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Alumni Profile

Alumna Finds Success as International Journalist

Featured in the Fall 2015 issue of the Media, Film & Journalism Studies newsletter, Perspectives.

Neela EyunniNeela Eyunni ('08), author, news anchor and television host, is an international triple threat. As a journalism studies major at DU, she gained critical experience in preparation for her career today.

Eyunni's first journalism class at DU, Newswriting and Reporting, sparked her interest in writing. Her role as news editor for the DU Clarion student newspaper fueled her passion for journalism. "It's cool as a student to see your byline, write your own stuff and pitch your own ideas," said Eyunni.

In 2006, she studied abroad in China as a part of the Cherrington Global Scholars program. When she decided to return to China after graduation, she thought it would be for a short adventure, rather than to launch a successful international career.

Eyunni is currently a news anchor in Beijing, China for China Central Television (CCTV News International). She leads live international news programs, hosts in­studio discussions with government and industry experts and interviews CCTV correspondents around the world.

Eyunni also co­anchors a televised news show, Asia Today . Prior to becoming an anchor, she was the first foreign journalist on the CCTV news reporting team and also worked as a freelance journalist for FORTUNE China.

"I love working in media in China. It's exciting to be a journalist in a country where so much happens on a daily basis; the country dominates headlines," she said. However, her rewarding role did not come without a cost. Eyunni explained that the language barrier as well as cultural and censorship differences presented challenges in the beginning, but ultimately made her a stronger journalist.

In 2014, Eyunni published an illustrated children's book, Cee Cee's World Adventures: Beijing Bound, about a young girl's travels in Beijing. "The book was a fun creative test and has allowed me to share my experiences and the aspects I love about life in Beijing," she said.

Eyunni also recently produced and narrated her first documentary, On the Brink: The Whale Sharks of the Philippines, which will be released later this year. The film takes an in­-depth look at the booming whale shark tourism industry in the Philippines and its potential threat to marine life. "As an advocate for marine life conservation, the documentary is a work of passion for me.

Interacting with these majestic animals up close during filming was a life­changing experience," said Eyunni.

What advice would Eyunni share with current students? She explained that it's important to gain as much experience as possible through internships, coursework and professional organizations. In her experience, employers seek multi­dimensional journalists who are able to write, report, shoot and edit stories.

"DU is a rare college where the sky really is the limit. The opportunities exist, so it's up to you to make the most of them," she said.

Eyunni credits DU as a catalyst for her international career. "I feel incredibly grateful for my education and experiences at DU which gave me not only the tools, but also the passion and confidence to do what I love on the other side of the world."