From Berryville to national correspondent for ABC News -- Erin Hayes honored with four Emmy nominations

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

ATLANTA, Ga. -- The National Academy of Television?Arts and Sciences, which honors excellence in television news with national Emmy awards, has recognized the work of Berryville native Erin?Hayes, a national correspondent for ABC?News, with four Emmy nominations.

The Emmy winners for Television News and Documentary categories were announced at a gala in New York Monday night, and while Hayes did not bring home an Emmy for her work, she was in the running against such awardees as Ted Koppel, Brian Williams, Lesley Stahl, Tom Brokaw and Mike Wallace.

Hayes is the daughter of Bill and Eileen Hayes, of Berryville.

Four of her reports from 2006 were among those nominated for national news Emmy awards this year, all having aired on?World News with Charles Gibson.

For the World News series, "Home Front," which was nominated in the category of Outstanding?Continuing Coverage of a News Story in a Regularly Scheduled Newscast, Hayes contributed three stories on the challenges military service members face once they leave the battlefield and return home.

One of those stories focuses on the unique hurdles that blinded veterans struggle to overcome, and described new therapies and technologies being made available to them. A second story profiled three brothers, all soldiers from Ft. Hood,?Texas, who chose to serve together in?Iraq.?The third story was a tribute to the children of those military service members now deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

World News also received a nomination for Hayes' report, "The Blind Trumpeter," in the category of Outstanding Feature Story in a Regularly?Scheduled Newscast. This was the story of an 18-year-old college student, Patrick Henry Hughes. Despite being blind and wheelchair-bound, Hughes plays trumpet in the University of Louisville marching band, and performs as a classical pianist, as well.

Hayes has worked as a correspondent for ABC?News since 1993, and is a broadcast news veteran of 30 years. Her career began at the College of the Ozarks radio station in Pt. Lookout, Mo. She worked at KTHS ?radio in Berryville and in local television news in?Springfield, Mo., Nash-ville, Tenn., and Kansas City, Mo., for a decade before moving to the networks, joining CBS?News in 1989.

For much of her career, Hayes has covered breaking national news as well as feature reporting.?Most recently, however, her assignments have focused on human-interest stories, particularly those of American military service-members and their families.

"I find, as I get older,"?Hayes said, "that I gravitate toward stories that offer insights into the issues that we face as a nation, as a people.?Regardless of one's opinion of the war in Iraq, I think most Americans have great respect for the courage of the military servicemen and women serving there, and for the sacrifices they and their families are making right now.?There is a great interest in their personal stories.?So I'm very gratified to be able to work on the World News continuing 'Homefront' series. I also find that members of the military are enormously appreciative when their concerns, contributions and sacrifices are recognized and understood by a national audience.

"And, then, stories like those of Patrick Henry Hughes, the 'blind trumpeter,' are an absolute gift," she continued

"Inter??viewing that extraordinary young man was the opportunity of a lifetime for me.?For those of us who sometimes feel overwhelmed by life's challenges and are tempted to grumble about the troubles we face, Patrick's story is a real awakening.?I don't think anyone can come away from his story unmoved.

She continued, "I wrote in a followup article to the World News story that 'Patrick Henry Hughes quietly makes you listen,' and that is one of his remarkable qualities. His approach to life has so much to teach all of us, young and old.?Stories like his are one of the reasons, some 30 years into this career, that I still absolutely love my job."

Hayes is a four-time winner of the national?Edward R. Murrow award for reporting, a two-time winner of the Alfred I. du Pont-Columbia University silver baton for reporting, a winner of the National Sigma Delta Chi Award, and the National Investigative Reporters and Editors award, among others.

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