Sabrina Franza ’14 is the newest reporter for CBS Chicago. Prior to moving to the Windy City, she worked as a General Assignment, Political, and Investigative reporter with News 12 Networks, spending three years covering the five boroughs of New York City. Sabrina told stories through the worst part of the pandemic, in the epicenter of the epicenter. She reported on months of unrest and protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death, uncovered millions of missing federal dollars from the federal Restaurant Revitalization Program, and covered the 2021 New York City mayoral election from start to finish. Her investigations have uncovered disorganization within the city’s Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), which oversees NYPD complaints, and has exposed mismanagement in city government resulting in unnecessary COVID-related fines to small businesses. That work prompted new legislation to help those businesses at the city level. Sabrina is a proud graduate of NYU, majoring in both politics and journalism. She is thrilled and honored to continue her work, putting people first, in Chicago!
What inspired you to pursue a career in journalism?
I find value in taking complicated issues and turning them into something digestible and interesting. This means uplifting people’s stories for those who might never have the same experience, breaking down new legislation or rules to help people make honest decisions, and taking viewers to a place they might never see otherwise. Being a journalist means I get to witness history in its first draft, which is a perk that never gets old. No day is boring!
How do you think your time at Kellenberg Memorial helped to prepare you for your success in your academic and professional pursuits?
I can definitely say the time management skills I learned at Kellenberg helped me to grow as a reporter. You can’t miss a deadline! Ever!
Do you have any advice for current students or young alumni who are interested in pursuing a career in journalism?
Be a consumer of journalism — all kinds. Read opinions of those you agree with, but more importantly, listen to the people you might not agree with. Be a listener first. This job is NOT about being on TV. It’s about being there for a mother who just lost her son in a tragedy, it’s about informing your community about resources they might need, and above all, it’s about holding the people in power accountable. It’s impossible to hold others accountable if you don’t hold yourself to the same honest standard. Also – never be afraid to ask for what you want!
Do you have any favorite teachers, coaches, or club moderators from your time at Kellenberg Memorial?
I wouldn’t be half the writer I am today without my English teachers. Mrs. von Schoenermarck pushed me to get back into reading, my favorite way to unwind from a day in the field! Mr. Huggard’s vocabulary drills stay with me, even now, years later. Former teachers Mr. Blanton and Mrs. Perrone pushed me to be my authentic Alto/Gold Narration self.