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   HomeAsk The Expert / Expert Archive / Katie Couric

Ask the Expert

Katie Couric
Katie Couric

Katie Couric has been co-anchor of Today since April 5, 1991. She joined the program in June 1990 as its first national correspondent and then served as substitute co-anchor from February 1991 until becoming permanent co-anchor. She is also a contributing anchor for Dateline NBC. more >>

Questions and Answers
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Q: Do you like to work on the news? - Katelyn, 3rd Grade

A: I really enjoy working on the news because I feel so in touch with everything that is happening all around the world. Sometimes I get frustrated because we don't have time to really get into subjects in depth but I feel I learn something every day and that I can stay informed because I have no choice, it's my job.

Q: What school did you go to? - Kim, 3rd Grade

A: PI went to Jamestown Elementary, Williamsburg Junior High and Yorktown High School all public schools in Arlington, Virginia. Then I went to the University of Virginia and majored in English and History which was very, very helpful for me in terms of pursuing a a career in journalism.

Q: What person was the most fun to interview? - Christina, 5th Grade

A: The person I enjoyed interviewing the most was Elmo from Sesame Street because he is so unpredictable and he is always eating my hair and my face.

Q: What do you like to do in your spare time? - Vincent, 5th Grade

A: Vincent, I don't have a lot of spare time because given the fact that I have a very demanding job and two small children but in the little spare time that I do have I enjoy taking bubble baths, I like to talk to my friends on the telephone, I like to play tennis, take walks, I like to go to movies, plays, and I Like to eat.

Q: Could you please list a few famous people that you have met? - Tommy, 5th Grade

A: I have met the President of the United States, the First Lady, Julie Andrews, Princess Diana, George Bush, Mohammed Ali, Michelle Quan , Tara Lepinski, Leonardo Di Caprio( I'm sure some of you girls would be very envious of that) Barbara Streisand, Rosie O'Donnell, Big Bird and Barney.

Q: Would you like your daughters to follow your footsteps in journalism? - Julie, 5th Grade

A: I would like my daughters to do whatever they are interested in doing. I wouldn't talk them out of going into journalism because I think it is such an exciting field, but I want them to pursue something they feel passionately about. I think when you love your work you become very good at it because you are doing something you enjoy.

Q: What would you say to influence somebody who would like to follow in your footsteps? - Rose , 5th Grade

A: I tell people who want to go into journalism that they need to study hard and to learn about all sorts of different things, because I think to be a really good journalist you have to know a little about a lot of things, so I would say take all different kinds of courses. Take Economics courses, History courses, Government courses, and English courses and really develop an intellectual curiosity and love of learning that will stay with you for the rest of your life. I also think it is good to try your hand at journalism so if it means writing for your school paper or your yearbook or working at a radio or TV station while you are in college, that's a good way to find out if it is a career that really floats your boat or if it's very different than what you might have imagined. Those are things that I tell people. I also tell them not to be afraid about starting at the bottom; that they can work their way up; that they need to learn all they can from people who have been in the business longer than they have been. They should be a sponge and just absorb what is going on around them and learn everything they possibly can as soon as they step inside the door.

Q: Why did you decide to become a journalist? - Michael, 5th Grade

A: I have always loved to write. I find writing fun, interesting and exciting and it comes easily to me and I also love people. So I thought that journalism would be a good combination of my love of writing and my interest in people and my natural curiosity about what makes them tick.

Q: When you were little did you like to write? - Monica, and Catherine, 5th Grade

A: I loved to write when I was little. In fact, I remember writing my own little newspaper when I was in fourth grade. I liked writing poetry, I liked writing essays, I even liked writing book reports even though I always waited until the last minute, which in the long run I think served me well because you have to write quickly under a deadline when you are in journalism." I was inspired to go into journalism largely because my Father urged me. I think he saw that I could write and liked to write so he urged me to get a job in radio while I was in college and that turned into job in television when I graduated from the University of Virginia.

Q: What do you usually talk about when you are interviewing people? - Diana, Doug,Monica, Kenny, and Tara, 5th Grade

A: It really depends on the subject matter. If I am interviewing someone about a book I ask them about why they wrote the book, the characters in the book, the plot of the book, things that might relate to the story line. If I am interviewing them about their feelings about the law, why it is necessary and sometimes I will play devils advocate and tell them that certain people have criticized the law for this reason and get their reaction. I try to present a full picture of an issue particularly if it is a controversial one with two clear sides.

