Cliff Harrington has been named The Herald’s new editor.
Harrington, interim editor in Rock Hill since November, has spearheaded community news since 1987, when he joined The Charlotte Observer, a sister newspaper of The Herald. Both newspapers are owned by McClatchy, a leading media company in 29 U.S. markets.
“Cliff’s deep experience leading community journalism efforts makes him an excellent fit to lead coverage in York, Lancaster and Chester counties, where The Herald and Fort Mill Times have histories of strong local news coverage and watchdog journalism,” said Sherry Chisenhall, executive editor of The Charlotte Observer. “He has done outstanding work leading The Herald’s newsroom and helping the news team continue its transition to a digital newsroom.”
Harrington, a native Rockingham, N.C., has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from UNC-Chapel Hill. He also completed postgraduate studies, at Miami University of Ohio, with a focus on community news, and the University of Maryland, with a focus on writing about minorities.
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“Community news and small-town coverage have been my passion since I walked into a newsroom,” Harrington said. “The Herald has been an institution in this region for good reason, doing good journalism that impacts lives, and I see that continuing.”
Harrington started as a sports intern at The Ledger-Enquirer in Columbus, Ga., then moved on to become a police and courts reporter in Greenville. He joined The Observer and has served in leadership roles including night assistant state editor, Union County bureau chief in Monroe, N.C., and editor of the South Charlotte and Lake Norman sections.
He helped lead the massive expansion of the regional bureau system in the late 1980s, said Chisenhall, and he edited Mecklenburg Neighbors and was part of the Taking Back Our Neighborhoods project in the 1990s.
“He was the first editor to oversee the Observer’s suburban and minority coverage team in the 1990s,” she said. “He was part of a team honored by the Charlotte Area Association of Black Journalists for an Observer project on race relations in the 1990s.”
Harrington sees Rock Hill as a place to continue bringing community news that matters to its readers.
“Readers may not like what they read, but they’ll be able to trust it,” Harrington said. “If readers trust us, we’ll have the opportunity to prove what we do is based in fairness and accuracy. That’s the future I want.”
Harrington also is charged with helping to expand online coverage. He helped in the transition of Charlotte print sections to digital publications in 2016.
“No matter where our readers get their news, people want to read what’s going on close to them,” he said.
Harrington and wife Mary Ann, a native of Chester, have one daughter, Jazmin, 14. He is a guitarist who also played competitive tennis.
Catherine Muccigrosso: 803-329-4069