Erin Hayes is a Professor of the Practice of Journalism and Media Studies at College of the Ozarks and a retired national news correspondent for the ABC News national network.
She is a three-time recipient of the prestigious Columbia University Alfred I. duPont- Columbia Award, known as the “broadcast Pulitzer”, for her work as a broadcast journalist. She is also a four-time recipient of the national Edward R. Murrow award for Outstanding Reporting, and a recipient of the Society of Professional Journalist’s Medallion for Excellence in Reporting, the National Headliner Award, the Investigative Reporters and Editors Award, and three regional News Emmy awards for news reporting, among other awards.
In her career as a broadcast journalist –spanning 34 years– she covered subjects ranging from poignant stories of life in America to national breaking news. She reported from the scene of dozens of the nation’s major hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards and floods. She was the lead national reporter for ABC World News Tonight during its 36-day coverage of the 2000 presidential election decision. She covered the nation’s response to the 9-11 disaster, the Space Shuttle Columbia explosion, and the Oklahoma City bombing. Her awards for investigative reporting recognized her work covering gang crime, terrorism, aviation disasters, and government blunders, among other topics.
She began her career as a broadcaster at the College of the Ozarks radio station in 1976. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at College of the Ozarks, and went on to work as a reporter in newsrooms at KTHS Radio in Berryville, Arkansas, KYTV in Springfield, Missouri, WSMV-TV in Nashville, and WDAF-TV in Kansas City. In 1989, she became a news correspondent for the CBS News national network. In 1993, she became a national news correspondent for the ABC News network. She retired from ABC News in early 2013.
She served as an adjunct professor of Journalism and Media at College of the Ozarks from August of 2010 to May of 2015. In June of 2015, she was named a Professor of the Practice of Journalism and Media Studies at College of the Ozarks.
As a journalism professor, she works to encourage and guide young people of integrity to shine the light of truth in newsrooms across the nation.