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Washington State University

Broadcast dream realized

Murrow College student Sona Porter can finally report uncovered stories.

Sona Porter grew up listening to the BBC on the radio in The Gambia, West Africa, and dreamed of a career in broadcast news.

But as sometimes happens, life intervened. She moved to the United States, married and had children. She worked as a caregiver. Eventually, though, she began taking classes at Everett Community College with the goal of transferring into Washington State University’s Edward R. Murrow College of Communication.

Sona Porter

Finally realizing her decades-old ambition meant moving to Pullman and leaving her kids, now 17, 13 and 10, in the care of her mother and brothers in Everett. She was conflicted but her older two kids told her, “If you’re making the decision not to go, you’re making the decision for you, not for us,” she recalled.

She’ll be done with her communications degree in December, then will complete a second major in political science with a study-abroad class in the United Kingdom next spring.

Porter, who’ll turn 41 in October, said she hopes to use her new degree, “going where nobody wants to go and reporting on issues nobody wants to report on.”

She’s already had experience, traveling to Serbia in the spring as part of Murrow College’s “backpack journalism” program and producing a story for the respected journalism website Poynter.com on harassment of female investigative journalists there.

Her transition to full-time college student in Pullman wasn’t seamless – she came down with COVID and struggled with anxiety and fatigue afterward – but WSU was there for her, she said.

“Assistance in whatever you’re looking for is available,” Porter said “Faculty, everybody has been so helpful and that’s what kept me going. I knew I had a team around me who wanted me to succeed. It has been the greatest experience.”

Addy Hatch, University Marketing and Communication