Q: Did you study politics in school? Is that why you interview so many politically involved people? - Teresa, Ilysa, and John, 5th Grade

A: I studied politics some; I took government courses in high school and college, but to be honest with you, I wish I had taken more because I do interview a lot of politicians and I think it would have been helpful.

Q: Do you like traveling places? Do you meet different people from around the world? - Jen and Vinny, 5th Grade

A: I love to travel. I do meet people from all over the world. I have been to Zimbabwe, I have been to Paris; I went to the South of France; I have been to Hawaii; I went to Normandi for the 50th anniversary of the D-Day Invasion; and I have been to Barcelona. I really enjoy meeting people from all over the world because it is an incredible learning experience and traveling is so much fun. But when I travel I really miss my children.

Q: What was your most interesting, inspiring interview? - Fred, Allison and Nicole, 5th Grade

A: I think my most interesting and inspiring interviews have been with ordinary people doing extraordinary things. I am constantly amazed that people can face the most horrific tragedy come on and talk about their personal situation on national television. I was so impressed recently with Carol Carrington, the mother of Carol's son, one of the women who was murdered at Yosemite National Park, because she had such strength and dignity, and composure. I have also interviewed people who were incredible heroic during difficult times; for example the Oklahoma City bombing and I have been very inspired by them as well.

Q: What was your favorite story to report on? - Grace, 4th Grade

A: It seems silly, but that's really a tough question! I think it's almost like having to describe the best meal you ever had or the best time you ever had... hopefully, there are so many it's really difficult to pick! But if I had to name a few, I'd probably say I really found reporting on the Persian Gulf War fascinating, because I covered it from the Pentagon, and then I actually went to Saudi Arabia and got to see all the things I heard about in action. I also thought the Clarence Thomas hearings on Capital Hill were important and interesting, because it got people talking about something that really wasn't discussed much...sexual harassment. I love politics, so covering elections has always been fun and exciting too.

Q: Do you like being a leader? I am a leader in my reading group. It is a lot of fun and important! Is being a leader important to you or not? - Amanda, 4th Grade

A: Amanda, I do like being a leader, but one thing working in this business has taught me is the importance of teamwork. You really have to work well with lots of different people wearing lots of different hats...producers, photographers, editors, directors..etc. So while I am a leader at times, I have found that working with people who respect and appreciate one another is really key to success.

Q: Are you friends with President Bill Clinton?- Alison, 2nd Grade

A: No, we're not friends, but I have met him on several occasions. We try not to be too friendly with people we cover, particularly world leaders (not that they'd be inviting us over for coffee!) because we need to conduct fair interviews and not let personal feelings get in the way.

Q: Are you nervous being on television?- John, 2nd Grade

A: I used to get very nervous. My voice would shake and my nose would run. (that's a weird way to show you're nervous, isn't it?) But now, I feel so relaxed, even if I make a mistake, I think it's okay. I still get a little nervous when I interview big big stars or world leaders, but for the most part, I now feel comfortable on TV, especially since I've been doing it for eight years.

Q: Do you like sports? - Joseph, 2nd Grade

A: I like to play sports like tennis and softball. I like to watch some sports, but I prefer individual competitions...gymnastics, diving, ice skating. I must confess I know very little about alot of sports. It's not that I'm not interested, it's just that, well, I guess I'm not that interested!"

Q: Do you like your job? - Mrs. Stauber's Class 3rd Grade Class

A: I love my job. I think I have one of the best jobs in the world. As I said before, I get to meet so many people. Plus, there's so much variety. Every day is different, and within every show I get to do so many different things! One minute I'm talking about Kosovo, the next, I'm painting pottery. That keeps it always interesting.

Q: What time do you leave to go to work? - Mrs. Stauber's Class 3rd Grade Class

A: I try to leave around 5:30 in the morning. Many mornings, though, I'm a bit later than that. I'm afraid I'm not a morning person, believe it or not!

The responses and opinions contained herein are those of the respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Power to Learn or Cablevision.

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