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FAMU TV20 Announces Anchors for Fall 2012
(Left to right) FAMU TV 20 anchors Daija Barrett, Ashli Doss, Olivia Smith and Kristen Swilley.

August 29, 2012

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Four new anchors have been selected for the fall 2012 season of Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) News 20 at Five. The live newscast will air at 5 p.m. every Monday through Thursday beginning Tuesday, Sept. 4 on Comcast 20 and on the web at

The anchors are broadcast journalism seniors Kristen Swilley (weather), Daija Barrett (sports), Ashli Doss and Olivia Smith (co-anchors on the main news desk).

“We are very proud of the talented students who will be leading the live newscast as well as other student media,” said the FAMU School of Journalism and Graphic Communication Dean Ann Wead Kimbrough. “There is lots of news to cover and they will aggressively do so. For example, we will have students Courtney Wallace and Lenneia Batiste reporting from the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte under the leadership of the CBS Harold Dow Visiting Professor Benjamin Davis in early September.”

Swilley, an Atlanta native, aspires to become a mobile journalist after graduation. She has served as the editor-in-chief of FAMU’s Journey magazine and news editor of The Famuan. She was also a member of the 2010 FIFA World Cup coverage team in South Africa and recently completed an internship through the Scripps Howard Foundation. In addition to serving as the weather anchor this semester, she will remain on staff at Journey as copy desk chief.

“I'm thrilled to be a small part of such an dynamic legacy,” said Swilley.  “In a year as critical as this for our university, our state and our country, I'm excited to be on the team that gets to both announce the results of the next presidential election and cover FAMU's 125th anniversary.”

Barrett, a native of Avon Park, Fla., brings a wealth of internship experience as a reporter with stations in Orlando and Tallahassee plus on-air radio experience in Avon Park. Barrett aspires to work in a top 10-television market as a reporter/anchor.

“Thank you, Jesus!,” said Barrett, who also has served as a technical director for the live newscast.  “Being selected as an anchor was a goal from my freshman year. When I arrived here in the fall of 2009 and saw that anchor desk, I said 'that's me.'”

Since enrolling at FAMU, Doss has found her home in multimedia journalism via radio, filming, writing, reporting and editing video. Doss was recently awarded a 1st place Florida Associated Press award for Best Radio newscast on the death of former drum major Robert Champion.

“I’m anxious for the first show,” said Doss, a St. Petersburg, Fla., native. “I don’t believe it has really hit me yet. Ever since becoming a news anchor at my elementary school, I have had a passion for informing the public.”
Smith, a native of Milton, Fla., is a member of Kappa Tau Alpha, the national journalism honor society. She has served as a newsroom and production intern in Tallahassee.

“FAMU has provided wonderful opportunities and resources for journalism students that will serve as a strong foundation for future endeavors,” she explained. “It is an honor to be a part of such an amazing group of students and faculty with the same passion and love for journalism that I have.”

“It is a busy time here on our campus with a lot of news to cover,” said Leonard Horton, news director for News 20 at Five. “I'm just so thankful that during this time of transition, our
students are receiving the training and mentorship to get them prepared for today's job market. During the spring semester, we had several students to get jobs in several news markets as television producers and reporters, some of them in high markets like Orlando.”

Students enrolled in the Advanced TV News class offered in the FAMU SJGC will also produce a live webcast airing Fridays at 12:30 p.m.

News 20 at Five will offer daily news updates via Twitter at In addition to offering news updates, the website will continue to showcase audio presentations, multimedia slideshows and documentaries. FAMU-TV 20 is an educational access channel operated by the SJGC. It reaches more than 80,000 households via Comcast.

In other student media outlets, journalism students Karl Etters of Tallahassee and Angie Meus of Chicago will serve as co-editors-in-chief for The Famuan, the award-winning student newspaper this fall. The Famuan is available online at

Morgan Grain of Atlanta will serve as the editor-in-chief for Journey magazine, which was named the top student magazine earlier this year by the Society of Professional Journalists in Region 3 and the Southeast Journalism Conference.  Journey is available online at

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