Ann Curry

Journalist / Host


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In her three-hour interview, Ann Curry talks about her childhood, and the impact her parents had on her worldview and her eventual career path, in particular her father’s advice to pick a career that would allow her to “be of service” to others. She discusses studying journalism at the University of Oregon and how a post-college internship at KTVL in Medford, Oregon led to her being hired as that station’s first female reporter. She talks about other local news positions she held and what she learned from working in local markets, and how she came to be hired by NBC News in New York. Curry touches on some of the most important and impactful stories she covered while at NBC News, including the war in Kosovo, the genocide in Darfur, climate change, and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. She also discusses major interviews she did for NBC News with world leaders, including Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Benazir Bhutto, as well as one of her favorite interviews, with Maya Angelou. She talks about her time as news anchor on Today, as well as her move to co-anchor of the show. Curry shares her thoughts on what makes a successful interview, her guiding principles in the stories she covers, the then-current state of journalism, and advice for aspiring journalists. She concludes with a discussion of her then-current projects, her proudest career achievements, and how she would like to be remembered. Jenni Matz conducted the interview on March 28, 2019 in New York, NY.

"It’s not about being loved. It’s not even about being liked or admired or awarded. It’s about doing the right thing for as many people as you can. And with my particular skill set, it’s about telling stories that are true, that I can stand behind.”

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Ann Curry on broadcasting live from the South Pole on Today
Ann Curry on interviewing Maya Angelou
Ann Curry on being hired as a reporter at KTVL in Medford, Oregon, a station that had never before had a female reporter, and on the sexism she faced on the job
Ann Curry on interviewing Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto
Ann Curry on advice to aspiring journalists
Ann Curry on reporting on the Darfur genocide, and on why she was so committed to covering the atrocity and other stories she cared about deeply
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On her childhood and early influences, including the impact her parents had on her, and on moving around the world a lot growing up due to her father's career in the Navy; on how television news coverage of the events of the day impacted her as a child and young adult
On studying journalism at the University of Oregon, and on her shift from newspaper reporting to broadcast journalism; on her television news internship at KTVL in Medford, Oregon; on being hired as the first female reporter at KTVL
On learning on the job as a reporter at KTVL; on an impactful piece of advice she received early on in her career about the need for journalists to pursue the truth; on an impactful tweet she sent from Haiti following the 2010 earthquake there; on not being comfortable on-camera early on in her career
On being hired as a reporter at KGW in Portland, Oregon, and on what she learned from working in local markets; on being hired at KCBS in Los Angeles; on the lack of journalistic role models who were women or people of color early in her career
On being hired by NBC News; on moving from reporting to anchoring, and on fighting for coverage of stories she cared about; on reporting on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and on reporting from Darfur

Chapter 2

On becoming the news anchor on Today in 1997; on working with her Today co-hosts, and on the fun she had on the show; on using her Today platform to cover climate change; on broadcasting live from the South Pole
On reporting on the war in Kosovo for Today; on her contributions to NBC News' and Today's coverage of 9/11 and its aftermath
On how she prepares herself to cover traumatic events and areas, and on how she recovers from such coverage; on her dedication to covering the genocide in Darfur, and on how she approached interviewing the leaders involved in that conflict; on interviewing President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
On covering the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo; on interviewing Maya Angelou; on what makes a successful interview, and on her most successful interviews, including with Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto; on interviewing world leaders who are using translators

Chapter 3

On how she approached the stories she covered when she was working on Dateline, Today, and NBC Nightly News; on becoming co-anchor on Today; on the Comcast-NBC merger
On her first broadcast as Today co-anchor; on the impact of new technology and digital media on Today; on working with Matt Lauer as her co-host; on the end of her time on Today
On the public's perception of broadcast news; on how the press should respond to criticism and attacks from presidents and the public; on the then-current outlets and sources doing unbiased journalism well
On the impact of the public getting their news from social media, and on the then-future of journalism; on inappropriate behavior she witnessed at NBC News, and on the battle against harassment in the workplace
On her docuseries We'll Meet Again, and other then-current projects; on accolades she has received over the course of her career; on advice to aspiring journalists; on her greatest career achievements, and on what she has learned from storie she's covered; on how she would like to be remembered
Shows

