Two countries. Five internships. Nine news directors. Twenty years of journalism experience. Countless awards.
Although the numbers themselves are impressive, the inspiring story and outstanding achievements of Hagit Limor are far more extraordinary.
At age 8, Limor and her family traveled from Israel to the United States. Growing up in Nashville, Tenn., Limor naturally dreamed of becoming a professional singer. But, pen in hand, the dream faded and Limor quickly found her love for language on a blank sheet of paper.
“Writing was a natural choice,” she said.
Limor decided to pursue a career in journalism after interning for WSMV-TV, the NBC affiliate in Nashville, as a high-schooler. While at Northwestern University, she supplemented her education with various internships at media outlets in Georgia, Illinois and Rhode Island.
“I truly could have worked my entire career in any medium — print, radio or TV — but my first job offer came from a television station,” she said.
Today, Limor serves more than 365,000 people in Cincinnati at WCPO-TV. Recently, her news director, Bob Morford, moved her from anchor and general assignment reporter to an investigative reporter.
“After the initial shock, I embraced it, and it turned out to be the best move for me,” Limor said. “I now look at change as an opportunity.”
Limor has experienced several defining moments throughout her career, such as watching the execution of an inmate she had interviewed just one day before.
On a separate story, Limor served as the only reporter to speak with Harold McQueen, who was executed in Kentucky in 1997.
However, Limor’s favorite story was last year when she accompanied her father to Germany for a trial on the murder of his family during World War II.
“I had to bridge the personal and professional to make this story work, and I was blown away by the response to it from our community,” she said.
The story, titled “Journey for Justice,” won Limor a 2006 Sigma Delta Chi award in the television feature category.
But, through stories written and awards won, Limor understands the most important issue facing journalism today is the erosion of public trust. And she has learned to take individual steps to help level the public’s confidence in journalism.
“This is not an issue the industry can address; trust is earned one person at a time,” Limor said.
And with the ability to earn trust, Limor has taken individual steps to an organization that is working to improve and protect journalism, the Society of Professional Journalists.
Limor’s commitment to SPJ far exceeds accurate reporting and high ethical standards. She is the 2007 president for the Cincinnati Pro chapter.
“Hagit has been outstanding in her new role as SPJ president, bringing new energy and ideas into the organization and helping to restore our sense of focus,” said Amanda Van Benschoten, Cincinnati Professional chapter member and reporter for The Kentucky Enquirer.
Other chapter members agree.
“Hagit is organized, a terrific communicator, and well-respected,” said Felix Winternitz, Cincinnati Professional chapter vice president and senior editor of Cincy Business magazine.
During the past two months, Limor increased the chapter’s membership by 30 percent, assigned leadership roles, relaunched the Web site, encouraged diversity and rewrote the bylaws.
“Her determination, enthusiasm and sense of focus has provided tremendous guidance and a sense of excitement among the board so far, and I only expect that to continue in the future,” Van Benschoten said.