Thursday, June 17, 2010

Soledad O'Brien: How I Got Here

As part of CNN's "In America" series, a new feature called "How I Got Here" has debuted on According to CNN, the feature examines "newsmakers, places or events and the path taken to reach the present".

Soledad O'Brien is the first person to be featured, and writes about the challenges she has faced, and how she defines herself.

Q: Who are you? How do you define yourself?

A: I would have to say what day are we talking about? Are we talking about the days where I am dashing to school with my kids, then I am a mom. If I am late for a meeting in the office, then I am a working mom. Am I out to dinner with my husband, on one of our rare dates alone, then I am a wife, been married 15 years to a guy I met in college, who has been my best friend forever. I am a journalist. If I am knee-deep in covering a story, like Haiti, then I am a journalist, a working journalist, covering breaking news. If I am doing a documentary and on a plane, then I am a reporter working on a story that sometimes takes literally years to get done. So I guess I am a lot of things, so my identity is all based on where I am at the moment where somebody has asked me. Some days, I am a philanthropist. Some days, I am just an over-worked working mother.

Today, I was giving a tour to a bunch of kids from my kids' school, a bunch of fourth graders and I was someone who they kept asking "How did you get this job? How do you get this job? How do you get this job?" And I was just a person opening doors to opportunities that they really literally have never seen. These are all kids who have Wii's and iPods and every sort of technology at home but have never seen the kind of technology we have at CNN and it was just great to see them so amazed and literally quizzing the editors, "How do you get to do this?" "How do you get to be the person taking in the satellite feeds? "How do you get to be the person who gets to be working behind the camera?" "How do you get to do that?" So today I was kind of opening a door for kids who you know have never really had that type of opportunity. So I guess I identify in a lot of different ways depending on what I am doing.

Read the full Q&A with Soledad here.

Related: TV Newser chats with Soledad O'Brien at a New York screening of her latest CNN assignment - "Gary and Tony Have a Baby", which premieres on CNN at 8pm on June 24.

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