Journalism is an Art Form

 

WITH DEDICATION AND TALENT, MORGAN BAKER SCULPTS STORIES FROM THE REAL HUMAN EXPERIENCE

text by FERNANDA HERNANDEZ | photo by TODD BAKER

 
  photo by Todd Baker

photo by Todd Baker

The art of storytelling is one that requires talent and a deep understanding of all the elements needed to create a captivating story. Observing and capturing raw human experiences in their purest form is an interest that Morgan Baker discovered early on in life. Morgan, a Texarkana native who is now living on the Pacific Coast, always had a fondness for the art of photography, though after digging deeper, found a strong connection with the skill of storytelling. She pursued a career in journalism, and after graduating from journalism school and working at several reputable outlets, eventually found herself living in Long Beach, California, working as a freelance journalist.

The 27-year-old journalist began learning the ropes of storytelling by being involved in the yearbook production as a student at Texas High School. After graduating, Morgan attended Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky, where she found a close-knit group of journalism students who resembled the closeness of the community of her small hometown of Texarkana. This community of like-minded students gave her the support needed to excel through the rigorous journalism program. “Initially, I really wanted to attend art school,” explained Morgan. “But my dad encouraged me to pursue journalism because I’ve always loved writing. I’ve always been curious and loved stories, and people,” she added.

Listening to her father’s advice while remaining true to her passion, Morgan navigated her way to become a tremendously accomplished writer and producer in the field. She landed her first job out of college with National Public Radio, gaining field experience and developing her leadership skills thus shaping her for her future role as a visual journalism producer. However, this position in the music industry also revealed to Morgan that her true passion is unique human stories. This lack of fulfillment motivated Morgan to make a move to Los Angeles, California, where she accepted a position with Mashable, working in documentary production alongside a creative team. Soon after, the road again took a sharp turn leading Morgan to pursue freelance writing. Her meticulousness throughout her undergraduate, strong network of like professionals, and dedication to storytelling has allowed her to carve out a career as a freelance journalist. For the past two years, she has worked to produce various projects for reputable publications such as The New York Times, TIME magazine, The Food Network, and Google, among others.

  ^ Morgan and her co-producer, Em Kassie, in Houston while covering Hurricane Harvey for The New York Times. 

^ Morgan and her co-producer, Em Kassie, in Houston while covering Hurricane Harvey for The New York Times. 

  ^ Morgan (right) interviewed Oprah Winfrey while working on a large project with TIME magazine called “Firsts: Women Who are Changing the World.” 

^ Morgan (right) interviewed Oprah Winfrey while working on a large project with TIME magazine called “Firsts: Women Who are Changing the World.” 

Currently, Morgan works on a variety of projects, including her beautiful home which she shares with her husband, Todd. She has devoted time and energy into creating a beautiful, calming, and creative space in which she can express herself and produce her best work. In her day-to-day life, Morgan wears many hats as she assumes the role of journalist, producer, photographer, and most recently, wife. “I always say I have lots of jobs because my job is to learn and observe different people and their environment and see them in their element,” says Morgan. Each day brings something different. “The only constant thing about my days are taking my dog, “Hazel,” to the dog park every morning,” says Morgan. Although she takes on many roles, one thing is certain, no matter the task at hand, she pours herself into each day and works diligently to deliver striking, thought-provoking, and compelling work that demands to be heard.
Included in Morgan’s list of publications are stories that have required an intense amount of strength and courage. Often, her phone rings in the middle of the night, and in the following moments she is gathering equipment, a few essentials, and headed to capture her next story. It may seem as though in these complex moments, the adrenal rush and excitement of developing a new piece will mask the turbulence of what could potentially be a difficult narrative; however, what is to come requires emotional strength and intense valor, two qualities Morgan possesses. The molding of the story is in the hands of this journalist as she extracts the narrative as delicately and efficiently as possible. The work that Morgan produces is much more than simply arriving to a location and getting the facts. Her focus on retelling real human stories requires an immense devotion, attention to detail, hours of interviews, and the ability to relay a story in the purest form.

Morgan Baker documents the lives of other humans in real time, bringing her face-to-face with triumph, success, pain, and loss, among hundreds of other human experiences. The nature of Morgan’s chosen profession requires her to be exposed to raw emotion, which she has learned to overcome by conditioning her own senses. For her, journalism is an art form that has developed with hundreds of hours of dedication and an innate talent. 

  ^ Working in the food and cookbook industry has given Morgan balance while working on deep, social issue-based projects that sometimes require a lot of emotional vulnerability and stamina.  Here, she works on a cake she made for a friend’s wedding in September.

^ Working in the food and cookbook industry has given Morgan balance while working on deep, social issue-based projects that sometimes require a lot of emotional vulnerability and stamina.  Here, she works on a cake she made for a friend’s wedding in September.

  ^Morgan and her husband, Todd Baker, were married on January 1 at Top of the World in Laguna Beach, California. (Photo by Melissa Rey)

^Morgan and her husband, Todd Baker, were married on January 1 at Top of the World in Laguna Beach, California. (Photo by Melissa Rey)