Journalism's Future ... Now

The Mānoa Mirror

Journalism's Future ... Now

The Mānoa Mirror

Journalism's Future ... Now

The Mānoa Mirror

From intern to history-making CNN reporter

Journalist Carol Lin visits UH in September, talks about pioneering 9-11 coverage and public-speaking tips
Allyson Whaley
Carol Lin said one of her most memorable experiences as a journalist was when she reported from Pakistan, as a guest of a chief, giving her a closer view and new perspectives on the war in Afghanistan.
Journalist Carol Lin gives advice about public speaking to students at UHʻs RISE. (Josslyn Rose)

Carol Lin started at CNN as an intern, fetching food and cigarettes for the anchors. Before long, though, she was on the air, and that led her to a historic moment in television history: Just minutes after the 9-11 attacks began at the World Trade Center in New York in 2001, she was breaking the horrific news to the nation.

This September — 22 years later — Lin was part of a different type of ground-breaking moment, presenting a public-speaking workshop at the newly opened RISE (Residences for Innovative Student Entrepreneurs) complex at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. More than 30 students attended the talk, called “Elevate Your Public Speaking Skills” and focused on the importance of knowing and understanding the “Why?” when presenting your work, as in why are you passionate about this subject?  Why should others care, too?

“If you don’t know your ʻWhyʻ when doing a project,” Lin said, “then you shouldn’t be doing it.”

After working her way up in the business from intern to on-air reporter, including eventually at CNN, Lin also served at ABC News and the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism before retiring.

Lin said she didn’t always know that she wanted to be a journalist, but she knew she wanted every day to be different.

At smaller local stations where she worked, deadlines for reporters were extremely tight for daily news. In contrast, as an anchor for a larger network, the agenda for the day was more preset, besides any breaking news that could disrupt the agenda, and it might take weeks of waiting before getting an opportunity to report on a story she wanted to do.

At the UH workshop, hosted by the Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship (PACE), she talked about her experiences as a way to emphasize good public-speaking practices and perseverance.

Her less-than-glamorous internship tasks, for example, also came with opportunities to work with the production equipment, helping her better understand the technical and technological parts of the job. During Lin’s first time on the air, she lost her audio connection with the station due to technical issues and froze

“Moments of failure,” Lin said, “prepared me for moments of victory.”

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About the Contributors
Josslyn Rose
Josslyn Rose, Contributor
Aloha! My name is Josslyn Rose and I am a freshman Journalism student at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. I look forward to combining my passions for writing, reading, and public speaking to cover news across the state.
Allyson Whaley
Allyson Whaley, Contributor
My name is Allyson Whaley, and I am a Junior at the University of Hawaii majoring in Journalism. I am originally from Southern California but live on Maui with my family as well as Oahu.  I hope to go into Investigative journalism eventually and am particularly passionate about women’s issues.

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