Women Who Tell Our Stories: Amelia Robinson
From Mansfield to Dayton and to Columbus, seasoned journalist Amelia Robinson has spent her career reporting on stories all around the state of Ohio. However, she got her start right here in Athens, Ohio.
Growing up, Robinson always had a curious mentality and passion for storytelling.
“Journalism and writing were always something I was really interested in, but I really didn’t think of myself as a journalist because at that point in life I had not seen women like myself doing it," Robinson said.
When she was in high school, Robinson was introduced to journalism as a profession and participated in a workshop for high school students. She also had the opportunity to shadow a young journalist at the Cleveland Plain Dealer. She attests the program to helping her be accepted to Ohio University.
“I met people that represented my community and I saw myself in them,” she said of the program.
Robinson describes her time at OHIO as where she was able to blossom and come into her own as a journalist.
“The one thing about journalism that I always tell people is that you learn more outside the classroom than you ever will inside the classroom,” Robinson said. “At Ohio University, I was able to do a lot of different things and meet all kind of people who had similar passions and very different passions.”
During her time in Athens, Robinson gained field experience through the countless opportunities offered in the the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and the Scripps College of Communication. She wrote for The Post and The Athens News while working for the Athens public access station and the All-Campus Radio Network (ACRN).
Upon graduating from OHIO in 1997, Robinson worked in Mansfield at the Mansfield News Journal. To follow, she spent 21 years with the Dayton Daily News. During her time in Dayton, Robinson served as a founding member and president of the Great Dayton Association of Black Journalists.
“I believe that representation is important, is key," Robinson said. "For a long time, our field was dominated, and to a certain extent still is, by the male viewpoint. So having women at the table really makes those stories that are important to us, but is also important to society, real stories come out when you have women at the table.”
When asked what advice she would offer to fellow women interested in the media industry, Robinson responded: “I would just tell them never to shrink themselves. The world will try to shrink you, but you have to remember that you’re at the table for a reason. Your voice is valid and that you can do it, you can push through any challenge if it’s for you.”
In early 2021, Robinson was named the Columbus Dispatch’s opinion and community engagement editor, where she utilizes her passion for opinion and features writing.
After many years of interviewing well-known figures, attending events, seeing new sights, and appearing on national TV and local radio – it isn’t any of those things that made the largest impact on Robinson during her career, it is the opportunity to make a difference by telling a story.
“My favorite thing is just talking to real people and knowing that the things that we do matter and knowing that we can change people’s lives for the better,” Robinson reflected. “I feel like I’ve been blessed to be able to do that in my career.”
When it comes to storytelling, it is important to Robinson to actively listen to the individuals that she covers in order to adequately portray their story.
“What I like to ask people, and everybody does this in the field, you say, ‘Is there anything else you want to say?’” she explained. “Then they say that thing that they came to tell you, and that oftentimes is the real story.”
During Women’s History Month, Robinson encourages women to be open about their stories and perspectives.
“A lot of times you talk to women, they always kind of shrink themselves, because that’s what we were taught to. But we all have viewpoints, we all have opinions, we all have things that can add to our understanding and further our understanding of the world we live in.”
March is Women’s History Month. This year, the theme is “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories.” Stay tuned to learn more about Scripps alumnae who have shaped their respective fields with communication this month by visiting: www.ohio.edu/scripps-college/women-who-tell-our-stories.