Friday, June 01, 2012

Anderson Cooper at Ohio State University

For those wondering why Anderson was missing from the AC360 anchor chair on Wednesday, he had a speaking engagement at The Ohio State University ~

Anderson Cooper stopped by OSU Wednesday as part of OUAB’s ‘An evening with Anderson Cooper’ at the Mershon Auditorium May 30. Cooper discussed his journey to his career as a journalist and TV host on CNN’s ‘Anderson Cooper 360.’

Anderson gave a short interview to the student newspaper reporter covering the event ~

And the write up from the student newspaper, The Lantern ~

Anderson Cooper shares tales of finding ‘true calling’

Anderson Cooper, anchor of CNN’S “Anderson Cooper 360” and star of his own daytime talk show, visited Ohio State’s campus Wednesday to share insight on his journey to becoming a reporter.

With his degree in Liberal Arts from Yale University, Cooper sought out to find his purpose in life.

“I didn’t set out to be a TV anchor. I graduated college not knowing what I wanted to do with my life, I really had no idea,” Cooper explained.

Cooper said he found himself drawn to hard news, particularly as a war correspondent; he described his early travel to Sub-Saharan Africa as eye-opening.

“It was the first time I had to talk myself out of a roadblock, it was the first time I had somebody point a gun at me in anger,” Cooper said.

Wanting to pursue a career as a foreign correspondent, Cooper began applying for entry-level positions at television stations like ABC. But he said he wasn’t very successful. Unable to find someone to give him a chance, Cooper then created his own opportunity.

“My thinking was, I should go places that are really dangerous and pretend to be a reporter and there won’t be a lot of people there,” Cooper said.

With a fake press pass his friend made and a borrowed video camera, Cooper embarked on his journey as a reporter.

During his two-hour talk at OSU, Cooper shared news clips of his reporting in Somalia, Rwanda, and his recent coverage of the Arab Spring where he and his camera crew were attacked.

While working on his coverage of the 1992 famine in Somalia, Cooper said he then realized that journalism was his “true calling.”

“I’ve never seen starvation … I’ve never seen a child die in front of my eyes.” Cooper said. “In Somalia, I really knew that I had found my calling. I knew I couldn’t stop the starvation … but I could bear witness to their struggles and I could provide testimony to their lives.”
Having lost his older brother during his senior year in college, Cooper said he wanted to go places where “the language of loss was spoken.”

“I wanted to be around others who were surviving so that I could myself learn how to survive,” Cooper said.

Having spent the first three years of his carreer as a foreign correspondent and having to witness countless bodies of civilians killed as a result of the genocide in Rwanda and the famine in Somalia, Cooper decided it was time for him to take a break from hard news and venture into other types of reporting.

“Rwanda was sort of the final straw. I decided after that, that I’ve been doing it too long … I was no longer responding the way you should be responding when you see something like this,” Cooper said.

Lisa Nishimura, fourth-year in marketing logistics management, said she was drawn to Cooper’s intelligence and his humility.

“He’s kinda got that down-to-earth quality, but at the same time he’s really good at delivering the hard facts.”

Cooper then went on to hosting ABC’s reality game show “The Mole” for two seasons before he was offered a position at CNN.

Cooper told the OSU audience that despite the often gruesome nature of wars, it is important to pay attention to the issues instead of turning a blind eye to them.
“It’s very tempting to ignore the sadness that other people have to live through … but I do think it’s important not to turn away,” Cooper said. “I think we have to look directly at things that scare us most.”

AC360 Transcript
AC360 Podcast

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Anonymous said...

Thanks for keeping tabs on Anderson for all of us. It's a great idea to get out and talk to students and I hope Anderson had fun with it.

The article from The Lantern is okay but it doesn't mention Channel One or his employment with ABC News between Channel One and The Mole.

I'll have to wait to get the better computer before watching the student interview video.


Anonymous said...

Most students today are really not all that aware of Anderson Cooper.
They are less in awe of him than the crop that came before in 05.
And finally Brian Williams seems to be getting far more recognition with college age students than ever before.
It must be the Jon Stewart influence. The two are really good friends and Jon always praises Brian who is a frequent guest on TDS.
If anybody deserves a Peabody in journalism it IS JON STEWART.
Most college age kids get the news, not from 360, but from The Daily Show.
That is a Fact.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 9:15PM

Not sure where you get your information/"FACTS" but from the tweets, tumblr posts and the video posted here, the OSU students seem to really enjoy Anderson coming to OSU and his speech.

This post is about Anderson's speaking engagement at OSU, perhaps your comment would be best directed to the Peabody awarding committee if you want to lobby for Brian Williams and Jon Stewart.

I enjoy their programs as well.

-- Jenn

The ATA Team said...

@Jaanza - from what I found, Anderson gave a speech, then had another hour of Q&A with the students. I'm sure the student newspaper picked out what they felt were the highlights from his two hours with the group.

Anonymous said...

@Jenn: My facts are from USA Today, the NYT, and the Washington Post.
It has also been observed on Huffpost that MOST college age students DO get their news from The Daily Show and if you look at Anderson's ratings his DEMO is pitiful.
That is a fact.
Here's another FACT.
Most of those future journos will never get jobs in journalism.
Student debt on college loans are currently over the top now, and parents should be questioning the reasoning of sending kids to college at all.
Anderson Cooper doesn't support labor. He NEVER speaks about economic issues that plague students who can't find work and NO, HE does NOT DESERVE another Peabody.
I'm writing this here so it will be read and not by the Peabody Award committee who could also not care about how many students who attended college, got degrees, and now have to sweep floors.
It is about time Mr.Cooper changed his repertoire and spoke about the JOB SITUATION, and NOT HIMSELF.
It is getting tedious!
Obviously you don't have a student in college or any idea of what is happening on college campuses across the country, or how heavily burdened most of our young people are because of college debt.

Anonymous said...


While I don't have a child in college, I have worked at a university for over 20 years and interact with students on a daily basis, so I'm well aware of the issues facing students today. I don't need to read about it in newspapers. But, this post was about Anderson's speaking engagement, not what he covers or doesn't cover on AC360. Just because you don't want to hear him speak or watch AC360 doesn't mean those students that attended didn't enjoy his speech and the Q&A.

FYI - The Peabody Awards are Presented by Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. The Peabody Awards judging process is unusually rigorous. Evaluation of the more than 1,000 entries typically received begins in early February with some 30 committees composed of two University of Georgia faculty or staff members and a selected student. So the Peabody Award recipients are selected by UNIVERSITY faculty, staff and STUDENTS - not "by the Peabody Award committee who could also not care about how many students who attended college, got degrees, and now have to sweep floors" you described. Since you're all about FACTS...

-- Jenn

Anonymous said...

I find it outrageous that students who participated in the Peabody Awards Committee, seemingly don't care about future journalism students who are unable to find jobs.
@Jenn: Since you are employed by a University, you had better hope more of your student body is able to find jobs or someone just might find themselves out of work.
And Mr.Cooper should be ashamed of himself for not supporting labor, whether this is about the Peabody Awards Committee or his lack of concern about students vs. future employment opportunities.
All academia, seems to be totally "OUT OF TOUCH WITH REALITY."