2019 Oswego State grad, TV news reporter adjusts to working from home

OSWEGO, N.Y. — NBC Montana news reporter and SUNY Oswego alumna Madison Doner faces a challenge she did not expect — the task of covering a worldwide pandemic, from the couch inside her living room. 

As a college student, Donor always wondered what her first major story would be as a professional news reporter. 

“You know you always as a reporter think, oh when am I going to cover a big story that you know matters across the country,” Doner said. 

That first major story came within the first 10 months of her career. 

The 2019 SUNY Oswego graduate just started adjusting to life in Montana when the pandemic hit in March.

“Everyone in my newsroom was like when’s the coronavirus coming to Montana,” Doner said. “And then, it was just like, “it’s here, we’re going on lockdown. You’re working from home.” 

The work from home order was issued for Montana in March…and six months later Doner is still conducting interviews, virtually. 

Doner says that working from home in a small news market is difficult, especially with a lack of resources. Up until last week, she was sharing a laptop with another reporter at her station, on a similar deadline. 

Madison is constantly facing new challenges. The television in her home works as a temporary backdrop, and now she is able to shoot news live from her smartphone. These techniques are methods that she’s never had to do before, but she says that the lessons this pandemic taught her will help her to become more successful in her career. 

“Honestly, I’m thankful for it, because it taught me how to be a better journalist, how to think on my feet more, how to easily adapt,” Doner said.

Madison plans to take the tools she’s learned with her to her next job, she says that because of the coronavirus she is ultimately a better reporter today than the one she was six months ago.