Some may remember LaCrai Mitchell for holding the title of student representative on the Leon County School Board in 2011. Some may remember her as the former editor-in-chief of Journey magazine, while some may simply remember her as a great student at Florida A&M who was always eager to cover a story.
However you remember her, you no doubt knew that Mitchell was on her way to the top. Mitchell, a Tallahassee native, graduated from Godby High School. After a little convincing and a tour of FAMU’s School off Journalism and Graphic Communication, she instantly felt she was part of the ‘FAMUly’ and became a Rattler.
While attending she worked for Journey magazine as the student editor-in-chief and had an internship with CBS News two years in a row.
Although not a student of his, Professor Douglas Blackburn remembers working with her when he first started at FAMU as the faculty adviser for Journey.
“We worked seamlessly well together, the magazine won awards, and I didn’t have to do too much because LaCrai was always on top of her game.”
Graduating FAMU in 2015, she secured a position with CBS News as news associate. She later joined the “60 Minutes” team where she was a broadcast assistant to veteran journalist and “60 Minutes” correspondent Bill Whitaker.
Late last year CBS moved Mitchell into the field where she now serves as an embedded campaign reporter. She spent eight months reporting from South Carolina going into more than a month reporting from South Carolina going into a critical primary there that turned the Democratic race into a landslide for Joe Biden.
“There are actually more similarities than differences (reporting in the South vs. the North). There are a lot of the same issues but just in a different form,” Mitchell said.
Every so often Mitchell takes time out to speak with students in high school and college about the steps to take to be a great journalist. Reflecting on her time in the school of journalism, she says that she feels FAMU did more than enough to prepare her for life not only outside of FAMU, but life outside of Tallahassee. “FAMU taught me character lessons, the importance of deadlines, and the importance of keeping your word and being where you said you were going to be when you said you would be there,” she said.
Mitchell prides herself on being “a voice for the voiceless,” wanting to tell the story of so many who do not have the platform to tell it themselves. She advises future journalists that, “Whether you have a job or not after graduation [it] shouldn’t be a measure of how successful you are.”
Mitchell says the most rewarding part of being a campaign reporter is that, “I get to tell the story of everyday people and their experiences and talk about issues that they go through that would otherwise go unheard.”