Ashley Bishop Produces Journalism for the Community

When she was a child, Ashley Bishop watched the news religiously. She recalls, "My family used to tease me about it when I was in elementary school: 'you're going to be a news reporter.'" A family friend was an anchor on one of the local channels, which inspired Bishop to investigate the newsmaking process.

She began her forays into journalism at Baldwin High School where she wrote for school newspaper. In high school she was also a part of VISION (Volunteers in Service in Our Neighborhoods) Club. Led by high school teacher Richard Yount, a group of high school students travelled to hurricane-ravaged Bay St. Louis to help with clean-up efforts after hurricane Katrina. This proved to be a pivotal experience for Bishop as the trip and volunteerism expandedher worldview and gave her a passion for helping others. She explains, "Getting involved after hurricane Katrina opened my eyes. That experience pushed me to be a better person and a better journalist after I saw how many stories weren't told."

Bishop graduated Baldwin High School in 2008 and went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism, Communication Studies, and Public Relations from Westminster College. She then worked in news broadcasting in Fargo, North Dakota, and Charleston, West Virginia before coming back to Southwestern Pennsylvania to work for WPXI. Bishop reflects, "My goal was always to come back to Pittsburgh and work in news. I love the idea of being in my hometown and covering the things that affect the community." She serves as Special Projects and Investigative Producer at WPXI. In that role, she digs deep into stories, involved in the entire process from finding leads, researching stories, and conducting interviews. She explains, "I do a lot of the behind the scenes work to help get everything on air." Bishop is driven by a desire to invest in the region and points to connecting with the community as the most enjoyable part of her job. She shares, "I love showing the community coming together. I love making a difference and helping people. I feel that you can really do that with this career."

The Baldwin-Whitehall School District was key in Bishop's personal and professional development. She shares, "It really helped me become who I am today. It's my foundation moving into the world. Especially the service aspect: teaching me to give back." She appreciated that the education she received in the District was holistic, integrating practical and academic education. She recalls, "We did real-world assignments, like how to search for an apartment, what questions to ask. When it came to do those things in college, I felt like I was ahead. My friends didn't know how to do that." She warmly shared her advice for current students. "Take advantage of everything offered in high school, academically and non-academically. Don't be afraid to try something. Some people would call me a nerd because I gave up my lunch to take extra electives. I'm so glad I did. It helped me explore what I wanted to do and made me a more well-rounded person."