Dateline

View Show Page
Ann Curry on how she approached the stories she covered at the time when she was co-anchoring Dateline, news correspondent on Today, and occasional sub on the NBC Nightly News

NBC News

View Show Page
Ann Curry on being hired at NBC News
Ann Curry on interviewing Laurent Nkundu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for NBC News, and on the impact of interviewing a young woman who had been victimized by soldiers under his leadership
Ann Curry on the Comcast-NBC merger, and on her interactions with new executives at NBC and NBC News

NBC Nightly News

View Show Page
Ann Curry on how she approached the stories she covered at the time when she was co-anchoring Dateline, news correspondent on Today, and occasional sub on the NBC Nightly News

Today

View Show Page
Ann Curry on becoming the news anchor on Today in 1997
Ann Curry on her co-hosts on Today, and on the fun she had on the show
Ann Curry on being an anchor on Today, and how she had learned to be comfortable on camera by that point in her career
Ann Curry on the "Ends of the Earth" series on Today and why she was committed to using it as an opportunity to discuss climate change, and on broadcasting live from the South Pole
Ann Curry on reporting on the war in Kosovo for Today
Ann Curry on 9/11, and on how she contributed to NBC News' reporting on the tragedy, and on going to Ground Zero on September 12th and every day for weeks after
Ann Curry on her dedication to covering the genocide in Darfur for Today, and on interviewing the leaders involved in the conflict
Ann Curry on interviewing Maya Angelou
Ann Curry on interviewing Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto
Ann Curry on how she approached the stories she covered at the time when she was co-anchoring Dateline, news correspondent on Today, and occasional sub on the NBC Nightly News
Ann Curry on not having expected to become co-anchor on Today, and on how she felt when she got the offer
Ann Curry on receiving the offer to be co-host on Today, and on her first day in the role, and on wanting to remain true to her mission of covering news stories that matter
Ann Curry on how decisions were made about stories when she was co-anchor on Today, and on the increasing pressure of new technologies on the broadcast program
Ann Curry on not internalizing pressure as the female host on Today, and on competing for interviews and the idea of chemistry between hosts
Ann Curry on how she found out she would no longer be co-host of Today
Topics

9/11

View Topic
Ann Curry on 9/11, and on how she contributed to NBC News' reporting on the tragedy, and on going to Ground Zero on September 12th and every day for weeks after

Advice

View Topic
Ann Curry on advice for aspiring journalists

Creative Influences and Inspiration

View Topic
Ann Curry on the advice her father gave her growing up about choosing a profession that was of service to others, and how this led her to journalism
Ann Curry on how television, and in particular television journalism, impacted her growing up, and how that led to her career choices
Ann Curry on studying journalism at the University of Oregon, and on her shift from newspaper reporting to broadcast journalism with an internship at KTVL in Medford, Oregon

Diversity in Television

View Topic
Ann Curry on being hired as a reporter at KTVL in Medford, Oregon, a station that had never before had a female reporter, and on the sexism she faced on the job
Ann Curry on aspiring to be a news anchor like Walter Cronkite early in her career, and how she navigated her ambitions with few available role models in broadcast journalism who were women or people of color
Ann Curry on inappropriate behavior she witnessed at NBC News, and on the then-current battle to prevent harassment of women in the workplace
Ann Curry on how she has seen opportunities for women and people of color change in journalism over the course of her career

Donald J. Trump

View Topic
Ann Curry on how the press should respond to President Trump's assertion that they are "the enemy of the people", and on past presidents' relationships with the press

First Big Break

View Topic
Ann Curry on being hired by NBC News, and on moving from reporting to anchoring

