Patrick Harrington

MY STORIES:n29008533_31673815_3097


Throughout this class, I was able to talk to a lot of interesting people about topics that I would not really have pursued otherwise. My focus throughout the latter part of the semester was showing how autistic students and their families deal with situations during their time at school.

This problem was one that I had thought of before, because I have had friends with autistic siblings, but I never jumped into the topic. I have always known that people with autism face challenges that others don’t, but I never knew about the extensive help that they receive from the government and local agencies. I was fortunate to have worked with people who were very cooperative and helpful when I called them for interviews.

I felt that by calling someone like Faith Wallin, who has an autistic child named Thomas, I would be intruding. That certainly was not the case. Faith was so helpful and open about telling me Thomas’ story about how his school didn’t handle his autism properly. I spoke with her on the phone for nearly an hour and I learned so much from her, when I was expecting to get turned away.

I think that is what journalism is about. Journalism is about education, letting the public know about something that would be hidden from them otherwise. By just having the guts and confidence to call a stranger and have a heartfelt conversation with them, instead of a cut and dry interview, makes the pursuit of journalistic writing totally worth the effort.


I am a 21-year-old junior at the University of Utah. I am currently declared as a mass communication major.

I grew up in Utah, starting out in the mountainous climes of Summit County. I spent the first 10 years of my life living just outside of Park City in a small town by the name of Wanship. I lived on a small working ranch, even while my dad was a reporter for the ABC affiliate in Salt Lake City, doing national stories for them as well. My mother was also working in Salt Lake City as an attorney. The commute got a little bit old for them, so we then moved to Salt Lake City.

I was fortunate throughout my life that I was able to travel a lot. I think the fact that my father was a journalist and the amount of traveling I did growing up really influenced me to pursue a career in journalism/photography. I have traveled extensively through the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Central America, Scandinavia and Europe. All of the traveling has made me realize there is so much potential for journalistic endeavors and stories across the globe, and many of them are untapped.

I was a member and an editor of my high school newspaper at Judge Memorial Catholic High School. As part of that staff, I established my love for journalism. As a sophomore, I gained an interest in photography. Eight cameras, millions of frames and seven photo classes later, my love of photography has been solidified, and remains one of my biggest passions in life. In addition to photography, I have an undying love for the mountains and the ocean. I am an avid snowboarder and sailor, both of which have taken me to some of the most spectacular places in the world. The fascinating thing about all of these activities that I am interested in is they all can be connected through the medium of journalism.

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