By Carson Harper
Special to Niagara Frontier Publications
If there is one lesson Lewiston native Courtney Corbetta has learned in her professional career, it’s to amplify your voice for yourself and your community.
The Western New York community is something that Corbetta has always kept close to her heart.
When asked how to describe Western New York, there was only one word that came to Corbetta’s mind: Home.
Corbetta was born and raised in Lewiston and attended Niagara University, majoring in communication studies. Her first internship was with one of her professors, Joshua Maloni, and Niagara Frontier Publications.
“Interning with Niagara Frontier Publications introduced me to this industry, and that is where I really began my love for journalism/broadcast. This is where it all began,” Corbetta said.
Under Maloni’s wing, Corbetta began a weekly web series on stories in the Greater Niagara Region. While meeting different people around the area, Corbetta found her niche in Buffalo lifestyle news.
“Buffalo is truly the city of good neighbors. There are good people here. That’s what makes Buffalo truly special, the people and the community,” Corbetta said.
After a few internships with Pegula Sports & Entertainment, Spectrum News and the Rockland Boulders baseball team, Corbetta began working as a feature reporter for “AM Buffalo.” This is where she learned how to handle the everyday stress and pressure of the news world.
“When I was working for ‘AM Buffalo,’ my producer left unexpectedly for a few months. I had to step in as producer for the show as well as be on the couch hosting the show. Looking back, I think, ‘Oh my gosh, I used to do that,’ but I am happy I did, because now I have the skillset to bring to my next position or to mentor,” Corbetta said.
However, Corbetta was quick to point out that the news world is not all sunshine and rainbows. She believes it is tough to stand up for yourself, and you have to have thick skin – especially as a woman in a male-driven industry.
“You really have to form a thick skin, and that is something I had very young because of this. I learned you have to have a voice and stand up for yourself even if you are the youngest employee,” Corbetta said.
While it may not be easy being the youngest employee in a small market, Corbetta preaches a determination to amply your voice, along with your community, to make true change possible.
After a few years with “AM Buffalo,” Corbetta knew it was time for her to venture out into new opportunities. With the interest and offers from other news outlets, Corbetta said she felt it was time for personal growth. However, the coronavirus pandemic provided a setback. In true Courtney Corbetta fashion, she did not let this set back stop her.
Corbetta became the in-arena host for the Buffalo Sabres and the assistant director of alumni engagement at her alma mater, Niagara University. It is no coincidence that Corbetta finds herself back where she had found her love for the news world.
Corbetta looks to further her education toward a master’s degree to hopefully be able to teach the next generation of aspiring media.
“In the next 10 years, I would like to continue my pursuit of my masters and teach full time,” Corbetta said.
The Western New York Community is near and dear to her heart, and Corbetta is looking to give back to the community that has given her so much.