Historic Events and Social Change

View Topic
Ann Curry on being hired as a reporter at KTVL in Medford, Oregon, a station that had never before had a female reporter, and on the sexism she faced on the job
Ann Curry on aspiring to be a news anchor like Walter Cronkite early in her career, and how she navigated her ambitions with few available role models in broadcast journalism who were women or people of color
Ann Curry on reporting on the Darfur genocide, and on why she was so committed to covering the atrocity and other stories she cared about deeply
Ann Curry on reporting on the war in Kosovo for Today
Ann Curry on 9/11, and on how she contributed to NBC News' reporting on the tragedy, and on going to Ground Zero on September 12th and every day for weeks after
Ann Curry on her dedication to covering the genocide in Darfur for Today, and on interviewing the world leaders involved in the conflict, including President of Sudan Omar al-Bashir and President of Chad Idriss Deby
Ann Curry on inappropriate behavior she witnessed at NBC News, and on the then-current battle to prevent harassment of women in the workplace
Ann Curry on how she has seen opportunities for women and people of color change in journalism over the course of her career

Media Consolidation

View Topic
Ann Curry on the Comcast-NBC merger, and on her interactions with new executives at NBC and NBC News

Minorities

View Topic
Ann Curry on aspiring to be a news anchor like Walter Cronkite early in her career, and how she navigated her ambitions with few available role models in broadcast journalism who were women or people of color

New Media

View Topic
Ann Curry on her feelings on the responsibility of journalists, and on how this influences her reporting and other choices, including tweeting about the need for Doctors Without Borders to be allowed into Haiti after the 2010 earthquake
Ann Curry on how the advent of new technology and digital outlets impacted editorial and broadcast decisions on Today when she was co-anchor, and on the then-future of television
Ann Curry on the impact of the public getting their news from social media and other free sources, and on the importance of the public subscribing to news outlets, and on the possibilities of the then-future of journalism

Overcoming Adversity

View Topic
Ann Curry on being hired as a reporter at KTVL in Medford, Oregon, a station that had never before had a female reporter, and on the sexism she faced on the job

Pivotal Career Moments

View Topic
Ann Curry on the advice her father gave her growing up about choosing a profession that was of service to others, and how this led her to journalism
Ann Curry on how television, and in particular television journalism, impacted her growing up, and how that led to her career choices
Ann Curry on studying journalism at the University of Oregon, and on her shift from newspaper reporting to broadcast journalism with an internship at KTVL in Medford, Oregon
Ann Curry on being hired as a reporter at KTVL in Medford, Oregon, a station that had never before had a female reporter, and on the sexism she faced on the job
Ann Curry on her feelings on the responsibility of journalists, and on how this influences her reporting and other choices, including tweeting about the need for Doctors Without Borders to be allowed into Haiti after the 2010 earthquake
Ann Curry on being hired by NBC News, and on moving from reporting to anchoring
Ann Curry on interviewing Maya Angelou
Ann Curry on various accolades she has received over the course of her career, and what they have meant to her

Public Television

View Topic
Ann Curry on her PBS docuseries We'll Meet Again

Television Industry

View Topic
Ann Curry on her feelings on the responsibility of journalists, and on how this influences her reporting and other choices, including tweeting about the need for Doctors Without Borders to be allowed into Haiti after the 2010 earthquake
Ann Curry on the Comcast-NBC merger, and on her interactions with new executives at NBC and NBC News
Ann Curry on how the advent of new technology and digital outlets impacted editorial and broadcast decisions on Today when she was co-anchor, and on the then-future of television
Ann Curry on the public's perception of broadcast news, and on how and why it is has changed over time
Ann Curry on how the press should respond to President Trump's assertion that they are "the enemy of the people", and on past presidents' relationships with the press
Ann Curry on the impact of the public getting their news from social media and other free sources, and on the importance of the public subscribing to news outlets, and on the possibilities of the then-future of journalism
Ann Curry on her PBS docuseries We'll Meet Again
Ann Curry on advice for aspiring journalists

