My name is Amanda Hara, and it only took a quick drive to get here. I came from Nashville, Tennessee, where I spent three years reporting and filling in as an anchor at WTVF.
While there, I had the opportunity to tell incredible stories alongside some of the most talented photographers in the country, winning Emmy and Associated Press Awards for my work. I was even named "Best Reporter" in Tennessee by the Associated Press.
I grew up showing horses in the Hunter/Jumper circuit, played for the Washington State Polo Team, and now compete in Three-Day Eventing.
Given that history, it was only natural that I also worked in Lexington, Kentucky. I covered the Kentucky Derby three years in a row, anchored from Churchill Downs during the Kentucky Oaks, and won an Emmy and earned another nomination for my work reporting for "Keeneland Close-Up" profiling the historic Keeneland Race Course.
While in Lexington, I also testified in several trials, including the capital murder case of a local police chief after the suspect admitted to the crime during a jailhouse interview.
After graduating from the Edward R. Murrow School of Communication at Washington State University, I landed my first gig in the Midwest town of Evansville, Indiana, where I once went 24 hours without sleep covering a deadly tornado for the local ABC affiliate, CNN, and the WeatherChannel.
I also hunted for meth labs on horseback with the Knox County, Indiana Sheriff and produced a series of stories that prompted major changes at a corrupt animal shelter.
But my very first job in news came at the age of 8, when my parents ignored child labor laws and allowed me to start a small neighborhood newspaper selling copies for 25 cents a piece.
After a year of reporting on missing pet hamsters and garbage pick up day, I realized there was much more to journalism and that television news was the path to follow.
No other medium combines pictures and words to create such a powerful message.
My parents spent 10 years living in Tennessee and my brother is a U.T. graduate.So even though I was born and raised in Washington State, Tennessee truly is home. I serve as a Big Sister for Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee, I'm a board member for Horse Haven of Tennessee, I helped raise more than $10,000 for East Tennessee Children's Hospital during "Dancing With the Knoxville Stars," and I'm proud to stand with the American Cancer Society in its fight against the disease.
When I'm not anchoring the 5,6, and 11 p.m. newscasts, I'm riding my horse at Penrose Farm in preparation for the next competition, running along the Knoxville Greenways, and secretly looking for a good story to tell.