CNN, which is one of the biggest news stations in the world, has thousands of journalists on its payroll working for either the network in America or its various sister networks such as CNN International which can be seen by viewers in over 212 countries and territories across the globe. To work at the American news-based television channel, one must have proven to be very capable in all facets of journalism. This can be said to be the case for Sarah Westwood who is a rising star among the several thousand journalists of the channel.
Westwood had worked for a number of news stations and newspapers before becoming the reporter covering the White House for CNN. The journalist has worked very hard to get to where she is today, a journey she embarked on in her early years.
Sarah Westwood’s Passion For Journalism Can Be Traced To Her Early Years
Sarah Westwood had always shown an affinity for happenings in the world. Her curiosity and zeal to uncover news stories is something that had been present in her life, since her childhood years. The journalist, who was born on October 16, 1989, attended Lassiter High School where she graduated from in 2011. She then proceeded to George Washington University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science.
Prior to her graduation from the university, Westwood took on a job as the Director of Communications at the Presidential Healthcare Center. Her role required her to develop and implement marketing strategies. This was done in a bid to increase the patient base at the center. Control of social media ads and print campaigns were also part of her duties. She worked at this job for ten months before leaving in May of 2014.
Although Westwood’s time at the Health Center was not necessarily journalistic, it set a precedent for the type of work she would do as a person who works in communications. The next job she took after leaving the center was at Marietta Daily Journal (MDJ), a notable online publication. She was employed to work as a Newsroom Intern, writing enterprise stories as well as briefs in crime and business news. Westwood worked there for four months before leaving in August of 2014.
Sarah Westwood’s next job came a month after her exit from MDJ. She was employed in the same role as an intern at the Washington Examiner, a newspaper publication. The employment she got was made possible by her time at the National Journalism Center where she took a short course in Journalism. Sarah was an intern for 4 months before she got promoted to the position of an Investigative Reporter. She worked at this role for two years and in that period she continued to gain more knowledge about her profession.
Westwood is a Fellow of Robert Novak Journalism
In early 2015, a few months into her role as an investigative reporter at the Washington Examiner, Sarah Westwood applied for the Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship. The fellowship has three tiers and Sarah was eligible for the highest tier which runs for a year and gives up to $75,000 as grant money to those who qualify for it. The goal of the fellowship was to enable her research on a topic and report on it.
For her work, Westwood chose to cover the waste and fraud that occurs when foreign aid for other countries is contracted through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The research she conducted during this fellowship was proof that she was set to take on the world as an investigative journalist.
Sarah Westwood managed to juggle the work she was doing at the Washington Examiner with her fellowship and integrated it into the news reports she worked on. By the time she was done with her research, she resumed her duties full time at the paper.
Becoming a White House Correspondent and Working For CNN
Sarah Westwood spent 5 years at the Washington Examiner and in her time there, she advanced in her career in significant ways from her small beginnings as an intern. By the time she was leaving in 2016, she had become a White House correspondent.
By early 2017, Sarah joined the CNN team as a correspondent working in the same capacity she did before she left the Examiner. Her career as a correspondent with CNN at the White House began just as Barack Obama was leaving office and Donald Trump was replacing him as President of the United States.
As a White House correspondent, Sarah Westwood is required to cover the press conferences that the president gives and report on the White House press releases. Being a correspondent also gives her access to political happenings in the country which has enabled her to work in other capacities, as she is known to make appearances on other news shows where she shares her views on the country’s politics.
Sarah Westwood Earns a Decent Salary
Although Sarah Westwood’s salary and net worth has not been disclosed to the public, it is public knowledge that the average salary of a CNN correspondent oscillates between $87,249 and $188,213, annually. There are, however, speculations that Westwood’s pay may be higher than average considering the level of importance her job holds as a White House Correspondent.
The fund she got from her fellowship has also contributed to her wealth, as she has been the recipient of a number of other awards. They include the 2010 Cobb County Writing Fair prize and the award for Best Monday Column in 2012.
The Reporter Shares a Son With Her Former Beau Jon Conradi
When Sarah Westwood started to gain fame for the work she does, she was in a relationship with financial analyst Jon Conradi. The two dated for a while and during the duration of their relationship, they had a son – Christopher David Conradi who was born in 2016. While it is not known when exactly Conradi and Westwood split, the couple were no longer together by the beginning of 2018. Regardless of the situation, Conradi still finds a way to make sure he has an active presence in his son’s life.
Since that relationship ended, Westwood has moved on and has been able to find love with Matt Leach, a graduate of telecommunications from Indiana University Bloomington and an employee of CNN’s rival network, Fox News. Interestingly, Westwood and her partner both work at the White House, she as a correspondent while he serves as a producer. It is speculated that the two started to date towards the end of 2019.