Fox News host urges communicators to live out faith
WASHINGTON (BP) -- Fox News host Shannon Bream spoke to fellow Christian communicators about the importance of living a daily testimony of faith.
"It's just a daily walk with being a witness and living out your faith in whatever you're doing, and there will be certain moments where we could compromise, but we have to take a stand in those moments," Bream said during April 18-21 event.
The BCA workshop is an annual gathering of Southern Baptist media and communication workers that helps them connect, fellowship with one another, and hear from distinguished speakers.
Some of this year's guests at the workshop included Kevin Smith, executive director for the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware; Brian Autry, executive director for the SBC of Virginia; James A. Smith, vice president of communications for National Religious Broadcasters (NRB); and Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma.
During her presentation, Bream told the unlikely story of how she ended up working in media.
"I never imagined being a business major at Liberty [University] and getting a law degree that I would end up working in media," Bream said.
Bream began her career in law handling mostly sexual assault cases. While she enjoyed her work in law, Bream noted, she always felt like there was something more for her to be doing.
A consistent passion for news and current events drove Bream to want to work in the newsroom. But Bream struggled to find an internship at a local station. Bream nevertheless was not deterred.
"I tell students this all the time when they visit with me that it's all about persistence," she said, "and I was just going to keep going until I found one person to say yes to me."
Eventually Bream was able to find a dean of a university in Florida to approve an independent study for her to work at the local ABC station while still working for a law firm.
Bream said that she was known as the "grandma intern" at the station because she was 29 while everyone else was in their early 20s.
Despite the uniqueness of her path into media work, Bream believed she had finally found what she was called to do.
"The minute I was in the newsroom I was in heaven and I thought this is what I want to be doing and this is what I was passionate about," Bream said.
Once her internship at the station was over, Bream decided to step down from her position at the law firm despite not having been officially offered a position with the station at that point. Bream eventually did start working for the station in a small role.
For Bream, this entailed a lot of shadowing station reporters and a lot of learning on the job, which Bream said led to some embarrassing moments. A sudden change in management forced Bream to look for work elsewhere, and it seemed as if her career in media was in jeopardy. But it was during these challenging times that Bream said she learned some important lessons.
"There is always learning in the pain and in the embarrassment," Bream said, "and it really taught me that in this business, you have to remain humble and you can't let it be your life.... When it becomes the idol in your life that's when you have a problem. Everything is very subjective and temporary in this business and you can't find your worth in it."
Weekend work with a news crew to develop some resume tapes eventually led Bream to a job offer at a station in Charlotte, N.C. There, she worked for three years before joining an NBC affiliate in Washington. She later accepted a position to work for Fox to cover the Supreme Court, after they learned she had practiced law and worked in the nation's capital.
Bream can now be seen on Fox News @ Night, which airs weeknights from 11 p.m. to midnight. She closed her presentation to Baptist communicators with some parting advice.
"Work as hard as you can and prove yourself through sheer determination, but don't get burned out and don't violate your principles," Bream said.