Anchoring the News
Joy Lim Nakrin '02 is using her platform as a newscaster to do the social justice work she had envisioned herself doing as a lawyer.
As a morning and noon news anchor for NBC10 Boston and New England Cable News, Joy Lim Nakrin ’02 is on the air live for three and a half hours a day, five days a week. But with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts that she maintains with photos and links to stories, the job is a 24-hour-a-day affair, filled with ongoing feedback from the public.
“More people are getting their news online, so we have to think of ourselves less as TV newscasters and more as purveyors of the news,” explains Nakrin, who’s worked in TV journalism for more than a dozen years. “And in these days of heightened political divisions, viewers are especially sensitive to any perceived political bias. We’ve got to work really hard to see all sides, now more than ever,” she says. “We’ve gotten the same response on a story from Democrats and Republicans—that we were slanted either one way or the other.”
A philosophy major at Haverford who earned a law degree from Duke University, Nakrin originally envisioned a legal career working to protect the rights of factory workers overseas. But after interviewing for jobs, she became disillusioned about how much of an impact she could have. She never practiced law, but maintains her license and is a member of the Massachusetts Bar.
“I was 24 and was going through my quarter-life crisis,” says Nakrin, whose mother’s family immigrated to the United States from the Philippines. To clear her head and decide what was next, Nakrin accepted a one-year modeling contract to work in Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong. While there she appeared on a Malaysian reality TV show and was a guest host on MTV Asia.
“That’s when I started thinking about merging my background—law, on-camera experience, and my concern about justice—to become a newscaster. That’s where life changed,” she says.
Nakrin was hired as a sportscaster for ESPN Asia in Singapore, which was looking for an ethnically Asian, English-speaking female reporter to cover sports. She did that for two years, then returned to Boston, where her family had settled, to care for her sick grandfather. She landed her first news anchor job at Fox Connecticut (Hartford), then moved to a bigger market as an anchor/reporter for ABC in Minneapolis. She moved up yet again, getting a job back in Boston with Fox, and is now at NBC. “I really love my job—I love sharing important stories and I love getting involved in the community,” says Nakrin, who frequently volunteers and hosts events for groups ranging from the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center to animal rescue organizations (she owns three rescue dogs). She often does in-studio interviews on her interests and causes.
“One of the most impactful things I’ve done is interview human trafficking survivors,” says Nakrin. “It really shook me, especially when I met a survivor who was just a few years out of ‘the life.’ She shared a lot of graphic detail, and it was haunting.” Because of that initial story, Nakrin brings a survivor-spokesperson into the studio each year to talk about trafficking. “That’s why we become journalists, to be the voice for the voiceless and tell the untold stories,” Nakrin says. “It’s painful but it’s the truth, and the only way for the world to change is if people know the truth.”