Talk to Scotland County native Doni Holloway and one will quickly discover that storytelling and journalism flow through his veins.
At age 6, he served as the editor of his family’s newsletter. During his time at Scotland Early College High School (SEarCH), he was anchoring the latest campus news that aired on a local public access channel. And at UNC, Holloway created Carolina Now, where he served as the managing editor, executive producer and anchor of the campus’ first daily social media-driven newscast that aired live on Facebook.
Because of his tenacity, determination, and promise, the National Association of Black Journalists has selected Holloway as its 2018 Student Journalist of the Year. Holloway will receive the honor at the 2018 NABJ Convention and Career Fair this week in Detroit.
Holloway said “I was completely speechless,” when told he had won NABJ’s top student honor. “Totally surprised. I’m deeply grateful, humbled and honored. My gratitude is immeasurable for this recognition and for the investment NABJ has made in my journalism career and professional trajectory.”
This award is one of many that Holloway has received throughout his college career. An aspiring television news anchor, Holloway graduated in May from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor’s degree in media and journalism and a concentration in broadcast journalism. He has received fellowships at Bloomberg, NBC and has participated in NABJ’s Student Multimedia Project.
Other honors include an MVP/Ace reporter award at UNC, and the Chuck Stone Diversity Award, named after one of NABJ’s founders and the organization’s first president.
This recognition shouldn’t come as a surprise, said Trevy McDonald, an assistant journalism professor at UNC who nominated Holloway for the award. She recalls how Holloway took the initiative and, along with a videographer, covered President Trump’s inauguration and the Women’s March the following day and aired their coverage on social media.
“He introduced himself to me via Facebook and showed me what he did on his YouTube page before he came to UNC, and when he got here he took his talents to a whole new level,” she said. “Doni’s not afraid to approach really anything. He will figure out a way to tell a story.”
Kyra Azore, the NABJ Board’s student representative, said Holloway’s passion for journalism separates him from many of his peers. “I cannot think of anyone else more deserving of this recognition and award,” she said. “I’m sure we will be seeing many great things from Doni in the years to come.”
Holloway, who is spending this summer participating in a post-grad internship at Bloomberg TV in New York, has some advice for his peers:
“I recommend that you to take advantage of every opportunity afforded to you. Seek mentors, and listen to their advice,” he said. “Be curious. Ask questions, and please get well connected in NABJ because the impact that this organization has already made in my life has been immeasurable.”
Michael Fairley is an English professor at Richmond Community College in Hamlet.