Averi Harper makes a living reporting on news across Long Island, but the News 12 anchor has a soft spot for her hometown of Westbury. Here, she talks about her favorite places, hobbies and more.
1. What’s your favorite memory of growing up in Westbury?
There are so many things that I loved about growing up in Westbury, but my favorite would have to be the street fair on Post Avenue and the Strawberry Fair at the Church of the Advent. It was always fun to see everyone out and about enjoying all the vendors had to offer.
2. What are your favorite places to spend time on Long Island?
I love going to the beach. Be it Jones, Robert Moses or Long Beach, I love spending a hot summer day in the sand.
3. What made you pursue a career in broadcast journalism?
Initially, I wanted to be a magazine editor. I used to photocopy the pages of my favorite magazines at the library and I had stacks of magazines in my bedroom growing up. When I got to college, it was the height of the recession and I saw many magazines fold. People always encouraged me to try television, so I did. I ended up loving it!
4. Do you have a special routine to help you get ready to go on camera?
While other reporters at News 12 work with a news photographer, I’m the only multimedia journalist who works solo every day. That means I work without a camera person to shoot, write and edit my own stories. Because of that, most days I’m rushing to make tight deadlines. To prepare for parts of my stories where I’m on-camera, I’m usually doing my own makeup with the assistance of the light on my iPhone and a mirror in my crew car. It’s anything but glamorous!
5. Your last gig was as a video journalist in San Francisco. How is the Long Island market different?
I was a morning reporter at KRON 4 News in San Francisco, so I was up before dawn to report for our early shows. Things moved fast and there was tons of breaking news. It was exciting, but dangerous. Many of my colleagues were robbed in the field for their camera equipment. Long Island is a lot different. First of all, it’s much safer. Things move a bit slower, but it allows us to do more feature stories about residents doing amazing things. I also love running into my family and friends while I’m out reporting.
6. What has been your favorite story to report on so far?
I’m not a sports reporter, but while I was in San Francisco I got to report at the NBA Finals. The Bay Area turned me into a Golden State Warriors fan. Go Dubs!
7. What’s been the proudest moment of your career?
I’m always proud when people approach me and thank me for the work that I do. It makes my day every single time.
8. Who has had the biggest influence on your life?
My father. He’s always encouraged me to achieve. I remember him telling me that he expected greatness from me and I’ve never forgotten it. It’s always in the back of my mind with every professional decision I make. Now, when I’m speaking with or mentoring students and aspiring journalists, I tell them the same thing.
9. What is one cause you feel passionate about?
I’m really passionate about media literacy and student mentorship. I often have students reach out to me about how to pursue a career in journalism, I’m always willing to talk to them about my path and offer advice as they carve their own. This business is tough and no one can do it all on their own.
10. What’s one thing on your bucket list?
I want to visit all 50 states before I turn 50. When I moved to and from California, I drove so I could knock a bunch of them out. I’ve been to 35 so far.
Do you know someone who should be featured in a Neighborhood Q&A? It can be anyone from a beloved teacher, post office worker or friendly face around town. Nominate them by emailing Betsy Abraham at email@example.com.