Amy Riordan Podcast

#14 Beauty, Words & Worth with Meghan Bunchman

April 22, 2020 Amy Riordan Season 1 Episode 15
Amy Riordan Podcast
#14 Beauty, Words & Worth with Meghan Bunchman
Show Notes Transcript

Amy Riordan:   0:00
"You can tell how smart people are by what they laugh at." - Tina Fey.  

Amy Riordan:   0:11
Welcome to The Amy Riordan Podcast. They say owning a business is a journey in self development, so I decided to explore just that. Whether you're an entrepreneur or looking for fulfillment in your day to day life, get inspired here through interviews, life stories and proven self help techniques. What you do with the information received in this podcast is completely up to you, but if you act, you will alter the course of your life in ways you never could've possibly imagined. I'm Amy Riordan. That let's do this.  

Amy Riordan:   0:40
Here comes another great interview this time. I got to interview Megan Bunch man, who is a breaking news anchor and reporter for TV, radio and all Ting Social. She's also a new author, and she's gonna tell us all about her book Broadcast. Your beauty. This interview really hit home for me because I've been struggling with my self confidence specifically during this crazy time. And I hope that all of you guys were staying safe and healthy out there and that you enjoy this interview. Hi, Megan. Thank you so much for joining us was so excited toe. Have you please tell us a little bit about yourself. Thank you,

Meghan Bunchman:   1:13
Amy, for having me here today. Yeah. My name is Megan Bunch Men. That is my maiden name and my on air name. I've been a journalist within the broadcast TV and radio news world for about 10 years now. And let's see from that I have also built my own podcast called Broadcast Your Beauty. And a couple of months ago I was talking with one of my friends and mentors and we were just kind of chatting and talking about some of the things and similar struggles we have experienced within specifically the broadcast world. And she inspired me to sit down and put pen to paper. And I actually published Self published my first book as well. All about the TV news world called Broadcast Your Beauty as well. It's a double Anton dra. Obviously, broadcasting is what I work in. That's the business. But broadcasting your beauty is really trying to just own your worst. So within that book, specifically, I teach potential new reporters and just the everyday woman how to own their beauty words and worth from the inside out

Amy Riordan:   2:14
and we love that topic. And that's like one of the biggest reasons why I wanted to have you on this podcast. I know a lot of us are trying to own our self worth. And in times like this, especially, I think we need a reminder of just what we are worth. Tell us a little more about what you do. And, um, did you always know that you wanted to be an anchor?

Meghan Bunchman:   2:35
No, I did not Actually an undergrad. I studied political science and thought I would go into politics. Um, and Justus Luck would have it in 2010 is when I graduated. So that was kind of at a peak of us quote unquote millennials, not having job opportunities. So I took a lots of different internships along my way and one of the internships that, after a day and 1/2 turn into a job, was as a started as an associate producer and then a sports producer and on camera work for kus I San Diego, which in which is a local news network there independently owned and I worked in sports. I covered the chargers and the Padres, and I started understanding how much I loved telling stories. I love sports as a background in general. It's fun to watch. It's a little less some intense, and it brings a little bit of levity and light, especially to the dark Newsworld that sometimes we see. But I also was smart enough to understand that, specifically San Diego, it's not a market that you start at when you're coming on air as a reporter anchor. So I needed to get some experience and I had two choices. Whether to go to some small market like let's say, market 1 50 or small towns to kind of build up my resume and my reps there or to go to grad school and kind of get my basis and fundamentals of journalism from there, which is what I chose to do. So I went to Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism back in 2013 and from there I have been working full time as a journalist in one way or another since then. So I started back in 2010 and now we're in 2020 so 10 years now with a master, some of my belts and multiple markets that work from so it's been quite exciting, but not what I thought I was gonna be doing coming out of undergrad for sure.

Amy Riordan:   4:27
So tell us about how you honed your voice. What did you start with and and how do you feel about it now?

