Lauren Pastrana: CBS 4 Co-Anchor and PC Alum
Lauren Pastrana, Pine Crest graduate of 2005, is now a co-anchor for CBS 4. Pastrana developed a passion for storytelling at a very young age. When asked how she got involved in this industry, she said, “I knew I wanted to be a storyteller pretty early on, around 4th grade or so. I loved to write, and I started considering journalism as a career when I was in middle school. The idea of doing TV news came a bit later, and by high school I knew I wanted to be a television news reporter. I actually anchored for PCTV during my junior and senior years! My love for this job has been slowly growing since I was about 10 years old.”
After graduating from Pine Crest, Pastrana attended the University of Florida. She graduated in 2008 with a Telecommunications degree with a focus on News and a minor in Leadership. The more serious she got about broadcasting, the more she learned about its many demands. “Actually anchoring a newscast is a bit different from reporting one story within that broadcast, so I set this task as a professional goal for myself while I was in college.”
When asked about her experience as an anchor for CBS 4, Pastrana explained, “Being an anchor at CBS 4 is exciting, challenging, exhausting, and fulfilling all in one. It’s exciting because everyday is different. The news is constantly changing, and so are the newsmakers. I wake up each day and don’t really know what the day may bring or who I may meet. While a large part of my workday is spent behind the anchor desk, I also love to go out into the field and report on the stories that matter to our community. The job is also challenging for those exact same reasons. The trick is to stay flexible and constantly do your homework so you’re prepared no matter what story pops up. It’s exhausting because I wake up at 1:45am each day and often go to bed late in order to spend time with my family. Finally, it’s fulfilling because I leave each day feeling as though I have served a purpose. I’ve informed people. I’ve entertained them. And hopefully, I’ve helped make their lives a bit easier in the process.”
Pastrana definitely has a passion for her work, and she gave the following advice to students who also want to pursue a similar career: “It’s never too early to start. With social media and smart phones, everyone is a journalist. Document whatever is happening around you. Start a blog. Create a Twitter account. Talk to everyone and find something about them that would make for a good story. I live by the motto ‘Everyone has a story to tell.’ I want to share them. I consider that anytime I meet someone new. What’s their story? What have they been through? What are they doing to make the community better? Is this a person my viewers would like to meet? Focus on the facts, but weave them together in such a way that makes them compelling. If you’re really serious about becoming a journalist, ask to shadow local reporters and start watching the news if you don’t already. Write for the school paper, work on the yearbook, or get involved with PCTV. Jump right in. I did and I haven’t regretted it for a second.”
It was truly eyeopening to learn all about Pastrana’s experience as an anchor. Tune into CBS 4 to see her in action!
Sources: CBS Miami
Photography Source: Headshot courtesy of CBS Miami