Walt Harrington’s Literary Journalism Class at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Media
About: Walt Harrington
Walt Harrington was a staff writer for The Washington Post Magazine for nearly 15 years. He wrote numerous benchmark profiles of public notables such as George H.W. Bush, Jesse Jackson, Jerry Falwell and Carl Bernstein, as well as scores of in-depth journalistic immersion pieces on ordinary people, including a mentally retarded man, a fundamentalist Christian family and a happily married couple. He has won more than twenty five journalism awards in print and documentary film journalism.
His book, The Everlasting Stream: A True Story of Rabbits, Guns, Friendship, and Family, was compared favorably by reviewers to the fiction classic A River Runs Through It and the nonfiction classic A Sand County Almanac. The book became a PBS documentary film broadcast nationwide (a trailer is viewable here). Written and narrated by Mr. Harrington, the movie won a regional Emmy Award for writing, a NETA award for best documentary drama, and three Telly Awards. Mr. Harrington’s earlier book, Crossings: A White Man’s Journey into Black America, won the Gustavus Myers Award for the Study of Human Rights in the U.S. and was declared a “vital” book on race in America by The New York Times.
Mr. Harrington is the author or editor of four other nonfiction books, including American Profiles, At the Heart of It, The Beholder’s Eye, and Intimate Journalism, which has been widely used in journalism classes around the country and influenced a generation of aspiring journalism feature writers. He is a journalism professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he teaches literary journalism and has served in administrative capacities as journalism department head, associate chancellor and interim dean of the College of Media. He holds Masters degrees in sociology and journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.