Meghan Bunchman:   4:34
Honing my voice. It's funny, because within the news world there is a way to tell a story. There is a formula and honestly, within the journalistic world, if we're talking broadcast media, you only have 20 or 30 seconds to get to the point of the story than tile entire arc across. You have to learn to be very quick and descriptive with your words, because you don't get that many. So at first, honing my voice meant kind of, ah, plying basic journalism 101 to my storytelling. And that was great. Aiken. Great. Give great tips on how to be clear and concise and cogent when you are reporting news and fax. But what I realized over the 10 years of reporting, I must have anchored and reported thousands of other people's stories, and I forgot about the story that matters the most was my own story, and again that goes back to what I was talking about just a couple of minutes ago when I was chatting with one of my mentors and friends, and we were kind of, I guess, taking a little bit of comfort in each other. Similar struggles. And we realized that our story and stories, although very different, have a lot of similar issues and obstacles specifically from a news anchor perspective, that's a visual medium, also a kind of factual medium and also, unfortunately, sometimes a politically and emotionally charged medium. And it's difficult line that we all had to learn to walk to, kind of own our voice owner words and owner opinions without quote unquote stepping too far outside of the story because we're supposed to be objective. When we were reporting so holding my voice was a lot of learning basic journalism, one a one and then being able to separate my job and that voice to my own voice in my own story and my own truth. If that makes sense,

Amy Riordan:   6:33
yeah, that makes perfect sense. So tell us a little bit about how you struggled with self confidence along this journey.

Meghan Bunchman:   6:39
Health confidence Will everyone, I think, struggles with self confidence along their journey no matter where they are. And for me it didn't help. Like I said, that news specifically in the current climate is so politically and emotionally charged if people don't agree with the story you were reporting, even though it is factually true and it's completely objective tive. But for example, let's just say I'm gonna take it back to 2016. When the election was happening, I did a story specifically odd. Then presidential candidates hopeful Hillary Clinton and I had just sat down with her and we had had an interview and I had a quick kind of tag out of that story, saying something like, She wasn't feeling well for the next event and she has kind of postponed whatever it was coming up. It was just a very factual thing, and I cut attacked on social media, Twitter and Facebook because my market, specifically where I was working at the time isn't very much right wing leaning. And although my story was just factual about where she was showing up that day, who she was hoping to turn out the vote for her and then I had a story or package after with both Bernie Sanders and another one with President Trump. Now President Trump, it seems like I could not appease the masses. And although I reported fax, people hear what they want to hear. And let me tell you, if you weren't confident in that moment with your work and with your words, they will get the best of you. So a lot of my self confidence had to do with kind of trial and error and kind of growing through the trenches. I'm talking 40 year old 50 year old six year old men and women who would just attack me on social media, saying Everything from I'm a Dumpster, baby, that I am a dumb blonde, that I'm a bimbo, that I should be wearing something lower cut. And you know what I want to say is, by the way, I have a masters in journalism from the best J school in the country. I happen to have worked on the hill I have reported from the White House. I have broken national stories, but in that moment my self confidence. Yes, it does sometimes falter, and I also have to have show enough for strange to not have to react every time to people's emotional and visceral responses, If that makes sense,

Amy Riordan:   9:04
yes, yeah. So how did you handle that? Criticism? More, more in depth,

Meghan Bunchman:   9:09
more in depth. Well, it doesn't help that. Unfortunately, some of it has to go with internal management Stylus Well, and this is sad to say, but within the news world, it seems like a lot of women, both internally with management or and externally with viewers. They aren't necessarily allowed to have their own voice. They just kind of have toe stay quiet, report what was written on the teleprompter. It move on. So I wasn't shown or given a lot of support internally. With management, however, I was less to conduct with other women who had very similar journeys within my world. That taught me simple tricks. For example, people are so great about sending their bombastic opinions when they think you have the opposite or oppositional kind of, ah, storytelling. That's happening at that point. But every once in a while you get that sweet little letter from that sweet little lady or that eight year old who wants to be a news reporter, or that you know, 28 year old who you showed up at their house when in a moment of tragedy. And not only did you tell their story, but you showed them some compassion. And those letters, e mails, those tweets. One of my friends told me to save that put all of those in a folder because for some reason, those ones we don't shed and give enough light and impact into our life of how much they mean to us and then a negative one single negative comment can make us spiral. So when those negative comments would come in, although it had nothing to do with my actual story are my actual fax. It could impact me so much that I would return to those positive email folders that I would just remember who I waas ah, have confidence in the fact that I was just telling the truth in with actual primary sourcing and that, you know, this is someone else's problem. And unfortunately, people who want to get mad will just get mad. Naturally, that has nothing to do with me.

