Mia posed with her arm on her face in a nude ribbed dress

Mia Diamond Uzzell: FAMU's Favorite Multi-Media Journalist

This week I got to chat with Mia Diamond Uzzell, a Sophomore at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.  We talked about all things journalism and dove into her passion for it.  Keep reading so you can get to know Mia, just as I did!

Her Campus (HC): So, Mia, to start off tell me a little about yourself.

Mia Diamond Uzzell (MDU): I am a storyteller first and foremost. In everything I do — from articles to documentaries — I center my culture and make certain I never compromise it. I was born in a household with a Southern Black mother and an immigrant Caribbean father.  It is without question that because of them I have a very complex personality. I’m a believer in showing unconditional love and always extending kindness because of my mother. I am also a firm believer in chasing my passion across every continent because of my father. I’m an implacable dreamer who believes cultivating places of love is my greatest truth.

Mia with long hair in front of a white wall Photo by Mia Diamond Uzzell

HC: How do you like being a student journalist at FAMU?

MDU: Being a student journalist at FAMU has been the greatest experience. FAMU gives me the expanse to transcend from simply dreaming of creating a reality. I would be remiss to not recognize the valleys that come with the mountaintop. We are severely underfunded and neglected in comparison to predominantly white schools. I cherish my work even more because I know I’m doing more with less and still keeping up with the proverbial Joneses in the journalism realm.

HC: What’s a typical day in your life when reporting?

MDU: My typical day is filled with spontaneity. As managing editor, I have to touch base with all my writers, editors and graphic artists each day because we are producing stories on a daily basis that all have to go through me. Then I brief myself with news in the world by reading at least 5 articles. I read my personal favorite, The Associated Press, for hard news and then follow up with Teen Vogue, New York Times and B*tch. Next, I skim Twitter because digital guerilla journalism has really emerged as a media source. I always go to my notes throughout the day if I can figure out how to localize national news to my niche: HBCUs and marginalized communities in Tallahassee. Whether it’s in the form of a multimedia project or a story, I touch base with interviewees and start my heavy-duty reporting during the day. In the evening, I’m normally editing stories because I’m also an opinion editor for our newspaper and I touch base with my staff to troubleshoot any problems. At night, I love writing the bulk of stories because my brain works best when it’s winding down and I can sort of spit everything I can think of on the page and sort it out. Before I go to bed, I normally watch Vox, VICE or Frontline PBS because I love those shows.

Mia posed with a long pink skirt Photo by Mia Diamond Uzzell

HC: What’s been the most difficult thing you’ve encountered when reporting?

MDU: The most difficult aspect of reporting for me actually has more to do with myself. I’m a constant thinker which translates into me constantly wanting to work on new stories and a never-ending cycle of writing. Other than that, nothing really makes me nervous in reporting anymore. I’ve spoken with riled up, impassioned Trump supporters at a rally who despise media so I pretty much think I can handle anything else.

HC: What’s the most rewarding part of what you do?

MDU: I would love to say the most rewarding part is telling stories of those who are neglected too often in news coverage, but honestly, my mother’s pride in me trumps that by a landslide. Every day my mom calls me and asks me to send her more articles and projects to share on Facebook and in her group chats so she can let them know her daughter is her “greatest gift from God.”

Mia with short hair in front of a white wall Photo by Mia Diamond Uzzell

HC: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

MDU: In 5 years, I see myself championing marginalized voices, specifically covering politics and culture. I’ll still be writing and curate digital content for a living. As of now, I’m unsure if it’ll be freelance or with a company, but rest assured the world will know my name.

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