Soledad O'Brien: 'It's disconcerting' when journalists don't show emotion while reporting

Soledad O’Brien said that when she took a job with CNN in 2003, other journalists thought she was “crazy” for moving from network to cable TV. But it seemed like a no-brainer to O’Brien, who was co-anchor of NBC's “Weekend Today." In a talk at Poynter Wednesday, O'Brien said moving to CNN gave her an opportunity to grow professionally. O’Brien, who started out as co-anchor of CNN's "American Morning" and now works full-time on documentary projects, told me “it’s disconcerting” that some journalists don’t think they should show emotion while reporting stories. “I think people feel that being objective means not having feelings about a story,” O’Brien said. "I never thought that I should not be emotionally connected to a story, whether I’m interviewing a serial killer serving life or a principal of a school, or an elected official. I want to get in their heads, and the only way to get in their heads is to be engaged with who they are.”

  • Mallary Jean Tenore

    As managing editor of The Poynter Institute’s website,, I report on the media news industry, edit the site’s How To section, and moderate the site's live chats. I also help handle the site's social media efforts, and teach social media sessions on the side.


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