,” she says. “I encourage all Westmont students to dream big! We should never limit what God can do through us in any career.”