A 2018 car crash threatened to end SJGC alum Donovan Long’s journalism career. On his way back from filming a news package, Long and an intern were involved in a serious car accident. He lost his ability to walk for nearly a year due to a functional neurological disorder (FND), a medical condition that affects how the brain and body send and receive signals.
“I didn’t know if I would recover physically or professionally,” he said.
Long could not walk or do other everyday things. After completing 11 months of physical therapy, Long was ready to return.
“That experience has made me more relatable and made me a much better journalist and storyteller,” he said.
This June, Long walked the Michigan Regional Emmy Awards stage and accepted the coveted Best Anchor prize. Long won for his work as the daybreak anchor at Wood-TV in Grand Rapids, Mi.
“This Best anchor win is a testament to the strength of my village. I didn’t get here alone.”
Long’s village includes his parents, siblings, grandparents and girlfriend Jasmine. His father, Mike Long, is a 1988 SJGC graduate. Long’s village was in the audience when the Emmy win was announced.
“He was nominated for three different Emmys that night and there was a lot of anticipation,” Mike said. “When they called his name for Best Anchor, it was emotional.”
Mike recalled noticing Donovan’s affinity for entertainment early on.
“He would always play with toys where he could record and film himself,” he said. “We sort of knew he was headed in that direction. FAMU really took that raw talent and molded and guided him here.”
The School of Journalism and Graphic Communication graduate’s seven-year journalism career has been markedly stellar. He’s a three-time Emmy, Edward R. Murrow, Michigan Association of Broadcasters, and Associated Press Award-winning journalist. But his path here was clear from the beginning, winning his first Emmy as a college sophomore at FAMU. Long served as an anchor on the 2012 FAMU Homecoming Special: Ignite the Strike” which won second place in the Magazine category. This was a first in FAMU’s history.
“The level of professionalism at News 20 at 5 and The FAMUAN was groundbreaking – all that was a real-world experience,” he said. “I often cling to what I learned in college and apply that to what I’m doing now as a professional.”
Donovan graduated summa cum laude from Florida A&M University in 2015. Before joining WOOD TV8 in July 2019, he worked as a weekend evening anchor/reporter for both the CBS affiliate in Knoxville, Tenn. and the Fox affiliate in Albany, Ga.
He’s a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and an initiate of the Beta Nu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.