CHS alumna now award-winning local reporter

By Emilie Plesset, Online Opinions Editor

Tisha Thompson, a 1995 CHS alumna, never planned on becoming an award-winning journalist. Coming from a line of journalists five generations long, she thought she would take a different path.
“I have always been a writer,” Thompson said. “I did not necessarily want to do journalism because everyone else in my family did it, but as I got older I began to appreciate it.”
After graduating from Princeton University cum laude in history, Thompson earned her Master’s degree in journalism at the University Of Missouri Graduate School Of Journalism. After working for MTV and ABC News, Thompson spent four years working at Fox 5’s investigative unit as the lead reporter. This past fall, Thompson joined NBC4’s investigative unit.
According to Thompson, investigative reporting looks at documents and gathers information through video and hidden cameras. Compared to most news, investigative reporting is more in-depth, and information is gathered over a longer period of time.
Thompson generally covers stories on health, safety and government corruption, and many of her stories have had prompt reactions. Thompson covered how the president of the University of D.C. was using taxpayer money on extravagant items like cars and plane tickets for personal use. In response, the government audited accounts and held hearings.
Thompson has won 11 Emmys and the 2011 Gracie Award for Best Local Television Reporter/Correspondent in the United States.  Thompson submitted several stories for the Gracie Award, including an investigation in which she used hidden cameras on taxi cab drivers avoiding Black customers.
“I’m always looking for stories,” Thompson said. “Sometimes something not seeming right ends up being a big story.”
Despite having graduated from CHS 16 years ago, Thompson still has fond memories of her time as a student.
“CHS is a phenomenal school, and I did not appreciate it when I was there,” Thompson said. “You are exposed to people from all different types of backgrounds, and I find I can walk up to pretty much anybody and just start talking to them.”
While at CHS, Thompson took Photography with teacher Michael Foo.
“She is very constructive,” Foo said. “She has a very creative visual eye.”
As a student, Thompson was on the swim team and girls soccer team, wrote for the CHS literary magazine, participated in theater and was on tech crew.
“I am always interested in everything,” Thompson said. “This is probably why I am a reporter, because I do something different every day.”