BRANSON, MO – Longtime FOX 2 / News 11 journalist Shirley Washington was inducted into the Silver Circle at the NATAS Mid-America Emmy Awards on Saturday, September 30.
The honor actually started with a surprise announcement by co-anchor Mandy Murphey — a 2022 Silver Circle inductee — live on FOX 2 News in June.
“I was pleasantly surprised, and I was over the moon with excitement,” Washington remembered. “This was a long time coming.”
At the awards ceremony in Branson, Washington offered advice, shared how she recovered from early mistakes, and tearfully thanked her husband and family in the audience for their years of support. She also reflected on her decades of covering stories in Decatur, Ill., Moline, Ill., Des Moines, Iowa, Nashville, Tenn., Atlanta, Ga., Dallas, Texas, and currently in her hometown of St. Louis, Mo.
“Being an African-American woman and a journalist, we tend to work a lot harder for ourselves, more so than anyone else, we work harder for ourselves to tell impactful stories.”
Washington said she strictly adhered to advice from her instructor at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.
“I was told by my professor that my job was to gather the facts and write the story.”
“I thought about it, and I was like, ‘Wait a minute. We are journalists, but we are also human beings.”
Washington said she learned to lean on her faith to help her stay focused on her work while holding space for those who are grieving and sharing their story. She offered this advice to journalists covering nearly-constant gun violence, war, and fatal accidents.
Washington’s parents both passed away, but not before they got to watch their daughter on the evening news.
“I know that they were proud, and I was proud. I was glad that they got witness all that they had invested in me.”
Washington is a seasoned journalist. But after receiving her plaque, she said she is still in awe of the work she has done.
“I look back at all of the different kinds of stories that I’ve told and all the different people that I’ve met. I’m overwhelmed.”
Shirley Washington is co-anchors FOX 2 News at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. on KTVI-TV in St. Louis.