EIU Journalism

Journalism Alum Barbara Harrington Shares Insights and Experiences

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By: Katelyn Ifft

As she stood before a roomful of Eastern students who will soon be entering the professional world, Barbara Harrington stressed the importance of being involved in as much as possible throughout college.

“I think what you do here is going to be very telling of what you do in your career”, Harrington said.

Harrington is no stranger to variety. As a student, Harrington, a 2011 graduate of the Eastern journalism program, immersed herself in her work at WEIU. Throughout her time at the station, she was an anchor, reporter and producer for NewsWatch. She also devoted time to The Agency, The Warbler and occasionally, the Daily Eastern News.

Recently, Harrington had the opportunity to be featured on The Today Show, when a shooting at a grocery store in Elkhart, Indiana was serious enough to make the national news. WNDU, the station Harrington is employed at, is affiliated with NBC, and so she was chosen to cover the story.

She said she discovered how different national news is from local news. Harrington showed two clips from this shooting. The first was from The Today Show. It was mostly fact based and was short and to the point.

Harrington said she did not write what appeared on The Today Show. The show is so precisely laid out that the producers knew what was needed and produced the script themselves.

The second clip was from the morning show on WNDU and was more emotional, appealing to the people of the community. Although Harrington said she has become desensitized to violent crimes, this particular incident struck a nerve.

“I have never had people come up to me panicked before, Harrington said,” People were bawling, not knowing whether or not their loved ones were dead.”

In addition to speaking to the Society for Collegiate Journalists, Harrington assisted with the NewsWatch newscast, seeing it through every step of the way. Brittany Borthwick, a senior journalism major, said she really enjoyed working with someone who had at one time been in her shoes.

“She’s giving us her insights on tricks of the trade,” Borthwick said.

She also said she felt both discouraged and inspired by seeing what Harrington has accomplished, and it gave her something to strive toward in her professional career.

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