|O'Brien at the Civil Rights Museum|
“Stories of diversity make us all strong, and they’re interesting, and they fill in the gaps of history with the voices of the people who are not often heard,” O’Brien said.
“Controlling your narrative is where the power lies,” O’Brien said. “The media often controls the narrative. Sometimes, they have a bad habit of abusing that power.”
O’Brien also spoke earlier to a group of communications students and told them about the beginnings of her career as a journalist and the experiences that changed her life.
“As I was climbing the ladder, it never occurred to me that I could cover some of the biggest stories of our time,” O’Brien said.
O’Brien said that her first eye-opening experience as a journalist was when she covered the lasting effect of Fidel Castro’s rule. She said her previous stories lacked character depth until she had to uncover the motives of the people who supported him.
“Why were people lined up mourning a dictator?” O’Brien said. “Up until then, most of my stories lacked context. The poor were always poor. The mother who drowned her children was crazy, and everything was black and white.”
O’Brien said overgeneralization in news reporting is a problem in today’s media.
“There’s no nuance, you’re either good or you’re bad,” O’Brien said.