NBC Philadelphia’s investigative reporter Harry Hairston was named Journalist of the Year at the Pennsylvania Association of Black Journalists Saturday.
Hairston joined NBC Philadelphia in 2004 as an investigative reporter, already having an impressive resume and a reputation as one of the best crime-fighting reporters in Detroit.
Seven years later, Hairston has lived up to that reputation to become one of a respected and recognized journalist in Philadelphia.
"I’m stunned, and then I’m shocked, and then I’m appreciative, then I’m humbled," Hairston, a native of Pittsburgh, Pa., said in his acceptance speech.
The PABJ voted on who they felt most deserved the award. Other honorees included Jesse Washington of the Associated Press, journalist Heshimu Jaramogi, Syracuse University’s Lorraine Branham, along with Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff of Universal Companies.
"Harry is one of a kind," says Chris Blackman, NBC Philadelphia’s Vice President of News. "He truly cares about people and he gives a voice to those who normally go unheard. He never takes 'no' for an answer, and gets real satisfaction in getting results. And as one of our viewers so eloquently put it - after Harry helped her resolve an issue – 'Harry's the man, pots and pans!'"
With his work on NBC Philadelphia’s Investigators team, Hairston has gained a reputation as a crime fighter whose mission is to expose fraud, scams, corruption and schemes that impact local residents. Among his 2010 work was an investigative piece that exposed the dirty secrets of child abusers.
"It’s something that will be here in my heart for a very long time and I hope I can continue to live up to the expectations,” Hairston said about receiving the honor.