Contributed by Cesar Bernal
While preparing for his junior year of high school, Darryl Hood had the opportunity to meet and connect with some of his soon-to-be teachers. “My government teacher told me that I needed to watch TV news and start reading the paper to prepare for her class,” says Hood. “Before I even started watching the news, I prayed for guidance on what I should do with my life-- seeing as how I was going to have to make a decision real soon.” So with faith and determination, he began to watch his local news-cast. There Hood stumbled upon KCAL 9 News, and it was after watching broadcast journalist Pat Harvey and news anchor David Jackson that Hood decided he wanted to be a newscaster.
After finishing high school, he applied to CSUN which has one of the best journalism programs in the country. In his freshman year, Hood eagerly sought out a mentor. He quickly connected with Journalism Professor Rick Marks, who agreed to guide Hood through his education and help him along his path toward a career in broadcast journalism.
Not surprisingly, Hood’s college studies eventually led him to the Oviatt Library, which provides access to the Journalism Research Resource. This online guide contains vast resources relevant to print and broadcast journalism, photojournalism, and Spanish language media. Hood took advantage of his time in the Library and eventually applied for a job as a student. Working in the Oviatt afforded him convenient access to research support, while also providing him with a collaborative and caring community. “I loved working at the Oviatt library,” says Hood. “Martha Robinson, who ran the Government Documents section at the time, became my college campus mom -- always motivating me and pushing me to succeed.”
Hood personifies the old story of hard work leading to success. Even before graduating from CSUN with a degree in journalism in 1996, he began his career as a reporter for the Orange County News channel. Since then, Hood has worked in a number of newsrooms in a variety of states, including: KQTV in Missouri, KVVU in Nevada, KCNC-TV in Colorado, and KCAL-TV and KCBS-TV in California. While in Los Angeles, Hood had the honor of anchoring the Emmy award winning weekly news-magazine “LA This Week” for LA City View Channel 35.
After spending many years moving around, Hood finally settled in Alabama where he now works as a news anchor with WAKA TV. It was here where Hood was able to experience his most memorable live coverage. “Recently, I got to anchor two days of live coverage for the 50th anniversary of the Bloody Sunday March from Selma, Alabama,” says Hood. “Because my station has a bureau in Selma, we had the best shots of all the action as President Obama walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge along with several other civil rights activists who played a major role in the movement. It's clearly one of the highlights of my career!”
It seems highly fitting and downright inspirational that Hood, who spent much of his undergraduate life working in the resource-rich and supportive environment of the Oviatt, has written a vocational guidance book of his own. Small Market is available to current and future CSUN students who are working to pursue careers in broadcast journalism. “My book motivates new journalists getting into the business to keep their heads up through the struggles while working their way to the top,” says Hood.
The Library eNews is happy to report that Hood has his dream job. He works every day in an exciting career that requires constant research, and the Oviatt is proud to have helped provide this former Library student assistant with some of the critical skills he needs to do just that. Although he enthusiastically commits much of his time to work, Hood also enjoys traveling, visiting museums and showing off with some occasional salsa dancing. You can find out more about Darryl Hood by visiting his website.