Taylor Henry – A Journalist Committed to the Public Interest
As a child, Taylor Henry was not quite sure whether he wanted to be a Catholic priest or a radio-television reporter. There was one thing, however, that he was sure of. He wanted to make the world a better place for people by helping overcome challenges that lead to divisions and discord. Son of an eminent journalist, the late John R. Henry, who covered World War II for the International News Service, Taylor ultimately chose journalism over a vocation to the priesthood.
When the first opportunity came in May 1979, upon graduation from Spring Hill College, in Mobile, Alabama, Taylor took a job as reporter for local CBS affiliate WKRG TV, and he never looked back. Not veering far from his ideology, journalism gave Taylor the chance to provide the public with useful information that would help people make informed and meaningful decisions for themselves.
Taylor reported for CBS stations KSLA TV, Shreveport, Louisiana, and WWL TV, New Orleans, before joining CNN in 1986. This assignment was perhaps one of his the most prolific periods of his career. As a CNN correspondent, Taylor was the only American journalist allowed on board a U.S. Navy warship in 1988 as a part of the Pentagon Press Pool covering Operation Praying Mantis, a historic naval battle in the Persian Gulf where the U.S. emerged victorious over Iran.
His assignment and experience covering the Middle East led to his re-assignment there in 1991 to cover the Gulf War. Taylor worked as a freelance journalist before being going to work for WDSU-TV, New Orleans, in 1995. It was with WDSU-TV that he and WDSU successfully fought a federal subpoena for the un-aired portions of his exclusive interview with arson suspect Frank Smith, accused of burning down a large New Orleans warehouse. Referred to as an important First Amendment Case, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that reporters have no privilege against legally compelled disclosure of non-confidential information.
In a career spanning over three decades, Taylor has shared information of significant national and international importance with the public, and he has shown his responsibility as a journalist by leaving no opportunity to expose wrong, regardless of political persuasion. In 2006, as News Director at KNOE TV, Monroe, Louisiana, Taylor delivered a bold investigative series exposing the undisclosed courts-martial of Louisiana National Guards troops for looting the very stores and homes that they were meant to protect during Hurricane Katrina. he series, “Names, Ranks, and Serial Plunder: the National Guard and Katrina, earned a prestigious 2008 Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Award.
Apart from active journalism, Taylor Henry has also engaged in documenting and video recording regular events. A composer and musician, Taylor records his own songs, some of which he has posted on the web. He is still active in the Catholic Church. A true seeker, Taylor Henry has recently earned a Juris Doctorate from the David A Clarke School of law in Columbia, adding to his existing master’s degree in mass communication and bachelor’s degree in philosophy and English.