Amy Riordan:   11:10
I love the way you said that. So tell us a little bit more about your book broadcast your beauty?

Meghan Bunchman:   11:16
Yes, in my book. Like I said, after 10 years of working in the TV news world, I realized that I reported thousands of other people's stories and forgot to report for focus on the story that mattered the most in my life, which was my own. And, you know, within my world, when I'm meeting people out in about shooting stories, you get very similar questions. A lot of the times like Who does your hair? Who does your makeup? Just the one do the wardrobe for you. Who writes the stories? Where do you find these stories? These are very common questions that your average viewer or reader or listener would ask. So honestly, it just seemed like such a natural segue way for me to answer these kind of ah frequently asked questions segment. And yes, I do answer those questions within my book the 1st 1 or two chapters. But I realized that broadcasting has so much more to do with your words, your confidence, your nonverbal and verbal communication skills. Yes, the physical look, your brand, if you will. That does matter, but that only kind of gets people to tune in. What you were saying and how you are saying it. He then there. So I basically just jumped in, kind of built on the old adage within the news world that fax tell and stories sell. So I basically thought it's time to share my story because I think so many people have watched these, you know, Ah, new movies that have come out or new TV shows and they see some of the salaciousness and not so pretty parts of the TV news world, and that very much is a realistic part of my everyday life. But there's good stuff that comes from it as well. There are ways that I could teach people really to home. Their voice own their words to take out words like I just want to follow up in an email. How about I'm following up just reduces your value when you add that word. I'm sorry. Specifically, us females, we say that is a way to defuse that reflect a situation that reduces your value. So I teach people how to stop speaking themselves short a lot of times in AARP in that book, specifically in my book,

Amy Riordan:   13:21
that's important. I could totally see how just reduces the value. And I definitely say sorry a lot, so I can early. How do you feel about this worth that you've you've created and And did that specifically come from those good letters, or are there other things that you've you've been able to build up your self worth with?

Meghan Bunchman:   13:43
So those letters air helpful in those dark moments that let's say, either internally, they're doubting you or externally, you're getting a lot of a barrage of patriot. But those letters air really just on fleeting moments as well. Because, honestly, I don't think either side of the coin getting crazed from people or getting negative criticism that isn't constructive. Neither one of those things were healthy. If you take it in and you let it dictate to your happiness or sadness, that's not healthy. Your happiness, your worth, your confidence comes from you and ah, lot of it has to do with just meditation and reflection and really reminding yourself of all these amazing things you have done in your life. I think so many times, us as women we dismiss or deflect because we don't like to sit in the spotlight of all the good accomplishments that we've done on. We forget to celebrate those moments. So for me a lot of it had to do with going back. And we're munching myself. Who I waas, what I've done, what I have on my resume, but also with in my life. And I don't mean materialistic things. But just the life that I have created, that's the key. It's the life that I have created, and so just starting to understand that it's not in my opinion, uh, things comes, they go. And I just looked out into this life. It's I made this life for myself and to be proud and to celebrate that for what it ISS.

Amy Riordan:   15:07
And did this book help you reinforce that in yourself?

Meghan Bunchman:   15:10
Yes, This book was such a cathartic process. Actually, it got out. Ah, lot of this sadness and hurt that I have experienced within 10 years of working in this industry, and it made me realize that my story is not new, unique by any means when it comes to misogynistic and patriarchal workplaces that we work in. But I realized that my voice, my experience and by sharing it, I could help people navigate learn from my lessons and my mistakes and to make sure that they feel not alone, because I think a lot of the times we can benefit so much if we shared information and we just kind of shared our stories. People feel isolated, and I think in those moments of isolation that people forget who they are and they start becoming lost.

Amy Riordan:   15:58
So while we're in isolation since you brought that up, what are some ways that we can improve our our self confidence right now? Well, we're on quarantine.

