Where are you now Aysha Ashley Househ?

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Aysha Ashley Househ joined Naperville Community Television in the spring of 2019 as a news reporter.  During her three years reporting for NCTV17, Aysha got to do a little bit of everything; including conducting on-camera and virtual interviews, shooting b-roll, writing scripts, and video editing stories for Naperville News 17. She also did a lot of live reporting throughout the pandemic, in the aftermath of the 2021 tornado, and at community events around town. Here’s what Aysha had to say when we caught up with her recently:

What initially attracted you to work at NCTV17, and how did the experience shape your career?

News reporters usually need to move somewhere farther, start in a small city, and work their way up to a competitive city like Chicago. I’m from the suburbs and wanted to stay local, and NCTV17 was perfect for that. What also caught my attention was the community-focused aspect of the station. Being hyper-local allowed for telling meaningful stories where we could see the impact, which was unique and I loved that. NCTV17 was also my first “real” job out of college, and I’m thankful to have learned, grown, and gained all the experience I needed from my time at the station. Everything I learned there has helped me move forward in my career.

Have you continued to work in the field of media or broadcasting, or have you transitioned to a different career path?

I’m now a staff writer at the FanSided Network. Specifically, my main responsibilities are to write on the entertainment sites  Hidden Remote, Netflix Life, and Show Snob. While I don’t do much video work anymore and I miss it, being a staff writer on the team is very fun. My passion has always been entertainment, and now I get to, what I like to call it, professionally fangirl about my favorite shows and movies! Plus, there are opportunities for press days, interviews with actors and showrunners, and sometimes coverage at fan conventions.

Did you have a role model or someone who encouraged you to pursue TV?

It’s going to sound cheesy, but I think I always had an idea that I’d get into this field! From a very young age, I was always asking questions, more than the average kid, and enjoyed watching news and entertainment reporting. My parents said that when I was younger, family and friends saw me asking all those questions, and recommended I become a reporter in the future. And well, here we are!

Which of your NCTV17 stories brings a smile to your face?

There are so many stories I had the privilege of telling, it’s hard to choose one! And I’m lucky to have met so many interesting people I wouldn’t have otherwise got to meet if it weren’t for my job. I really enjoyed working on the “Naperville Couple’s Bakery Inspired by Daughter with Down Syndrome” story. The whole family was there to talk to me virtually and they were so sweet. At the time in March 2021, Moose & Me was still an at-home bakery. But I’m glad to see they’ve opened up a physical location in town! That story always makes me smile, especially thinking of the sweet connection between the two sisters, Mila and Zoey. But there are so many others like the artist who paints by mouth, and even how Naperville moms helped spark the nationwide Beanie Baby Phenomenon in the ’90s!

What’s your favorite TV show?

Anyone who knows me knows that I can never stop talking about Once Upon a Time. It’s overall a family show with a unique concept in which it brings the fairytale characters we know and love into the real world, where they’re cursed to forget who they really are by the Evil Queen. And who is meant to save them? That would be Snow White and Prince Charming’s daughter, Emma, who grew up separated from her parents and doesn’t know she’s actually a princess. Plus there’s action, romance, and lots of twists you won’t see coming!

How do you unwind and relax outside of work?

This field is wonderful, but at times you can have unusual and long hours, as well as working on weekends and holidays. So it’s important to unwind and relax. I like to do so by going to Zumba class. It’s such a fun cardio workout that keeps you engaged, the hour always flies by! And whenever I’m stressed or just need to unwind, I go to the class and walk out feeling so much better.

What advice would you give to aspiring journalists or other future professionals?

At around 20 years old, I finished my time at community college and headed to Columbia College Chicago to pursue my bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism. I had a great experience at school and learned a lot. We even had to put on live weekly newscasts. For some people when they choose a field, everything comes naturally to them. For me, I struggled at times with approaching people on the street for interviews or anchoring the news show. Sometimes I doubted myself and questioned if I’d made the right choice. But it’s the passion for the profession that kept me going. And I’m so happy I did. And that’s my advice. If you love the field you’re in and know this is what you want to do, keep going. Don’t give up even if things don’t seem to come easy to you while in school. Because once you get that first job and start learning (I was lucky enough to have wonderful mentors Liz Spencer and Kim Pirc at NCTV17 along the way!), you’ll see yourself grow, get better, and remember why you fell in love with the profession in the first place.