Reporter whose work took down Bill O’Reilly found love for journalism at Chapel Hill

A portrait of Emily Steel of The New York Times.
A portrait of Emily Steel of The New York Times. NYT

Before she wrote stories that helped oust the face of Fox News, a New York Times reporter solidified her love for journalism at UNC Chapel Hill.

Emily Steel, whose reporting on former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly’s history of sexual harassment led to his exit from the network, recently spoke about her experience covering the story in an article by Marie Claire.

Steel, a UNC alumna, recalls how her mother saved the voicemail recording of her finding out she was accepted to the school’s newspaper, the Daily Tar Heel. She found her passion for journalism in high school when she wrote for her school newspaper. Steel would carry the lessons from that experience into her career on even the most challenging stories, such as her reporting on O’Reilly.

“I just realized there's so much power in the written word. All of those fundamentals of journalism—of holding people in power accountable, and giving a voice to people who need one, and shining light on the dark places—there's a real power in that. Ever since then, that's all I've wanted to do,” Steel told the magazine.

Women are getting an earful of insults from their male colleagues in Washington, D.C. A few are making headlines, others go unreported. And some experts suggest the president is sending the message that such rhetoric is ok.

LaVendrick Smith; @LaVendrickS