WPXI-TV’s Timyka Artist inspires J-students


Don Crawford

Don Crawford

“Breaking news… I’m live!” states Timyka Artist a WPXI-TV news reporter who came to speak with a selected group of journalism students on Thursday February 24th.

Timyka talked with students about her career as a journalist and told students not only the good things about her job but also the bad. “Everyone thinks that being a television news reporter is a glamorous job. It’s not. There are many days I come home muddy. Or sweaty. My feet always hurt.” The reporter went on to say that missing holidays like Christmas are normal occurrences in any news reporter’s life because news is always happening.

Ever since high school Timyka’s enjoyed public speaking and was in several activities including the choir and girl scouts, which she believed put her over the edge and into the business. She credits her parents for their support and teachers for helping her look at journalism as a career option.“What made me really go into journalism was when my teacher came to me and asked me if I ever thought about being a journalist. I didn’t even know what it was at the time but I gave it a try,” states Artist. During college at Temple University she got an internship working at WHYY radio, Philadelphia’s NPR news station. She eventually learned how to read and write the news and after college she got several jobs, ranging from advertising to radio and even as a producer, before coming to Pittsburgh to work for WPXI. Her big break came during a snow storm in Philadelphia when as a producer, “No one else could get to the station and they told me to go and do the news.” She has been in front of the camera ever since.

While Timyka made note of the fact that the profession is “very, very tough”, she also talked about her love of reporting. “I get to help people. I feel so blessed. And I can tell you that every day brings something new. You never have a boring day.”

As a reporter, Ms.Artist enjoys doing stories on missing persons and unidentified bodies, as there is a challenge in solving such mysteries. She’s a little less enthused about doing stories where there are police standoffs. “Bullets don’t know names,” she stated.

As for Pittsburgh, Timyka enjoys her work at WPXI. “I love WPXI and I like local news because you’re able to make a personal connection,” she states after being asked if she got any other job offers. Her hobbies include watching crime shows, shopping, being with her friends, traveling, watching movies and musical theater.

Timyka gave students an opportunity to talk about their talents as journalists, as well. She advised students to follow their dreams and also to make sure that each student look at the many careers available in television news, not just the ones in front of the camera.

Timyka Artist was a tremendous guest speaker who kept student attention. We are thankful that she came in.  “She engaged us. She reached out to us and I appreciated that. She really kept our attention,” reporter Teona Andrews said. “I like the fact that she said musical theater actually helps in the television news profession,” Phil Bova added.