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Featured Alumna: Elizabeth Donatelli (IPJ 02)

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Elizabeth Donatelli (IPJ 02) is a political reporter for WAVE-TV in Louisville, Ky. where she has covered a wide range of topics from the election of Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) to the current state budget crisis.

Donatelli began her career as a student in the Institute on Political Journalism at TFAS where she interned with MSNBC. She remembers her first time stepping into the newsroom on 400 N. Capitol Street in Washington, D.C. vividly.

“Once inside I couldn’t get enough,” said Donatelli. “I learned the lingo, how to research and the fast pace of the news.”

At MSNBC, Donatelli learned how to dig through information to find experts and book them under very tight deadlines – a skill she still uses today.

“My internship introduced me to news in its fastest pace and largest arena. I was excited to go to work every day, and it inspired me to make journalism my career,” Donatelli added.

Donatelli also credits her TFAS coursework with much of her success. “To this day, I still remember my economics class,” she explained. “Economics was not part of my journalism curriculum, but has obviously been the focus of news stories across the country since the market collapsed. Luckily, through TFAS I had the necessary background to understand the financial problems. This knowledge allows me to tell better stories and be a better reporter.”

In 2009 Donatelli was nominated for her first Emmy. That same year she won first place for a story about two strangers donating a kidney from the Society of Professional Journalists.

In 2010 Donatelli was nominated for an Associated Press political nomination award after covering Paul and the United States Senate race in 2010. She also received an investigation nomination after uncovering a Kentucky Derby ticket scam, which led to one man facing criminal charges.

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