Reporting the News: Jackson Gosnell in the Spotlight

Jackson’s work ethic and efforts made him a stand out even in high school.

You could find him in videos on YouTube and TikTok, displaying a completely professional news anchor vibe, sharing local news and national news with his South Carolina drawl and his youthful charm.

That’s where he was in high school – and that’s where he is a few years later in college too.

“I’m not a party goer – I’m not the traditional college kid. I don’t go out and all that jazz,” he comments – that TV smile ready at a moment’s notice.

Jackson is a sophomore attending the University of South Carolina in Columbia but he’s an Upstate man at heart. Raised in the Upstate, a former student at Blue Ridge High School, Jackson has been fascinated by news and journalism and the political world for as long as he can remember. He jokes that he’s an old soul. “My friends tease me that I’m more like their parent – and in reality, I kind of am.”

Using the technology and resources at hand, Jackson Gosnell began reporting on local and national political news at a young age. His online presence was really born during the spring of 2020 when we were all home finding silver linings as best we could. “I started making news videos on TikTok during the coronavirus,” Jackson said, as we shared drinks at a local coffee shop on one of his breaks home from college. He travels back to the Upstate from Columbia almost every weekend. “I was surprised people watched the videos at first,” he laughs. “And I thought, this is pretty cool. So I started interviewing local folks running for office and then it all just grew.”

And now, that early start has morphed into interviewing much larger names – recent interviews include presidential candidates Marianne Williamson and Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

I’m impressed with the names he has pulled in, the interviews he has acquired, the folks who have said yes. I ask him how he does it, what’s his system. “I just send them a message – Hey, I’m Jackson. I do these interviews. I don’t work for any TV station but this is what I do and this is how I do it.”

And they decide yes, usually. “Most of the time they do say yes – which is shocking,” that megawatt grin again.

At USC he’s a broadcast journalism and political science major. Jackson’s grandparents lived next door to him growing up and they watched the news excessively. Jackson popped over to hang out often. “I thought it was so boring as a kid and then, I don’t know. I just realized that newscasters had such variety in their jobs and reporting suddenly seemed so interesting – how they moved from topic to topic – and I thought, I want to do this.”

We chatted about neutrality in news reporting – the weight of responsibility and the effort to share the news as plainly and clearly as possible, without choosing sides.

“I am for neutrality one hundred percent of the time, “Jackson says. “But it’s funny – people will accuse me of being far left and people will also accuse me of being ultra far right.” We both laugh. I understand the scenario. “But I think that’s good that people have varying opinions of it.” Jackson admits that he has, in fact, spent more time interviewing conservatives but, for the most part, that is due to his actual location. “This is South Carolina. Conservatives come here. But I’m open to talking to anyone and my goal is to be fair in my reporting.”

You can not only find Jackson reporting on his own social media feeds, which I’ll link below, but he has a weekly recurring segment on One America News. They’re known for being far right. That doesn’t concern Jackson for now. “When opportunities come along, you make the most of them – that’s what I am doing with this. What other twenty year old can say I have a national television segment? I go in, try my best, see what happens. That’s what I am doing here,” he says. You can find Jackson on One America News weekly on Tuesdays at 10 pm with a recap of recent stories in the news.

Next we tackle the idea of balance. A topic that’s challenging for all of us – and especially difficult with the schedule Jackson is keeping as he completes his degree and travels across the state routinely.

“My professors understand I am a weirdo,” he laughs. (I’m guessing that’s not the word his professors would choose to describe him.) Jackson confesses that he misses class sometimes for events that are great opportunities. “My professors have been really understanding,” he shares. Recently, for example, Jackson had an opportunity to travel to Canada for some interviews. “I recognize that class is important but I also want to do these experiences. I learn so much being out here with people.”

Naturally, if you are as motivated as Jackson has been to jumpstart your career before you even have a drivers license, you likely have some future goals and aspirations – one of which is a possible network news show. “Hopefully some of this groundwork now can help me get to where I want to be a bit faster – to move along that ladder at a faster pace,” Jackson says.

Jackson is an only child and his parents have always been very supportive. “They love me – they want me to go as far as I can go, as far as I want to go. Maybe some parents are going to football games to support their son, but my parents are tagging along to hear Nikki Haley speak or something,” he grins. “It’s not traditional, but I enjoy it!”

Jackson doesn’t only report on political news, although he is fascinated by that genre. He also shares any breaking news.

One of his favorite interviews has been one with Carole Baskin. She made the news circuit a few years ago with her part in the popular Tiger King series. This was another example of Jackson just going for it – making the call and seeing what happens. “When I called, she answered the phone herself!” he laughs. “I introduced myself and she says – alright, I’ll do it! But can I wait a bit – I am on stage right now on Dancing with the Stars.”

Jackson speaks with confidence and comfort, with authority and fun – it’s the sort of mix you want to listen to. The sort of voice you want as your connection to what’s new and noteworthy in politics and in the media.

Jackson – you are definitely my choice for watching and following and keeping me informed. I’m cheering you on!

You can follow along (and you’re going to want to) at all the spots here:




Story by Lacey Eibert Keigley
Photos Provided by Jackson Gosnell

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