FOX Fan: Where did you grow up?
Harris Faulkner: I spent my school-age years on military bases all over the place — from Atlanta, Georgia all the way to Stuttgart, Germany. Since I was often one of just a few American children in an off-base preschool class, some of my early words were in German. My father was off on one of his three tours of duty as an Army pilot in Vietnam, while my mom and I awaited his return at a base in Stuttgart. As a kid, my mother taught me to embrace change and the people we met, many of whom were from all over the world.
FF: What kinds of things did you like to do as a kid?
HF: Dodge ball and all things fashion!
FF: How did you get started in journalism?
HF: In a very basic sense. “Show and Tell” in first grade helped me form a foundation for storytelling on television: good visuals with a compelling story. Years later, in college, I wrote for the campus newspaper and interned at an off-campus publication. After graduating from the University of California at Santa Barbara, an internship at a Los Angeles television station really prepared me for my early years reporting and writing for TV news. My first TV job was as a general assignment reporter at a station in the small town of Greenville, North Carolina.
FF: With six EMMY Awards and 14 years in front of the camera, what are some of the more memorable stories you have covered?
HF: From killer snow storms in the North to hurricanes in the East to tornadoes and deadly flooding in the Midwest… from the AIDS crisis in South Africa to the disappearance of Natalee Holloway on the island of Aruba… from the Oklahoma City bombing to the plane crash of U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone… from the Final Four Tournament in New Orleans to the AFC Championship in Buffalo… from interviewing presidential candidates in a swing state to sitting down with the surprise winner of the Minnesota governor’s race, Jesse Ventura… from anchoring hour-long town hall meetings on explosive topics like racial profiling to hosting live newscasts from the nation’s second largest state fair.
FF: As of today, what is the proudest moment of your career?
HF: Giving the acceptance speech for my first EMMY Award.
FF: Who are some of your influences?
HF: Personally, I have to say my mom and dad. Professionally they are Nelson Mandela, Deepak Chopra, Barbara Walters, Michael Jordan, Rev. Joyce Meyer, international speaker and author, Oprah Winfrey, Ed Bradley and Diane Sawyer.
FF: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not on the air?
HF: When I’m not on the air broadcasting the news, you’ll often find me writing a speech or giving one to audiences around the country. My life’s goal: Inspire before I expire! We’re all recovering, suffering, succeeding, losing, winning, laughing and crying. The difference is where we are along that journey and living the best life we can no matter the circumstances. We must always look on the bright side and seek the light of goodness and peace. The sunflower is my inspiration. Did you ever notice how a sunflower in a field acts like a satellite dish for the sun? It’s true, their beautiful yellow blooms always find the light, even at dusk, its weakest hour. That’s how we as humans should be — always turning our fuzzy backsides to darkness and turning our faces toward the light.
FF: Rapid fire! When was the last time you…
Did something spontaneous?
HF: All the time! Routine is so overrated!
You got really, really mad at yourself?
HF: On the tennis court. That’s where I am most competitive and usually quite wrong about my potential!
You laughed uncontrollably?
HF: It doesn’t take much to make me laugh because I’m a girl who truly believes there is NO PLACE THAT’S INAPPROPRIATE FOR KAROAKE.
You thought something was impossible but accomplished it anyway?
HF: With our equipment running out of battery power, no electricity, no running water or a food source, photojournalist Jason Hanson and I were hot, worried, and stuck. How in the world would we transmit our first live report for the news back home to Minneapolis, Minnesota from a tiny village in the middle of Zulu territory in South Africa?
We only had minutes to pull it together. Emaciated cows passed over our live shot location, destitute children played with sticks nearby. Our minds, of course, drifted to the suffering we were witnessing in that drought-stricken land — but we had a job to do. We needed to turn our equipment toward the satellite above the Indian Ocean and beam home a live report. Would our batteries hold out? Would my colleagues see us back home or announce our absence because of technical difficulties? Then, suddenly, in my earpiece, the sound of some incredible words, “And, joining us live from more than 8,000 miles away with our special report on the AIDS crisis in South Africa, our own anchor Harris Faulkner.” And, all was well, on that day.
Harris Faulkner is an on-air anchor for FNC and currently appears most often during primetime newsbreaks.