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Life through the lens. For more than 20 years I have been fortunate enough to be a member of the WHNT News 19 family. The best part, I’ve been able to do so in the area I grew up in – “The Shoals”. A Florence native, I attended Florence City Schools and graduated from Coffee High School before attending the University of North Alabama (Roar Lions!).

In high school the photography bug latched on and I learned the craft of still photography and developing pictures while working on the yearbook staff. Those skills evolved into an interest in videography and journalism while in college. I had a family member working in the news industry at the time, so I was able to tag along to events and get the behind the scenes culture.

Nearing the end of my college career, I landed my first television job at WOWL TV-15 in Florence. At the time, the station produced two newscasts a day and was the Shoals NBC affiliate. I learned everything from running master control to teleprompter, shooting news video and honing my skills of editing and writing. There’s nothing like the first television job and being exposed to all facets of the building.

After my time at WOWL, I packed up my car and headed to Tupelo, MS for a photographer position with WTVA News 9. While there, I built my skills of photography and editing. Covering most of north Mississippi, I was exposed to all sorts of news events, validating my decision of making this a career I would love.

Months after arriving in Mississippi, WHNT News 19 called me home. Starting as an editor/photographer in Huntsville, I quickly proved myself and was promoted to the position of photographer in the Shoals Bureau. While working in the bureau I have had the chance to work with many distinguished journalists and received numerous state awards from my peers.

Telling the story of our residents in the Shoals is what makes each and every day so fulfilling for me. Which is why in December of 2015, I decided to move from behind the camera and begin reporting full time as Shoals Bureau Chief for WHNT News 19. This was a step of faith, and so far I have loved it. Our residents and viewers here have been so supportive in this new role, which makes me wonder why I didn’t do it sooner.

If you ever have a story idea, please reach out to me through one of several ways. You can email me at carter.watkins@whnt.com, or contact me through social media. My official Facebook page is “Carter Watkins WHNT” or on Twitter at “WHNT Shoals”.

What do I enjoy away from work? I love Jesus, wood-working, home projects, nature and theatre. My family and I are active members of Faith Church in Florence. I also volunteer with the Gingerbread Players of the Shoals Theatre (a children’s theatre group).


Recent Articles
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    Third capital murder suspect appears in court for shooting of Tuscumbia teen

    TUSCUMBIA, Ala. – The third capital murder suspect and by some accounts, the shooter of a Tuscumbia teen, appeared in court Friday morning. Attorneys for Benjamin Young requested a preliminary hearing to see just what evidence law enforcement had on their client. Prosecutors wasted no time calling Tuscumbia investigator Wes Holland to the stand. Holland has worked the shooting death of Kijana Freeman since March 1st, the night Freeman was ambushed at Spring Creek Apartments. Holland said Freeman was expecting […]

  • 062316 FR Escape Attempts 6pm PKG

    Three attempt escape from Franklin County Jail; all caught immediately

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  • 052616 SACS 10pm PKG

    Lauderdale County deputies continue search for burglar

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    Police squash nuisance problems at Sheffield overlook

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  • 061716 LD Homeless Food Drive 5pm PKG

    Food levels have reached a critical mark for Shoals homeless population

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  • Florence Police

    Florence Police on the search for fake traveler check thief

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  • 061616 LD Florence Middle Campus 5pm PKG

    Temporary Florence Middle School assembly underway

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  • 061016 LD Construction Safety 6pm PKG

    Florence Police urge drivers to use caution in construction zones

    FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – The number of road construction zones is rising along with the temperatures. As the sun bears down on them, construction workers along Tennessee Street in Florence are hard at it. Just a few feet away, cars zoom by. There’s orange construction barrels lining the street, but police say drivers normally disregard their meaning. And just because the sign reads 40-miles-per-hour, that’s probably not a good idea. “We encourage you to slow down. Just use common sense,” […]

  • 060916 SACS 10pm PKG

    Lauderdale County deputies search for ATV and thief

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  • 060916 CO Drug Bust 5pm PKG

    Colbert agents bust medical grade marijuana grower

    COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – Law enforcement agents in Colbert County have made a significant bust in their fight against illegal drugs. Drug agents said it’s some of the highest grade marijuana they’ve seen. “We’ve been getting information over the years, and we just got enough information to obtain a search warrant,” stated Colbert County Sheriff Frank Williamson. Tucked away on LaGrange Mountain, Sheriff Williamson said his department and the Colbert County Drug Task Force have worked this case a […]

  • 060816 FR Kidnapping Arrests 2

    Man kidnapped, chained to a tree in bizarre Franklin County incident

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  • 060716 LD St Florian Traffic Light

    St. Florian leaders hope for the day they have a red light installed

    ST. FLORIAN, Ala. (WHNT) – Town leaders are growing increasingly frustrated with how long it’s taking to get a traffic light put up. During his four years as mayor of St. Florian, Don Strait has pushed to have a red light installed at the intersection of Church Road and County Road 43. “It’s been something that has been on my agenda every day that I come to work,” Strait said. “Every time I meet somebody outside, it’s on their agenda […]

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