Tiana Bohner is a TV reporter at WCYB on the Tennessee-Virginia border. She is our #WCW because we admire that she loves what she does!
1. What's your story? What makes you unique?
Here are some trivial facts about me:
-I’m named after Tiananmen Square in China, where students led demonstrations for democracy in 1989.
-My first words were not ‘Mom’ or ‘Dad.’ They were ‘flower’ and ‘towel’ -- don’t ask why!
-I visited more than 40 schools before picking a college: Boston University. Go Terriers!
-I have a Hawaiian name that is 27 letters long, given to me by my first kumu hula (teacher).
-I drink a Starbucks everyday and have been a proud gold card member since 2009.
2. What motivates you? The people I love are my motivation. My parents are a huge force that drives me. I want them to see that all the time, money and effort they’ve dedicated to me for the past 25 years are paying off.
I also find inspiration in others who are a part of the TV news industry. As a ‘one-man-band,’ it’s physically tiring to lug 40 lbs. of camera gear around all day. But it also takes a toll on you emotionally to cover someone’s death – and to be the one who has to capture loved ones mourning. So I’m grateful for all of the talented people I’ve met in this business, who have help me navigate the field and push me to be a better journalist.
3. Who is a hero of yours? The answer everyone gives – my parents, of course! As an only child, I think my parents and I have a pretty special bond. They are not just my role models and authority figures – they are my best friends. They have led by example, setting the bar pretty high for me, too, I might add.
4. Give us a road map of your career. How did you get to where you are today?
I studied Broadcast Journalism at Boston University. I was one of those rare cases – I picked a major in college and never looked back.
I spent my college career mostly in TV newsrooms instead of the classroom. I landed my first internship at KHON in Honolulu, Hawaii – the station I grew up watching! From there, I had the unbelievable opportunity to intern at CNN in Atlanta. Next, I interned at WHDH in Boston, where I later became a writer. Then finally – my big break! I landed an on-air reporter/producer job at WCYB in Bristol, TN/VA, where you’ll find me now.
5. What's your future plan? Your goals?
I love reporting. Storytelling is in my blood – I sure don’t do this job for the money! For the next few years, I plan to continue reporting in different cities across the country. Beyond that, I think the door is wide open. But no matter what, I can assure you, it’ll have to do with sharing people’s stories – and not sitting at a desk!
6. If you could give one piece of advice, what would it be?
Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s easy to get caught up in a bad day – when nothing goes right. Or let someone’s harsh words get the best of you. But I try to focus on the big picture. And that’s helped me keep my emotions and attitude in check.
That advice goes back to how you view yourself, too. Sometimes, I fixate on my mistakes -- perceived failures. Then, I remember what my dad says: ‘Sometimes even monkeys fall out of trees,’ and that’s okay.
7. What is something you feel strongly about (a cause, belief, etc.)?
I am passionate about caring for our veterans. In my family, it is an honor to serve our country. My dad was in the Air Force before both he and my mom made careers out of working at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. My grandpa served in both the Army and Navy during World War II.
Working in Northeast Tennessee/Southwest Virginia, I have the chance to tell the stories of many veterans, who otherwise may not have had a voice. For me, that’s a privilege. Veterans were part of some of the most pivotal times in our nation’s history. And their stories will be forgotten, if we don’t take the time to listen.
8. What's one of the coolest things you've ever done?
A few years ago, I had the honor of illustrating a children’s book. The author is my elementary school principal, who invited me to be a part of this collaboration. Since its publishing, The Magic Honu has been handed out at schools, churches and other youth groups across Hawaii for free to promote literacy – and hopefully, teach kids some simple life lessons!
Tiana is from the Tennessee-Virginia border, Unsure of where that is? Check out this commercial: http://bit.ly/2rWq1mH