Sara Girard

Professional Experience

September 2018 to present: Investigative Reporter at WINK News

Previously worked as a multimedia journalist at WCJB TV20 News, WUFT-TV and WUFT-FM in Gainesville, FL; and as an investigative intern at WPLG Local 10 News in Miami, FL

Member of National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE)

Awards & Recognition

2019 Emmy nominee (Education/Schools – News), NATAS Suncoast Regional Emmy Awards – “Waiting in the Dark”

2019 Young Journalist Award for Broadcast, Press Club of Southwest Florida

2019 Sunshine State Award for Multimedia Feature, Society of Professional Journalists – “You Are Now Live” (2nd Place)

2019 Excellence in Innovation in TV, Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, RTDNA – “Locked Out Florida” (Winner)

2018 Awards for Photo Essay & Short Hard News Feature, Florida Associated Press Broadcasters College Contest (Winner)

News Philosophy

“The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.” — Ida B. Wells

Hobbies, Interests & Community Involvement

Sara is a big fan of live theater and performing arts, traveling to faraway places, volunteering, playing roller derby, Gator football, spoiling her nieces and nephews, and cuddling up next to her dog Mickey.


Master’s in Mass Communication and Bachelor’s in Telecommunication News from the University of Florida

Go Gators!


Some declared ineligible for unemployment without explanation

The state of Florida says 387,000 people have received unemployment benefits since March 15, and more people can expect money soon. The unemployment website went...

Florida updates unemployment system to process self-employed claims

Robert Kantor of Punta Gorda is a ride-share driver who's been trying to apply for unemployment since March 16. "I cannot drive because I'm at...

Some early unemployment applicants still waiting as others receive benefits

As of Thursday, 17 percent of unique unemployment claims submitted in Florida have been paid, but the rest are left waiting. What's the holdup? And...

Retroactive payments approved, people still frustrated with shoddy unemployment website

More than a month after massive layoffs and furloughs, people in Florida are still waiting for their unemployment benefits. Some progress has been made -...

New head of DEO working to revamp unemployment system, promises change

There's new oversight at the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity in an effort to revamp the unemployment system. WINK News Investigative Reporter Sara Girard spoke...

Florida unemployment: Tracking numbers, continued problems with system

Some people have been waiting now for more than a month to get their unemployment payments, and the state’s website used to apply for...

Naples group putting face to state’s unemployment problems with rally

Roughly 5% of unemployment claims submitted after March 15 have been paid out. That's based on numbers the DEO released Thursday night. Many of you...

Florida unemployment woes continue; governor looks to fix things ‘quickly’

Bills are piling up and tensions are running high in Southwest Florida due to unemployment. For many community members, the unemployment process is failing....

Worries mount as unemployment site goes down for payment processing

Wednesday has been a tough day for many of you who tell us because the unemployment website went down, you can't continue your application,...

Woman deemed ‘ineligible’ for unemployment, DEO addresses work search requirements

One woman says she waited almost four weeks after submitting her unemployment application only to be denied. Another man says the system thinks he...

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