Cokie Roberts

Journalist


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In her one-hour interview, Cokie Roberts discusses her early years as the daughter of Congressman Hale Boggs, and how the assassination of President John F. Kennedy shaped her politically. She discusses breaking into broadcasting, and the challenges a woman faced in doing so at the time. She recalls going to work for The MacNeil/Lehrer Report and NPR, and later being hired by ABC News. Roberts talks about being a panelist on This Week with David Brinkley, and taking over the show along with Sam Donaldson, when Brinkley retired in 1996. She recounts covering over a dozen presidential conventions, and talks about the then-current administration and the unique challenges of the journalists covering it. Jenni Matz conducted the interview on October 2, 2018 in Bethesda, MD.

"The way you respond to being called the enemy of the people is to continue to do your job and hope that the people understand you’re not the enemy. And according to polling, that is the case."

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
Cokie Roberts on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy
Cokie Roberts on appearing on the PBS series The Lawmakers and being a contributor to The MacNeil/Lehrer Report
Cokie Roberts on what she learned from David Brinkley during her time on This Week with David Brinkley
Cokie Roberts on how the emergence of new media has impacted television news, and on covering Donald J. Trump's tweets and lies
Cokie Roberts on the most important responsibility of a journalist, and on remaining objective
Cokie Roberts on looking at the then-current state of the country from a historical perspective
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On her early life and influences; on her education; on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy
On her decision to become a journalist, and on early local shows she worked on; on her move to New York, and on facing discrimination as a female looking to be a broadcaster; on concerns about her impartiality as a journalist with family members in Congress
On how her family background in politics helped her when she began covering Congress, and how coverage of Congress has changed; on appearing on the PBS series The Lawmakers and being a contributor to The McNeil/Lehrer Report; on what she learned from David Brinkley during her time on This Week with David Brinkley
On the presidential conventions she has witnessed and covered, and on the role television has played in American politics; on criticism she faced speaking out against Donald J. Trump during the 2016 primaries; on how the emergence of new media has impacted television news, and on covering Donald J. Trump's tweets and lies
On looking at the then-current state of the country from a historical perspective; on her reporting style; on the most important responsibility of a journalist, and on remaining objective
On how opportunities for females have changed in the television news industry since she started; on how the state of journalism has changed since she started; on how technological advances have changed the television news industry
On the value of oral histories; on the medium she prefers to work in, and on political satire
On advice to aspiring television journalists; on her proudest career achievements, and on how she would like to be remembered
Shows

NewsHour with Jim Lehrer aka PBS NewsHour

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Cokie Roberts on appearing on the PBS series The Lawmakers and being a contributor to The MacNeil/Lehrer Report

This Week with David Brinkley

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Cokie Roberts on appearing on This Week with David Brinkley, and on going to work for ABC News, and on how she approached stories differently at different outlets
Cokie Roberts on what she learned from David Brinkley during her time on This Week with David Brinkley, and on the challenges of becoming anchor of This Week with Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts

This Week with Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts

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Cokie Roberts on what she learned from David Brinkley during her time on This Week with David Brinkley, and on the challenges of becoming anchor of This Week with Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts
Topics

Diversity in Television

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Cokie Roberts on her move to New York, on facing discrimination as a female looking to be a broadcaster, and on becoming a foreign correspondent in Greece
Cokie Roberts on how opportunities for females have changed in the television news industry since she started

Donald J. Trump

View Topic
Cokie Roberts on criticism she faced speaking out against Donald J. Trump during the 2016 presidential primaries
Cokie Roberts on the biggest challenges of covering the presidency of Donald J. Trump
Cokie Roberts on how the emergence of new media has impacted television news, and on covering Donald J. Trump's tweets and lies

Historic Events and Social Change

View Topic
Cokie Roberts on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy
Cokie Roberts on her move to New York, on facing discrimination as a female looking to be a broadcaster, and on becoming a foreign correspondent in Greece
Cokie Roberts on how opportunities for females have changed in the television news industry since she started

JFK Assassination and Funeral

View Topic
Cokie Roberts on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy

New Media

View Topic
Cokie Roberts on how the emergence of new media has impacted television news, and on Donald J. Trump's tweets

Technological Innovation

View Topic
Cokie Roberts on how technological advances have changed the television news industry, and on challenges it presents

Television Industry

View Topic
Cokie Roberts on how the emergence of new media has impacted television news, and on Donald J. Trump's tweets
Cokie Roberts on the then current biggest challenge facing the news media

Television and the Presidency

View Topic
Cokie Roberts on the presidential conventions she has witnessed and covered, and on the role television has played in American politics
Cokie Roberts on criticism she faced speaking out against Donald J. Trump during the 2016 presidential primaries
Cokie Roberts on the biggest challenges of covering the presidency of Donald J. Trump
Cokie Roberts on how the emergence of new media has impacted television news, and on covering Donald J. Trump's tweets and lies

Women

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Cokie Roberts on her move to New York, on facing discrimination as a female looking to be a broadcaster, and on becoming a foreign correspondent in Greece
Cokie Roberts on how opportunities for females have changed in the television news industry since she started
Professions

Correspondent

View Profession
Cokie Roberts on her decision to become a journalist, and on early local shows she worked on
Cokie Roberts on concerns about her impartiality as a journalist with family members in Congress
Cokie Roberts on how her family background in politics helped her when she began covering Congress, and how coverage of Congress has changed
Cokie Roberts on the most important responsibility of a journalist, and on remaining objective
Cokie Roberts on how the state of journalism has changed since she started
Cokie Roberts on the medium she prefers to work in, and on political satire
Cokie Roberts on advice to aspiring television journalists

Journalists & News Producers

View Profession
Cokie Roberts on her decision to become a journalist, and on early local shows she worked on
Cokie Roberts on concerns about her impartiality as a journalist with family members in Congress
Cokie Roberts on how her family background in politics helped her when she began covering Congress, and how coverage of Congress has changed
Cokie Roberts on her reporting style
Cokie Roberts on the most important responsibility of a journalist, and on remaining objective
Cokie Roberts on how the state of journalism has changed since she started
Cokie Roberts on the medium she prefers to work in, and on political satire
Cokie Roberts on advice to aspiring television journalists

Moderator

View Profession
Cokie Roberts on her reporting style
Genres

News and Documentary

View Genre
Cokie Roberts on appearing on the PBS series The Lawmakers and being a contributor to The MacNeil/Lehrer Report
Cokie Roberts on what she learned from David Brinkley during her time on This Week with David Brinkley, and on the challenges of becoming anchor of This Week with Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts
People

David Brinkley

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Cokie Roberts on appearing on This Week with David Brinkley, and on working with Sam Donaldson

Sam Donaldson

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Cokie Roberts on appearing on This Week with David Brinkley, and on working with Sam Donaldson

John F. Kennedy

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Cokie Roberts on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy

Jim Lehrer

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Cokie Roberts on appearing on the PBS series The Lawmakers and being a contributor to The MacNeil/Lehrer Report

Robert MacNeil

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Cokie Roberts on appearing on the PBS series The Lawmakers and being a contributor to The MacNeil/Lehrer Report

Donald J. Trump

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Cokie Roberts on how the emergence of new media has impacted television news, and on covering Donald J. Trump's tweets and lies

All Interviews

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