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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Soledad O'Brien Speaks in Bristol, Virginia

The Bristol Herald Courier covered Soledad O'Brien's speaking engagement, which was part of the the Bristol Public Library Foundation’s 2009 Discovery Series, at the Kegley Auditorium on Virginia Intermont College’s campus in Bristol, Virginia last month.

Emmy Award-winning television journalist Soledad O’Brien had a lighthearted, yet productive Saturday morning.

She went running, worked out and then bought gloves for her children at the Lee Highway Walmart because “we don’t have one in New York City.”

She even posed for a photo in the middle of State Street to commemorate her first visit to the Twin City.

Later, the CNN correspondent and anchor displayed a more serious side while telling a crowd of 300 about the most interesting and troubling stories she’s covered in her 22-year career.


Despite previously being named to People Magazine’s 50 most beautiful people lists, O’Brien said her looks haven’t been an obstacle to the kind of journalism she wants to practice.

"The content of my work is pretty serious and CNN is pretty serious. I’ve had fewer problems with people thinking you can’t do quality work,” O’Brien said. “One of the reasons I left NBC, a hundred years ago, was because I wanted a wider range of stories.”

O’Brien said it was that desire to pursue more serious reporting and delve more deeply into issues that ultimately prompted her 2003 departure from the anchor desk of NBC’s Weekend Today program.

Her more recent work is a drastic change from a funny Today story about a trapeze school in New York that drew substantial public reaction.

“Trapeze school was great. It was really, really fun to do. But I don’t want on my gravestone, ‘Covered trapeze school really, really well.’ There are other things that I wanted to do,” she said. “Hard news stories were few and far between, except for breaking news.”

In recent years, she has shifted from anchor to correspondent and her “In America” projects have evolved into a separate division.

Currently taking a two-week vacation, O’Brien hopes the change means she will travel less next year, after racking up a million frequent-flyer miles during the past year producing four documentaries.

... to read the full article: CNN’s O’Brien details 22-year career during Bristol stop

Don't recall seeing the Trapeze School New York (TSNY) story referenced in the article? TSNY has O'Brien's report posted on their website.

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