Perspectives

Taylor Mirfendereski Headshot

Former WOUB Student Appointed to SPJ Board of Directors


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ATHENS, OH – Former WOUB Public Media student and Ohio University graduate Taylor Mirfendereski has been appointed to the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Board of Directors. Mirfendereski, who graduated from the Honor’s Tutorial College with a journalism degree, is now an investigative/special projects reporter at KING 5 News in Seattle, Washington. She specializes in multimedia reporting and in-depth digital projects.

“I am honored to join the SPJ Board of Directors because this organization plays a critical role in helping journalists fight for access to information under the First Amendment. In today’s political climate, SPJ has more responsibility than ever to educate the public on the essential work that journalists do to hold powerful people accountable and create change in our society,” said Mirfendereski. “It was a no-brainer to accept the appointment because this organization has helped me so much in my career, and I really believe in the mission.”

Mirfendereski with Peabody Award
Mirfendereski with Peabody award

SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. When Mirfendereski was a student at Ohio University, she served two terms as a student representative on the national SPJ board and led the Ohio University chapter. She currently serves as a board member for SPJ’s Western Washington Pro Chapter.

“I want to use this platform to offer SPJ members more tangible tools and resources that will make them better journalists in the field,” Mirfendereski said.

Mirfendereski’s reporting has exposed many wrongs, including the waste of taxpayer dollars, the mistreatment of wounded soldiers, the sex trafficking of American women and children and the violation of special education laws. Her work has garnered some of the country’s top journalism awards, including a Peabody award, two National Edward R. Murrow awards, two Emmy awards and a National Mark of Excellence award. The Investigative Reporters and Editors recognized Taylor’s reporting as a finalist in the 2019 awards. In 2018, Taylor was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Livingston Award, a national honor bestowed on journalists under 35. She was also named a Kiplinger Fellow in 2018.

Mirfenderski as a student at WOUB
Mirfendereski working for WOUB

“When I was in college at Ohio University and working at WOUB, there were endless opportunities to be in leadership roles,” said Mirfendereski. “Being involved so early in those kinds of roles propelled me into this situation. Ohio University gave me the opportunity to find out about these journalism groups and be involved.”

Prior to joining the KING 5 team in 2016, Taylor worked as a digital reporter at WCPO in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she exclusively produced in-depth, enterprise news stories for WCPO.com and WCPO-TV.  In 2014, she embedded with U.S. military troops in Afghanistan to cover the local impact of America’s longest war. In 2011, she began volunteering at WOUB as a student reporter and anchor. In 2012, she joined WOUB staff as a digital content manager.

“I knew as a student that I wanted my career to focus on in-depth, long-form reporting. Those kind of jobs are hard to come by, but working at WOUB gave me the opportunity to get that type of reporting experience while I was still in school,” said Mirfendereski. “I learned from that newsroom and other groups at Ohio University that you have to create your own opportunities to achieve your goals, and you don’t have to fit into a box to be successful. That helped me land my jobs. I am where I am today because of the support I received from WOUB, Ohio University and the incredible educators who work there.”