Kiara Hay is one of three African American reporters working for WLNS-TV 6 News. Hay takes her informing the community about issues that impact them very seriously.
Interview by Roxy Hayes-Brown
1.) What is your name, place of origin if other than Lansing, and your job title?
Kiara Hay, Metro Detroit, Anchor/Reporter at WLNS-TV 6 News
2.) When did you realize that you wanted to do this work and did you have any media influences or role models that encouraged the endeavor either directly or indirectly?
I decided in Middle school I wanted to get into News but I had no idea what that meant. My neighbor was an anchor in Detroit and I remember I went to FOX 2 with her daughter and met B2K. I fell in love.
3.) What is your best advice for someone hopeful of becoming a televised reporter?
Work hard, but at your own pace. Don't compare your journey to others. Make connections and get as many internships as you can! Always look for feedback on your work, and never become too comfortable, this field is ALWAYS changing.
4.) How does your culture and background influence you in your work?
Compassion and perspective. When you understand where someone is coming from, you word things differently, and words matter. You are able to ask questions others may not think about. You have the ability to bring a different kind of depth to a story.
5.) What does the word “representation” mean to you?
It's everything, so often Black people were not able to tell their own stories or there was one black voice to speak for the entire culture. There seems to be more of an effort to diversify newsrooms which is important. A newsroom should reflect the community they serve.
6.) What do you hope to accomplish across your broadcast tenure?
To put stories into the world that have a real impact on how people think. To share stories that expose people to ideas and cultures they never thought about. I believe if people understood each other better, there would be less hate.
7.) Tell us about a fun secret or hidden talent you have?
I must be boring...I can't think of any.
8.) I can imagine this work can be as stressful as it is rewarding. What do you like to do for fun or to decompress?
Laugh! It's my favorite thing to do. If that means throwing on an episode of The Office, or watching mindless youtube videos...that's what I'll do! Also spending time with family is a must.
9.) In a field largely dominated by white males for so long, how do you navigate and thrive from the intersection of being a femme person of color?
You have to understand what you bring to the table is unique, and it's needed. Recognize your perspective and background helps you do your job and that's why they hired you. Speak up with authority when it matters.
10.) Where is it you see yourself in ten years’ time?
Hopefully Anchoring in Detroit, with a few kids.
11.) How much does social media effect your work?
More than I would like it to. People live online, you find sources, stories ideas EVERYTHING online. But it can also be a double edge sword. Seeing people criticize your work and looks can be difficult sometimes, and feeling like you always have to be plugged in can become exhausting.
12.) Where and when can we see you on television?
I anchor the weekend morning show, and I report Mon-Wed. You can also see me occasionally on the noon broadcast.
Editor’s Note: In the beginning of 2020, Mark Brown known as Pos Rein (Positive Reinforcement) on social media, contacted and excitedly spoke about three African American reporters at WLNS-TV 6 News and told me that we must do a story on them.
We had a lot of other stories on deck. I called Mark to get his thoughts about the angle of a story. He did not return any of my calls.
Mark was a force to be reckoned with. He was one of Lansing’s most active activists.
He did not let many know he was ill. He died on November 9 following a battle with lung disease. He was 51.
Still working in heaven.
Rest in power Pos Rein.