Westerville sixth grader finds inspiration in election broadcaster

Pandemic Postcards

WESTERVILLE, Ohio (WCMH) – The 2020 Presidential Election was nothing if not chaotic and divisive, but it also helped one Westerville sixth grader figure out what she wants to do with her life.

MJ Martin is the newly appointed broadcast anchor at Walnut Springs Middle School, and her enthusiasm jumps off the video screen.

The post has been her destiny.. since Nov. 3.

“I just remember thinking, ‘I want to be that guy,’” MJ said.

When asked if there was a moment he recognized his daughter’s destiny, MJ’s father Matt said, “Well, the moment was probably Steve Karnacki.”

When asked why Karnacki, MSNBC’s election results expert in khakis, MJ said, “I don’t know. He knows everything.”

MJ told her teachers she’d found the broadcast calling.

“If she enjoys it, I think she’ll have a head up on a lot of people,” said her teacher, Mr. Wegley.

“Hi, everyone. Welcome to Minutes with MJ. I’m so glad you’re here,” her broadcast opens.

It started out as “Minute with MJ.”

“But then it went over a minute, so I said, ‘It can’t be “Minute with MJ,”’” she said.

The newscast is packed.

“What makes the cut to say this is MJ’s newscast?” NBC 4’s Brad Johansen asked MJ.

“Birthdays!” she exclaimed.

“BIRTHDAYS!!” she shouts on her broadcast as the list of classmates celebrating displays on the screen.

And the wheel of interviews.

Book reviews.

“Not sure if the student liked the book or not but here we go,” as she introduces the student review.

And insider teacher trivia.

“And the answer is…” her broadcast continues.

“They don’t know the answer until my next video,” she said.

MJ is only a few shows in on a newscast intended to make you smile. Her confidence is growing, and her ratings? Well, everyone in sixth grade is watching!

And Karnacki would love her tag line.

“Be the I in kind,” she smiled as she whirled her head from the computer to our camera.

Next week’s interview?

“I did research about you,” MJ said as she began her interview of Johansen.

“Oh, that’s a problem,” he laughed.

Sorry, that’s all the time we have!

“Don’t forget,” MJ said as her classroom broadcast came to a close. “Be the ‘I’ in kind. See you soon. Bye.”

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