Television and the Presidency

View Topic
Ann Curry on how the press should respond to President Trump's assertion that they are "the enemy of the people", and on past presidents' relationships with the press

War

View Topic
Ann Curry on reporting on the war in Kosovo for Today
Ann Curry on her dedication to covering the genocide in Darfur for Today, and on interviewing the world leaders involved in the conflict, including President of Sudan Omar al-Bashir and President of Chad Idriss Deby

Women

View Topic
Ann Curry on being hired as a reporter at KTVL in Medford, Oregon, a station that had never before had a female reporter, and on the sexism she faced on the job
Ann Curry on aspiring to be a news anchor like Walter Cronkite early in her career, and how she navigated her ambitions with few available role models in broadcast journalism who were women or people of color
Ann Curry on inappropriate behavior she witnessed at NBC News, and on the then-current battle to prevent harassment of women in the workplace
Ann Curry on how she has seen opportunities for women and people of color change in journalism over the course of her career
Professions

Anchor

View Profession
Ann Curry on becoming comfortable as a news anchor early in her career, and on when she began to dream of being a news anchor like Walter Cronkite
Ann Curry on becoming an anchor at NBC News and realizing the power she had to fight for stories she cared about on the air

Journalists & News Producers

View Profession
Ann Curry on what she learned from her first internship in television news, at KTVL in Medford, Oregon: "television is incredibly powerful and dangerous, especially in journalism...a sobering power that needed to be met with a sense of responsibility"
Ann Curry on her internship at KTVL in Medford, Oregon after college, and on how it led to her becoming a reporter at the station
Ann Curry on being hired as a reporter at KTVL in Medford, Oregon, a station that had never before had a female reporter, and on the sexism she faced on the job
Ann Curry on journalism advice she received from a newspaper reporter early on in her career that has stayed with her: "don't trust anyone" because everyone has their own take on the truth, and how the responsibility of the journalist is to ensure she is telling what actually happened
Ann Curry on what she learned about journalism from working in local markets
Ann Curry on becoming comfortable as a news anchor early in her career, and on when she began to dream of being a news anchor like Walter Cronkite
Ann Curry on how she prepares herself to cover traumatic events like wars and genocides, and on the challenge of coming home from the coverage of such events
Ann Curry on how she approaches interviews with world leaders, particularly those involved in or responsible for wars or other conflicts, including President of Sudan Omar al-Bashir and President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Ann Curry on how she is able to remain neutral or not when conducting interviews, with the example of interviewing Laurent Nkundu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for NBC News, after an earlier interaction a young woman who had been victimized by soldiers under his leadership, and on the impact of doing interviews with people in dire and tragic situations
Ann Curry on what makes a great interview
Ann Curry on conducting interviews with world leaders who are using translators
Ann Curry on the public's perception of broadcast news, and on how and why it is has changed over time
Ann Curry on how the press should respond to President Trump's assertion that they are "the enemy of the people", and on past presidents' relationships with the press
Ann Curry on how journalists should respond to assertions of "fake news" and restore the public's trust in journalism: "get it right, and be fair and unbiased"
Ann Curry on the impact of the public getting their news from social media and other free sources, and on the importance of the public subscribing to news outlets, and on the possibilities of the then-future of journalism
Ann Curry on advice to aspiring journalists
Genres

News and Documentary

View Genre
Ann Curry on the public's perception of broadcast news
Ann Curry on how journalists should respond to assertions of "fake news" and restore the public's trust in journalism: "get it right, and be fair and unbiased"
Ann Curry on her work at NBC News, and her time as co-host of Today
People

Walter Cronkite

View Interview Page
Ann Curry on watching Walter Cronkite's news broadcasts with her father when she was growing up

Matt Lauer

View Person Page
Ann Curry on criticism about her chemistry with Matt Lauer when they were Today co-hosts

Jeff Zucker

View Interview Page
Ann Curry on reporting on the war in Kosovo for Today, and on how she convinced executive Jeff Zucker to allow her to go there

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