Emmy-winning reporter and alum Derick Waller on Trump, journalism, VCU and life in New York
Nov 22, 2021
Posted in: News
In 2009, Derick Waller was an aspiring journalist taking classes in mass communications at Virginia Commonwealth University. Enrolled in Advanced Television Newsgathering under the instruction of news reporter-turned-professor Bill Oglesby, Waller and his classmates were challenged to go out into the community and find a story. Waller went to Greensville County, 75 miles south of Richmond, where John Allen Muhammad, “The D.C. Sniper,” was to be executed by lethal injection.
“It was a major national story happening in Virginia and so as a student journalist I wanted to go,” said Waller, now an on-air reporter at WABC-TV in New York. “There was press from all over the country camped outside the prison. I found and set up an interview with a relative of [a] victim. We did the interview in a hotel lobby and right after we were done, a crew from NBC4 in D.C. noticed what was going on and swooped in to interview him as well.”
Oglesby, an associate professor in VCU’s Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture, was impressed.
“I remember how impressed I was with him gathering a story that was of statewide importance,” Oglesby said. “He did that on his own. It showed enterprise.”