Emmy-Award Winning Graduate Speaks at Scranton

    University of Scranton alumna Nicole Young, 16-time Emmy Award-winning producer of 60 Minutes, discussed “Covering Crisis as a Woman” as part of the Schemel Forum’s World Affairs Luncheon Seminars.
    March 3, 2020
    By: Anastasia McClendon

    “My womanhood and the things I do as a woman are not going to slow me down or stop my story,” Emmy Award-winning producer of 60 Minutes, Nicole Young, said at a recent Schemel Forum luncheon on campus.

    Young, a graduate of The University of Scranton, spoke about her harrowing experiences covering news in unique and dangerous situations as not only a woman, but also as a person of color.

    In her talk, “Covering Crisis as a Woman,” Young gives her account of the harder stories that she has covered in her years working as a producer of 60 Minutes. She gave context to stories before playing different segments of her work that took place in areas such as South Sudan, Afghanistan, China, Haiti and Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Newtown, Connecticut.

    “I will give you a warning: the stories I cover are hard,” Young said.

    Young spoke about how during some points of her career she had to leave behind her determination to get the story herself and put the safety of her team before her.

    For example, while doing a story about gold in the Democratic Republic of Congo, although Young meticulously planned the excursion into a militia-held goldmine, the night before it was to take place her 60 Minutes anchor Scott Pelley pulled her aside, urging her to realize that it was safer for herself and everyone involved if she stayed behind.

    “It was a moment where I had to make a decision that was more about being smarter as a producer than it was about being a woman,” Young said.

    Young explained that the appearance of her team and how they were traveling would signal that they had valuables. Young also explained how the militias in the area were known to use sexual violence as leverage and as the only woman in her team, it was not improbable that the militia would take her as a hostage.

    “I was mad because something that I obviously can’t help – being a woman -– put the rest of my team in danger,” Young said. 

    Young closed the seminar thanking everyone for bearing witness to the stories she has covered.

    “All of these stories, I feel, have been the greatest privilege of my life – to be able to cover regardless of the danger and how hard they are, how sad they are, how complex they are – because it has allowed me to be the best person, wife and mother I can be,” Young said. “I’ve been humbled by the women I’ve been able to meet. Every single woman who shared their story leaves me so honored. I hope I have another 20 years of being able to hear more.” 

    The seminar was part of the Schemel Forum’s World Affairs Luncheon Seminars, which are sponsored by Munley Law. The next seminar in the series will take place at noon, on Mar. 6, in the Rose Room in Brennan Hall. The topic is “Navigating in an Uncertain World: Global Challenges, Populism and Brexit” with guest speaker David Donoghue, Ph.D., Ireland’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations (2013-2017).

    Anastasia McClendon ’20, Chinchilla, is an English major at The University of Scranton.
    Anastasia McClendon ’20, Chinchilla, is an English major at The University of Scranton.
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