The Baltimore Sun posted an article about Soledad O'Brien and her documentary "Latino in America". Here's an excerpt:
One of the great joys of TV journalism is seeing first-rate correspondents matched up with subject matter that they are passionate about. Think of the late Ed Bradley sitting down to interview a pop culture pioneer whom he admired like Lena Horne, orNBC's Richard Engel in the line of fire covering a war.
CNN's Soledad O'Brien achieves that kind of stature with "Latino in America," a four-hour, two-nightdocumentary series on the experiences of the nation's largest and fastest-growing minority, beginning Wednesday night at 9.
Some might argue that the 43-year-old journalist had already arrived in that elite company with "Black in America" in 2008 and "Black in America 2" this year. But while I think her work was first-rate in those shows, there is something extraordinary about O'Brien's performance and presence in the new Latino documentary.
She is in total command of the subject matter and seems so finely tuned to the nuances of assimilation, multiculturalism and changing notions of identity that you can't help but trust her after just a few minutes of watching. And she forges that same kind of bond with the people she is interviewing and reporting on in the film, getting sullen-looking teenage boys to confess their ethnic insecurities and clinically depressed adolescent girls to talk openly about the pain they feel in being caught between two cultures.
Conversations about race and identity do not come easily in this country, and members of the media do not achieve the kind of rapport O'Brien does by hot-dogging in for on-camera interviews after all the documentary grunt work has been done by producers and other reporters.
"I traveled for a lot of this year six days a week to do this documentary, which is really hard," O'Brien says. "I mean, I love to travel. It's one of the things I love about being a journalist. But six days a week is an insane travel schedule. A lot of the travel was to the West Coast, and I was doing three red-eyes a week."