On Her Watch

Journalist covers hard issues, but has a soft heart

Web Extras: Q&A with Molly Grantham  



When you're a kid you're afraid of the bogeyman; then you get older and realize there are real dangers out there. Molly Grantham makes sure those dangers aren't hiding in the dark. She brings them to your living room.

"I'm more of a hard news journalist who likes news and stuff that's going on that affects people and issues," says Grantham, thirty, an anchor/reporter for WBTV and anchor of WBTV News 3 at 10 on WJZY.

Grantham, a Lancaster, Pennsylvania, native who also spent a lot of time in Pinehurst, where her father lives, has taken great interest in issues that affect teenagers. She hosts a series called "The Sobering Truth," and the shows she's done have been an eye opener for parents, educators, and law enforcement.

" ‘The Sobering Truth' show was an idea I had in February 2006 after Brock Franklin killed those two people drunk driving," she says, referring to a local teen who left a party after drinking and drove the wrong way on I-485. "I have three younger brothers, and it just scared me."
Grantham worked with producer Kim Saxon, who came up with the name for the series, and contacted a representative at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools about getting together a group of students for a roundtable discussion on underage drinking. "We put together the show, it was an hour long, and it got great feedback from parents," Grantham says.

Subsequent topics in the series include "Gangs 101," "Teen Dating Violence," and, most recently, "Cyber Parenting the MySpace Generation." The latter, again, was the result of an experience with her siblings.

"My brothers are always on MySpace, always on Facebook. That's how they communicate. I was helping my brother move into a dorm…He walked out of the dorm room and saw someone down the hall and said, ‘Oh hey, are you Mark?' I said, ‘That's cool, how do you know Mark?' He said, ‘I don't. But I went on Facebook and started a search [for people who live on my floor].' They meet online, then meet in real life. People don't know this is such a reality."

Seeing such realities, how kids tend to post personal information about themselves on the Internet, for example, has caused many parents to pay more attention.

"The response is always from parents who've said this is really good, thank you for asking these questions, because the kids aren't talking to us."

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