After co-anchoring CNN's morning news program, American Morning, for 4 years, O'Brien moved into the documentaries unit (Special Investigations Unit, In America) in 2007 to focus on long-form programs.
Her 2011 documentaries included Don’t Fail Me: Education in America, The Women Who Would be Queen, about the future British King and Queen’s friendship-turned-romance and royal marriage.
Other recent CNN documentaries were Unwelcome: The Muslims Next Door, on religious freedom protections; Pictures Don’t Lie, the story of the secret life of Civil Rights photographer Ernest Withers as a paid FBI informant; Almighty Debt, a Black in America special that explores the role of the black church in helping African Americans survive the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression; Rescued, a look at Haiti’s remarkable children before, during and after the devastating earthquake; and Gary and Tony Have a Baby, the story of two gay men and their struggle to have a baby that has a biological and legal connection to both of them.
O’Brien’s 2009 project, Latino in America, was a wide-ranging look at Latinos living in this country and how they’re reshaping America while America is reshaping them.
Earlier that year, O’Brien reported for Black in America 2, a four-hour documentary focusing on successful community leaders who are improving the lives of African-Americans. O’Brien’s reporting for Black in America in 2008 revealed the state of Black America 40 years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
She has also reported for the CNN documentary Words That Changed a Nation, featuring a never-before-seen look at Dr. King’s private writings and notes, and investigated his assassination in Eyewitness to Murder: The King Assassination.
Her Children of the Storm project and One Crime at a Time documentary demonstrate O’Brien’s continued commitment to covering stories out of New Orleans.
|Reporting from Japan|
In 2011, she traveled to Japan covering the aftermath of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear events that have devastated that country.
It was announced in November 2011 that CNN would cancel American Morning and replace it with two new programs, Early Start and Starting Point. O'Brien was chosen to anchor Starting Point on January 2, 2012.
Soledad has also continued to host CNN documentaries, such as the Black in America series she launched. That 2012 installment, "Who is Black in America," aired in December 2012.