Updated: Dec 3, 2020
Barbara Ormsby is one of the founding members of the Delaware County Press Club and a past president. She is an esteemed journalist who has covered the Delaware Valley for over 61 years.
She grew up in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., graduated from the Wilkes-Barre Business College and went to work for Radio Station WHWL, writing advertising commercials. Barbara moved to Delaware County in 1954 when she married her husband, Bob. He passed in 1998.They have three children and nine grandchildren. She worked as a correspondent at the Delaware County Daily Times for 61 years and KYW Newsradio for 22 years.
How did you get your start in journalism?
I answered an ad in the Daily Times in October 1959 that asked the question "Like to write for money?" Of course! For the next 61 years I was a correspondent for the Daily Times, covering community governmental meetings, school board meetings, and writing feature stories.
Being a correspondent and not a staff writer for the Times allowed me to write for other newspapers simultaneously, including seven years with the Philadelphia Daily News, Today's Post, the Legal Intelligencer, Press Newspapers, the News of Delaware County, Suburban and Wayne Times, and most recently for the Spirit. I also covered events in Delco for UPI. For 22 years I was a correspondent for KYW Newsradio.
How did you become interested in journalism?
I found an interest in journalism when I was editor of my high school newspaper The Maryscript at St. Mary's High School in Wilkes-Barre.
What was the most memorable event you ever covered?
The most memorable event I ever covered was at the White House when a Little League Challenger Team from Ridley Township was invited to the White House to commemorate the signing of the Americans With Disabilities Act. I sat in the bleachers on the South Lawn of the presidential mansion during the ceremonial baseball game, across the aisle from President George W. Bush. We chatted about Delaware County during the game. Later there was a picnic on the lawn.
My next favorite memory of my career was an interview with artist Andrew Wyeth.
As a founding member and past president what do others gain by joining the Press Club?
In 1979, correspondents Dottie Reynolds and Janet Shay, both deceased, and I formed the Delaware County Press Club. Through the years I think the club has provided a community service by sponsoring several debates featuring political candidates, coordinating the annual Communications Day for high school seniors in Delaware County interested in careers in journalism and communications, with break-out sessions facilitated by educators, editors and writers and executives in the PR field. Colleges in the county hosted these events on a rotating basis. The club has also endowed four scholarships, at Penn State, Community College and Temple University. I think the Press Club serves a need by giving those of us in the field of communications a vehicle to share ideas. And it's a great way to learn about the communities in which you live.
What significant changes have you seen in journalism?
I think the focus in journalism today has changed toward broadcast journalism, with smaller publications struggling to hang on. Many people today get their news from social media, and unfortunately, from the rumor mill. Newspapers are getting smaller and costing more.