Alumni Spotlight: Tracy Townsend (B.A. Journalism, 1988)

Tracy Townsend When it came time to choose a major at Ohio State, journalism was an easy decision for Tracy Townsend. She knew she wanted to be a reporter ever since she began writing for her high school newspaper. Now, she co-anchors the noon and 5:30 p.m. broadcasts of 10TV News on WBNS in Columbus, Ohio.

As a student at Ohio State, Townsend wrote for The Lantern and explained that her experience was significantly impacted by the political events taking place in the 1980s.

“At the time, the university was significantly invested in South Africa, so there was a strong movement to get the trustees of the university to divest. Nelson Mandela was still in jail and Jesse Jackson ran for president,” Townsend recalled.

Before Townsend’s professional career began, she landed an internship in Washington D.C. at The Institute for Political Journalism.

“I got to go to the White House and watch professionals do what I thought I wanted to do every day,” Townsend said. “I went to Capitol Hill and saw some of these people, and I was fascinated with what they did and I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”

Townsend is also 10TV’s Medical Correspondent and is heavily involved in 10TV’s Production on “Toward A Cancer Free World.” She rides in Pelotonia every year, a bike tour that raises money for cancer research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center. Townsend is herself a breast cancer survivor — or as she likes to describe herself and all survivors, “a conqueror and a warrior.”

Tracy Townsend interviewing doctor

“I want to help other people who are battling all kinds of cancer or getting a diagnosis to advocate for themselves,” Townsend explained. “Particularly women and women of color don’t ask questions and don’t advocate for themselves, so I want to help them do those things.”

“I love that no day is the same,” Townsend said when asked about what her favorite part of being an anchor at 10TV News. She added that she loves the excitement of breaking news, and that what she is currently doing encapsulates everything she could ever want in a job.

Article written by student Erika Hastings