Elizabeth Campbell was born in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. She grew up in Omaha, Nebraska and graduated from Westside High School. She then moved to Texas to attend Baylor University.
She graduated from Baylor University with degrees in journalism and Spanish in 1984. She studied with professors who were investigative reporters. Her journalism adviser was the only English-speaking reporter allowed to cover the Nuremburg trials. He described his experiences of covering the trials of the Nazi war criminals as well as covering the Kennedy and Johnson administrations during his lectures.
His lectures played a vital part in her decision to pursue a career that many believed was too visual for a blind person.
She has had the good fortune to pursue her journalism career, and she has held various reporting jobs at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for 34 years. She feels that her best accomplishments involve stories where reporting and asking questions brought about change for the better.
For instance, she covered a small city where several council members were caught using their city-issued credit cards for shenanigans such as staying at hotels with their mistresses and buying tickets to a Michelle Obama book tour. Another example is a story about homeowners in a small town where a developer wanted to build apartments without regard for the privacy and safety of the property owners. They fought back and over 500 people showed up at a council meeting to protest, and the developer pulled out of the community.
She has had various reporting positions including covering civil courts, economic development, city governments and education while at the Star-Telegram. She enjoyed the court coverage because she wrote about lawsuits and legal issues that highlighted the need for more oversight when companies didn’t’ have good safety practices or when there were lawsuits involving discrimination because of religion or disability.
Covering city governments gave her numerous opportunities to tell people’s stories who were not getting the help or services they needed.
She was attending Baylor University when she decided that she wanted to be a reporter. She was a sophomore and was heading toward a major in Spanish and social work when she discovered she really liked interviewing people so she could write about their lives and issues affecting them.
During her performance reviews, her editors always comment on her ability to earn people’s trust and for reporting on issues fairly and accurately. She feels that her greatest strength is interviewing people and helping them to feel comfortable in telling their stories.
She enjoys interviewing people, and she also likes the challenges of writing articles that will capture the readers’ attention while presenting all sides of an issue. She also likes getting out in the field and spending time getting a good picture of the diverse communities in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
Her mother also majored in journalism at the University of Nebraska. She edited several publications, including a business journal, and formed her own public relations company. Elizabeth counts herself very lucky that she was brought up in an environment where she was expected to do the same things as her two sighted sisters. Her parents often told her that they expected her to do well in school and to go to college like her sisters.
She had to do chores around the house that she didn’t particularly like, but she was not treated differently. Her upbringing helped her become an independent, productive person.
At this point, she is at a crossroads because of the continuous downsizing at newspapers. She is weighing her options and exploring other ways to put her journalism skills to good use.
She is active in the National Federation of the Blind as she is currently the president of the Texas Association of Guide Dog Users, and she has served on their local chapter and state boards.
She has always wanted to help with advocacy as there are so many issues that are vital to the blind and disabled communities, but reporters can’t advocate.
She would like to gain skills in this area because she thinks it would be a perfect fit for her interests, and she believes that her interviewing and writing skills are a good start in this direction.
She likes coming up with solutions to problems, and she is good at adapting to change.