A path around the world led Annie Yu, BA Communication ’04, to George Mason University, and propelled her to the scene of some of the biggest television news stories in Washington, D.C., and beyond.
The FOX5 anchor and reporter was born in Seoul, South Korea, and moved with her family to Alexandria, Virginia, when she was only 3 years old. Yu’s parents held many jobs to provide for her and her sister, eventually saving enough money to start two small businesses. Their determination made an impression on Yu.
“They worked 12 hours a day, six days a week,” she says. “They have an incredible work ethic, and it has definitely rubbed off on me.”
Bitten by the journalism bug at an early age, Yu worked on her Hayfield Secondary School newspaper and graduated with honors. Out-of-state colleges came calling, but she set her sights on Mason. “Being close to my family was important to me,” she says. “I also loved the diversity at Mason.”
Majoring in communication with a concentration in media production and criticism, Yu was taught by professors with television news experience—and local broadcasters who served as guest speakers on campus—who shared real-life scenarios. “We actually had FOX5’s reporter-anchor Wisdom Martin as a guest speaker, and here I am now, working with him,” Yu says.
During her last semester at Mason, Yu interned at FOX5. The higher ups at the top 10 market station offered her a position in the newsroom the day before she graduated. In the 10 years since, Yu has taken on nearly every job in the newsroom—assigning, writing, and producing stories; she’s even tried her hand at traffic and sports reporting.
“I was there for Mason’s Final Four days; what an awesome time,” recalls Yu of the intense national coverage of Mason’s men’s basketball team during the 2006 NCAA Tournament. She has covered news of the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial dedication, presidential elections, and mayoral and gubernatorial races, and has worked on lighter stories for the morning show as well.
Adding to her hectic schedule are her roles as mother to an 2-year-old daughter and wife to a fellow Mason alumnus who works as a software engineer.
As it turns out, Yu has reached not only her own goals, but her mother’s as well. “My mother’s dream was to become a journalist,” she says. “So in my heart, I truly feel as if I’m living a dream for two.”