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Emyle is pictured smiling at the camera. They are a white person with long brown hair and brown eyes. They are wearing a black blouse and standing outside.

Emyle Watkins

Multimedia Reporter

Emyle Watkins is a multimedia investigative journalist with experience in newspapers, web, TV and radio.

Emyle joined WBFO in March 2021 to cover the disability community - a topic area she believes deserves better coverage and investigative reporting focused on disability rights, community, culture, and access issues that impact people with disabilities. As someone who identifies as disabled and neurodivergent, herself, she wants to make sure the lived experiences of individuals with disabilities are accurately represented.

Buffalo-born and raised a short drive from the city, Emyle (pronounced like Emily, despite the spelling) got her bachelors degrees in Multimedia Journalism and Digital Media Arts at Canisius College.

Emyle’s journalism career began at the early age of 16, when she became the primary sports reporter/photographer for her hometown newspaper, The Springville Journal. Since then, she has also freelanced or had work published in other newspapers including The Buffalo News, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and The Public.

While Emyle started as a sports journalist, early on in college she realized she wanted to pursue investigative journalism as a way to make a difference for communities and hold those in power accountable.

In college, Emyle quickly moved into an editorial position at The Canisius Griffin, and served as the managing editor there, leading the investigative team, often looking into finances and covering student government/college administration. She also redesigned the newspaper’s website and print product to be more accessible to readers with visual disabilities.

As part of Canisius’ Video Institute, Emyle co-produced and was the reporter for the documentary “NewBorn: Maternal Resources in New York State,” which won a Telly Award in 2020. While on a fellowship at The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, she won a Pennsylvania Golden Quill by co-writing “There are Black people in the future,” a series of artist profiles.

Emyle interned at WBFO in 2020 and later became an associate producer on the digital and investigative teams at WGRZ -TV (Channel 2). There she helped develop stories on such topics as unsolved shootings in Buffalo, and how over 900 graves were lost in a Cheektowaga cemetery.

Follow @EmyleWatkins.
Email Emyle at ewatkins@WBFO.org
Desk (call only): 716-845-7000, ext 233

  • In April, the University at Buffalo hosted adaptive yoga teacher Matthew Sanford to not only train yoga teachers and medical professionals, but to educate the community on how to develop body to mind resilience. Sanford, who is also an author and founded the non-profit Mind Body Solutions, sat down with WBFO’s Emyle Watkins for an interview before one of his classes at UB. On today’s Disabilities Beat, we share part of that interview, but you can hear the full interview on What’s Next? and using the player below.
  • This week on the Disabilities Beat, we look to an independent living center in Chicago for perspective on what disabled survivors of gun violence are experiencing and need from their communities. WBFO’s Emyle Watkins speaks with Candace Coleman, who runs the Survivors of Firearm/Gun Violence Project at Access Living. The project has held listening sessions with survivors over the past 18 months to better understand what survivors need. These sessions have also connected peers, helped Access Living better tailor their services, and allowed Access Living to create an initial report with results that can help other organizations and communities.
  • This week, we share an interview with two business leaders from the Deaf community in France who were part of the IVLP trip to Buffalo. Noémie Churlet is the founder and CEO of Médiapi, an organization that provides news and education that is accessible to the Deaf community. WBFO's Emyle Watkins and Churlet discuss media accessibility and educational opportunities for Deaf people.
  • On Wednesday students at the University at Buffalo joined in a wave of encampments and protests across the country calling for divestment from Israel at institutions of higher education.
  • Recently, Buffalo hosted leaders from the Deaf community in France as part of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) through the US Department of State. Among them was a notable figure in the French disability rights movement: Jérémie Boroy. Boroy serves as the advisor to the Mayor of Paris on people with disabilities and is the chairperson of the National Advisory Council for Persons with Disabilities (Conseil national consultatif des personnes handicapées). Boroy, who is deaf, has also had a hand in the creation and revision of French disability rights laws. WBFO's Disabilities Beat Reporter Emyle Watkins sat down with Boroy during his visit to hear his thoughts on what our two countries could learn from each other in terms of disability rights and equity for deaf people.
  • In New York, hundreds of organizations administer the Medicaid-funded Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program - or CDPAP. This program allows people with disabilities to hire their own personal care aids, who are paid through these organizations, which are considered fiscal intermediaries, or FIs. But in a last minute curve-ball, the state included a move to a single FI in their state budget.
  • Post-eclipse it seems like most people talked about their visual experience on April 8th. However, across the country, many people experienced the eclipse though a sonification, or a conversion of the light of the sun into sound. WBFO Disability Reporter Emyle Watkins visited Buffalo State on eclipse day to hear how they were using a LightSound device to make the eclipse audibly accessible. Watkins speaks with Dr. Jen Connelly, a disabled astronomer and the associate director of Buffalo State’s planetarium about not only how they made this happen, but why they need more resources like this. Meanwhile, WBFO Reporter Alex Simone took the device with him to a park in Erie County to capture a recording.
  • April is Autism Acceptance Month. While a lot of news this month will focus around what autism is and different programs led by or for people who are autistic, one conversation that isn't had enough is how autistic people experience and navigate grief.
  • WBFO's Disabilities Beat has been covering how people with disabilities can enjoy the eclipse safely and equitably over the past several months. Below you'll find stories you can read for more advice, listen to for interesting interviews, as well as a compiled list of resources that have been mentioned to us.
  • Many local organizations have been finding ways to make the eclipse accessible to people with disabilities, and among them is a local volunteer-driven free radio service for people with vision and print disabilties. WBFO's Disability Reporter Emyle Watkins spoke with Michael Benzin from Niagara Frontier Radio Reading Service about how they are using their local radio program to help make the eclipse accessible to people with disabilities.