Meghan Bunchman:   16:09
There's so many ways that all of us can just improve our everyday life, not just our self confidence. The first thing I want to say which seems a little, um, ironic, to say the least. Coming from the news world is to turn off your TV to stop watching the news. If you haven't noticed this, the news cycles every 30 minutes basically, and you'll have the same stories at the top and bottom of the hour. Watch it for 30 minutes and then walk away. It does not benefit anyone. Just sit in this kind of cyclical, fear based rhetoric, which, unfortunately and the news is perpetuating to a certain extent right now because let's say we say that like blood and guts and if it bleeds, it leads is an old adage, blood and guts cell. And there is a degree of when big national or international disasters go and happen. TV viewership goes up. And so a lot of these TV production companies, from everything from vanderpump rules and frivolous stuff to actual TV news they're benefiting from this, which I get. It is a business, but for everyone's self worth, and just for their own piece of mine, watch 30 minutes. Read your headlines. Primary source. In fact, check what was just told to you and then move on. That would be my for first step is just a turn off the TV and stop worrying about it. The second tip is to give yourself a break. I would say there are so many people myself included that basically decided, Hey, we have all this new time from not commuting and not having to do X, Y and Z of going to their job and coming back. I'm going to make the most of it. So of course, me, Like many, we set lofty goals of taking up online free college course air reading. More books are learning a language or starting a new instrument. Those are all amazing things, and I hope and pray that you were able to do that. But guess what? If you just want to give yourself a break and get through the day for what it is, that's okay, too. I think so many of us are almost self sabotaging ourselves because we're comparing what other people are doing in this time, just like kind of instagram highlight reel. And if we aren't living up to other people's standards, you feel like we're feeling ourselves. And so that's my second typist. Just give yourself a break, get some sleep, quarter glass of wine and just do you do not worry about anyone else, you know. And then the third type that I would say for me is to keep moving your body. Even here in Michigan and on the East Coast, it's not great weather right now. We had some like sleet and hail yesterday, but I know I get a lot of my socialising and just kind of self worth from feeling good about my body and being at the gym. That's not happening right now. But if you can prove your body either with a family member or even a friend, let's say the a zoom conference to keep you accountability that will help you immensely. A swell do not are. Don't stop doing the things that made to you feel good, you know? I mean, if they're making you feel good pre escalation, do it now because if you stop doing that, you're gonna dig yourself into a deep hole to say the least.

Amy Riordan:   19:22
Agreed? Yeah, agreed heavily. So what other resource is met? You add in there, there any favorite books that you have that you might recommend.

Meghan Bunchman:   19:31
So my favorite book, which was a big game changer for me, was the four agreements and guy forget. It's like I think Ruiz forget his first name, who is the author. But the four agreements talks about kind of all the stories that you tell yourself in your life, that kind of mold, your personality and your behavior. But they're really only four agreements that you need to relearn our learn and cement, to live your life more fully, and it's just a great way to kind of again let go of some of the things in your pastor expectations or preconceived notions that we have and to just live impeccably with your word. And just to make sure that you don't have any judgments or don't make assumptions off others, that can be a game changer of just how you view your life and others. So the four agreements would definitely be a book that I specifically recommend right now, and it's not a hard read by any means.

Amy Riordan:   20:27
I'll be sure to link that below. For all of our listeners, we're running out of time. But I did want to ask you what advice you'd give to someone who's listening that wants to be a

Meghan Bunchman:   20:36
reporter. Oh, I would say girl or boy, grow some thick skin because it is not an easy industry. It is definitely an industry full of rejection. Also to humble yourself, because no one's good when they start out and to make sure you really just seek out the right mentees and mentors ships because in the end, those people will help you grow more than just working at a job or a specific news office or newsroom.

Amy Riordan:   21:07
Megan, thank you so much. I cannot tell you how great this interview has been, and you make it really easy to talk to you. And I am really looking forward to reading. Your book will link that below a swell, but thank you. So, so much for joining us.

Meghan Bunchman:   21:20
Thank you so much, Amy. Have a good one.

Amy Riordan:   21:23
You too. Bye.  

Amy Riordan:   21:25
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