Melanie Alnwick

Melanie Alnwick

Reporter

The question I am asked most frequently is, "How do you do it?!" Usually, this happens after I tell someone that I get up for work every day at 2 a.m. (These days I co-anchor FOX 5 News Morning from 4:25-6am, and Good Day DC at 9am).

The answer is simple: I do it because it makes sense for my family. I've done just about every assignment there is here at FOX 5 -- nightside reporter, investigative reporter, money and consumer reporter, anchor-- and when the opportunity came around to do the early morning shift, I took it.

Now I am able to continue a career that I love, and be home in the afternoons to do my second job as a mom and household executive. I started my first newspaper when I was 8. OK, it was just a handwritten rag on notebook paper, complete with my own illustrations of neighborhood happenings -- but I clearly had the bug.

I've always been the kid with a million questions. My parents get huge credit for teaching me not to be afraid to ask. I was encouraged to pick up the phone and call someone if I wanted information.

As an Air Force family, we also moved around a lot. Seeing so many different cultures helped expand my vision of the world. I still remember the Buddhist kids I knew in Thailand who wouldn't allow their photographs to be taken. They believed it would steal their soul. I keep that memory with me every day when I interview people on camera. I firmly believe that we, as journalists, are being entrusted with their persona and it’s our duty to present them accurately and fairly.

I studied at the University of Florida and James Madison University. My first job in TV was the news director's secretary at WUSA-9 here in DC. It may have been a minor role, but it was invaluable. I got so much inside knowledge of how a TV station works and was able to learn from journalists who were at the top of their game.

Did I mention I've done weather also? That was my first on-air job in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I still know my way around an NWS forecast map! :)

At NBC-17 in Raleigh, North Carolina, I learned how to shoot a gun, found out what a hog waste lagoon is, and got to witness one of the last live tobacco auctions in the state. I also engineered a fantastic trip with the U.S. Air Force to Bosnia, Albania, Germany and Italy during the Kosovo conflict -- and had the privilege of flying in the cockpit of a C-17 across the Atlantic.

Coming back to DC to work for FOX 5 was an honor. I'd have to say my proudest moment was winning a National Emmy for my series of investigative reports on Spring Valley. After the dinner, Jane Pauley came up to me and said, "Great dress... and an even better speech!" I don't ask for a lot of affirmation in this business, but that little exchange made me feel as if I'd finally taken a seat at the Journalists' Table.

I volunteer at local hospitals with Musicians on Call, and I also teach art history to elementary school students. It’s such a treat when I meet viewers who are also early risers: baristas, delivery guys, police officers, mad joggers... there is a whole different city out there in the wee hours of the morning.

I tell my kids I'm lucky to be able to take in the sunrise every day. So if you're an early riser, please join us every day starting at 4 a.m… we're up, too!

The latest from Melanie Alnwick

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Fairfax County approves body camera for cops

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has approved a plan to outfit police with body cameras - joining a number of police departments throughout the DMV that already employ the cameras.

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Missing Pieces: Into the Woods, Episode 6: Epilogue

Several months passed since we finished Episode 5. We’ve tackled many questions in the disappearance of Terrence Woods, but still hadn't found the one person who was actually there when the young filmmaker vanished. Until now. Finally, we are able to hear the first-hand account of what actually happened on October 5, 2018. And an interview with Terrence's close friend in London may make you question all of your assumptions about this case so far.

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Government offering assistance to Virginians impacted by July flooding

A record-breaking rainstorm hit Northern Virginia on July 8, 2018 - and Fox 5 was there as homes and businesses were deluged. The fast moving floodwaters washed away roads and left several drivers in panic mode - stranded in their cars until rescuers pulled them to safety from the rising tide.