From Lynnfield to the red carpet
Alex Ross decided to become a journalist while sitting in a chair at the dentist’s office at age 13. Now, she’s interviewing celebrities for People Magazine.
“I was obsessed, like my whole life trying to figure out what I wanted to do,” Ross said. “My dentist knew that I was always talking about what I wanted to do when I grew up, and he came in one day, I think it was in eighth grade and he was like, alright, like, what is it this time? And I was like … I’m deciding whether or not I want to be a news anchor or a CIA operative and he was like, okay, cool, let me know which one you go with and I thought about it and I was like, yeah, I think I think I’m gonna be a news anchor.”
Ross grew up in Lynnfield and after deciding she wanted to pursue journalism her mom took her to New York City in 2015 to see the Today Show in person.
“I used to record the today show on DVR so that I could watch it when I came home from school because I’m like that obsessed with that show and all the anchors and so she took me because all I wanted to do was go stand on the (Rockefeller) Plaza and meet them all,” Ross said.
Her “claim to fame” happened that day when she went to NYC. She brought a sign that said “Natalie, can I do the news with you?” Natalie Morales was one of the anchors at that time.
“The guy whose job it is to produce the people out on the plaza, his name was Alex and my name is Alex so we get to chatting and he’s like, ‘I’m gonna like see what I can do for you,’” Ross said.
This producer was able to have Ross actually do the news on the Today Show that day.
“He was like, ‘OK, let’s go inside like we’re gonna mic you up and you’re gonna do the news with Natalie,’” Ross said. “The very first time I read off a teleprompter, which is like a weird journalism niche thing to say but meant a lot to me, was in Studio One A standing next to Natalie Morales on the Today Show.”
This only solidified her dream to become a journalist.
“I remember looking around being like, this is insane, these people are wonderful. I want to do this for the rest of my life,” Ross said.
After high school Ross attended Boston University’s College of Communication which she graduated from in 2021. While at BU she worked for BUTV10, the broadcasting program at the university.
Going to college during COVID-19 was interesting as a journalism student, she said. It went from really hands-on to being stuck at home.
“It kind of just lit a fire under me to the point where when we were finally able to go back, like some of the classes weren’t even back in session yet but they allowed us to get back into the studio. So I was doing like Zoom classes, but still kind of producing my news show and it felt very true to the core of what journalism is,” Ross said.
When COVID-19 struck she decided to intern for her local paper — The Daily Item. She said it was a “gift” to report and write for the place she grew up in.
“I got to do some really special stories while I was there,” Ross said. “My high school AP biology teacher was retiring, and I got to go and have lunch with her and then I wrote up a piece and it was so lovely, and so special and I still keep in touch with her like she and I email back and forth. That meant a lot.”
While at BU where she got her start in entertainment journalism while interning for E! News.
Entertainment journalism is never where Ross thought she would be, her initial interests were in the political sector of the field. But the opportunity to intern for E! just sort of fell into place.
“I interned for the Today Show which was a dream come true,” Ross said. “After that, because E! news was owned by NBC, so my next NBC internship happened to be with E! and I didn’t even apply to that. I had applied to news internships and nobody wanted me.”
When she hadn’t heard back from the news internships a recruiter told her that she sent Ross’ resume to E!.
“I ended up hearing from E! and I was like I never in a million years would have thought of this,” Ross said.
At first, she didn’t like the job and felt like she didn’t belong because she said she didn’t know anything about people like the Kardashians.
“Then I kind of actually gave it a chance, because one of my favorite things about the Today Show is that Savannah Guthrie can be interviewing world leaders at 7:30 in the morning, and then she’s making pancakes with Martha Stewart at eight. So I love just the duality of that,” Ross said.
The first red carpet she attended was with E! News, she said.
“I kind of pitched my way there, it was in New York, I was still at BU,” Ross said.
Ross said her bosses knew of her fandom for Law and Order: SVU. One of the stars of the show, Mariska Hargitay, was honored at Glamour Magazine’s Women of the Year event.
“I was like ‘guys I don’t know if you need anyone to like, write about this,’ me thinking like I’ll do it from my dorm room ‘but like, I’ll help in any way possible.’ And my boss was like, ‘Oh, do you want to go?’ And I was like, ‘What do you mean? Of course I want to go.’ So I got on a train like two days later … and I went to this red carpet,” Ross said.
Since then she has been to many red-carpet events and interviewed people like Chris Hemsworth and eventually Mariska Hargitay. She stayed with E! News after graduating from BU in 2021 and then made the move to People Magazine.
“I am doing work for both the print and digital side of the magazine,” Ross said. “ I get to help with the three big entertainment teams, which is TV, music and movies.”
Most recently she reported on the 2023 Grammys writing articles about celebrity moments on the red carpet and award winners such as Samara Joy who won Best New Artist.
While she is in the digital writing and print side of journalism right now, she said might return to the broadcasting side again.
“I think about why I wanted to get in journalism in the first place … my agenda was to tell good stories and I do feel like I’m able to do that, whether it’s ultimately in TV one day down the line again, or for right now in print and in the magazine, as long as I’m telling the stories, and they matter to the people I’m interviewing and the people reading it and I think that they matter, that’s kind of been like my little touchstone, like my own guiding compass,” Ross said.