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CommWeek 2013 kicks off with Candy Crowley, Leon Harris

Mar 19, 2013

CNN's Candy Crowley and ABC7/WJLA's Leon Harris converse during the Communication Week 2013 keynote presentation on Monday, March 18, 2013. / Photo by Megan Westervelt

CommWeek 2013 kicks off with Candy Crowley, Leon Harris

By Kerry Tuttle

ATHENS, Ohio (March 19, 2013)—CNN’s Candy Crowley and ABC7/WJLA’s Leon Harris were the guests for Scripps College’s Communication Week kickoff on Monday at 7 p.m. in Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium on the main campus of Ohio University in Athens.

Crowley currently serves as the chief political correspondent and award-winning host of “State of the Union with Candy Crowley” on CNN. She covers presidential, congressional and gubernatorial races and Capitol Hill. Crowley moderated the second 2012 general election debate between President Obama and Gov. Romney, on Oct. 16, 2012, in Hempstead, N.Y., which was the first to be moderated by a woman in two decades.

During the keynote presentation, Crowley was interviewed by Harris, a 1983 radio/television alumnus of Ohio University, who anchors the 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts for ABC7/WJLA-TV in Washington, D.C. Previously, Harris spent 20 years at CNN’s headquarters in Atlanta, where he co-anchored “CNN Live Today” and “Prime News” and hosted “CNN Presents” and “American Stories.”

The two TV anchors discussed Crowley’s experience while moderating the 2012 presidential debate, as well as the 2012 election overall. Crowley also spoke about being a strong woman in the workplace and acknowledged that there are still barriers for women and minorities that need to be broken down, saying she expects the next generation to carry on the task of breaking those barriers.

“The demographics call for women and call for minorities,” Crowley said. “There are too many good women and minority reporters out there for it not to happen.”

Mary Johann, a sophomore studying communication studies, attended the keynote and said, “I learned a lot about political journalism during tonight’s interview, and it was great to have a successful female journalist come and speak at Communication Week.”

Harris also shared his experiences in the field with the audience during the Q&A session and offered this advice to aspiring journalists: “The best question is the one you’re asked after you’ve listened. Focus on listening,”

Chris Saulnier, a sophomore journalism major, added this year’s Communication Week keynote speakers to a list of “amazing people” he has seen so far during his time at Ohio University. His list also included Roger Ailes, Gwen Ifill and President Obama. Saulnier noted that he “loved hearing how passionate [Crowley and Harris] were about their work as journalists.”

Crowley concluded the interview by expressing her favorite part of her job, “If you can get someone to talk about their life, it’s amazing. That’s the best part of being a journalist.”

Crowley and Harris spent their day meeting with various groups of students in the Scripps College of Communication, interviewing for WOUB radio and meeting with senior Ohio University administrators.

Communication Week continues through March 22. For a full list of events, visit www.ohio.edu/scrippscollege/aboutus/communication-week.cfm.