ABAC is known for its prestigious graduates. Dixon Fletcher, Fox 5 Atlanta Photojournalist, is no exception to this high standard. His broadcasting professor and advisor, Dr. Thomas Grant, said, “Dixon Fletcher is another example of the great people who come to ABAC. He was one of our first broadcasting students. Now, he’s working in a big station and still willing to come back to help other students learn the business.”
Fletcher visited the campus to speak to media classes about the importance of lighting in television broadcasting, gave advice to the students and explained why it’s important to give back to the school that kick-started his passion.
“I’m still the same person,” Fletcher said. “I’ve graduated, and I’ve moved on. I’m not a student anymore, but none of that would’ve been possible without going back first. I think it’s important to give back and share with students that, if you really want to do this, it’s possible.”
He also joked about how he got his start in the journalism program.
“I stumbled upon this career path, not seeking it out,” Fletcher said. “The first time I talked to my advisor I said, ‘I’m not interested in journalism. I’m taking your classes because they’re the most easily transferable thing to another institution, but don’t expect me to stick around.’ Two years later, I graduated from the journalism program. Looks like he had the last laugh.”
Fletcher also reflected on what he learned as a student in the journalism program and how he uses it in the journalism world.
“ABAC honestly taught me more about journalism than anything else I did. Tom taught me how to think like a journalist and that was laying the foundation for everything I learned after that. He was very good at teaching us the concepts of journalism: being non-biased, to separate yourself from the story, how to cover events and Tom really was instrumental in teaching the point of the fact that this is a public service. What we’re doing is not the same as other fields in that you’re doing this for one person to another. It’s the fact that we’re doing, we’re sharing these stories not because we personally find them interesting or personally because we agree with the stories, but because it’s important for the community to know what’s going on around them and also for people to understand their society,” Fletcher said.
After graduating from ABAC in 2014, Fletcher went to Western Kentucky University to receive his bachelors in broadcasting. He worked his way up the media ladder, earning positions in newsrooms at Bowling Green and Louisville, Kentucky and now in Atlanta. His job requires him to meet people on their best days or their worst.
“I get to see a lot of interesting things,” Fletcher said. “I get to see a lot of heartbreaking things, but it is very fulfilling. I do this as a public service for others, to tell them what’s going on in their community and why it’s important.”