Anderson Cooper gives Elon University “A 360 Degree Look at World Events”

April 8, 2009 at 4:20 am Leave a comment

Anderson Cooper shares his international reporting experiences at Elon University. 

By Patrick McCabe

Written April 7, 2009

“I’d never actually studied journalism,” said CNN anchor Anderson Cooper. “But I was always fascinated by news and television.”

Anderson Cooper speaks at Elon University.

Anderson Cooper speaks at Elon University.

Anderson Cooper arrived on Elon’s campus around noon today and spent the day interacting with students and faculty. He visited three classes, met with countless communications students and faculty, took part in an intimate question and answer session and spoke a gymnasium full of students, faculty, trustees and public individuals.

“You are trying to bring people along a journey and if you can find a way to make them fell as if they have walked in another person’s shoes than you have been successful,” said Cooper, on his motivation behind reporting. “My job is to tell the story and I think it is a great privilege to tell people’s stories.”

At Cooper’s speech entitled “A 360 Look at World Events” he talked a lot about the importance of sharing others stories. Through out his career he has traveled to many different countries and has had incredible experiences reporting.

“You can’t allow your own fears to affect what you are reporting,” said Cooper. “We must look into things that scare us.”

Cooper has faced many life-threatening situations. From barricading himself in a hotel room in Iraq to filming his translator fill the gas tank while being shot at in sniper alley, Cooper has really seen it all and reported every step of the way.

He began his career with a forged press pass, a camera and by sneaking into Burma to talk to students fighting the Burmese government. After working for a number of news organizations Cooper has secured a nightly show on CNN called Anderson Cooper 360. He continues to act as a war correspondent and travels to war zones often.

“I insist on going to war zones and conflict zones at least twice a year,” Cooper said. “There is always a story to tell and we cannot be afraid to try and tell it.”

After he spoke he gave the audience the opportunity to ask questions. One of the questions a student asked was how he is able to separate himself from the stories he reports on.

“There are times when you can do something,” Cooper said. “I don’t see a huge conflict with being a human and a reporter at the same time.”

Cooper also commented on the current state of news programming.

“There is this increasing tendency in television to take a political view,” Cooper said. “People expect their news to have a slant but what they should expect is the facts. I don’t think anyone cares about what I think and it isn’t my job to share my views.”

With the current state of the economy and the ever-changing field of communications some students looked to Anderson Cooper for advice on journalisms future.

“I think there is going to be some new outlet for reporting and I am pretty optimistic about the future of it,” Cooper said. “My company would love me to be twitting and web casting all the time. No one really knows what the future holds so it will be interesting to see.”

See part of Anderson Cooper’s speech:



Entry filed under: Guest appearances, Journalism. Tags: , , , , , , .

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