CBS Anchor Maggie Rodriguez
Hard work and a respect for culture all make a difference to this award-winning journalist
During her busy morning schedule, Maggie Rodriguez, the anchor of "The Early Show" on CBS, talked about her job to a budding young journalist: ME! Rodriguez took this Kid Reporter behind the scenes at the CBS studio to get a feel for the life of a world-renowned TV news reporter.
Rodriguez started her career at a cable-TV station in southern Florida. That's where she learned about the serious responsibility a journalist has to her profession.
"No matter how insignificant it may seem, you have to do your best to bring whatever the headline of that story is to the people," she said. In other words, get the details and get them right!
Tips from Behind the Scenes
Reporting live on national TV every day is difficult. That is why Rodriguez puts a lot of time and effort into being prepared. She keeps up with the news and researches every topic she reports on.
"The night before I go on, I do what I call homework," Rodriguez says. "Everyone at my house—my husband and my daughter—knows not to disturb mommy from 7 to 9 p.m."
To be a good journalist means to love the news, says Rodriguez. She thinks of this trait as one of the most important in her field.
"Read the news every day," she said. "If you wake up in the morning and you can't wait to see what's happening in the news, that means you love the news."
With a total of seven Emmy Awards, two Edward R. Murrow Awards, and the recent Young Hispanic Leadership Award to her credit, Rodriguez modestly accounts much of her success to her Hispanic heritage.
"It makes me who I am," the Cuban-American said. "I'm very much bicultural and that comes across in every aspect of my life. Professionally it's helped me a lot."
One Murrow award was given for her coverage on the transfer of power in Cuba.
"[I won] because I reported it on many different levels," she said. "I brought the significance of that moment in my culture to the story."
Winning an award means both an honor and a responsibility, says Rodriguez.
"It made me feel accomplished, but it also made me feel a huge amount of responsibility," she said. "These people considered me a leader at such a young age. I knew that I had a huge responsibility to keep it going as my career keeps going."
Rodriguez calls Hispanic Heritage Month, which is celebrated September 15 to October 15, a real treat.
"It allows other people who do not share my culture to learn about it," she said. "I'm proud of my culture, and that it's going to be on display nationally." She added that everyone has a cultural background unique to his or her family. She encourages everyone to learn about the different cultures that make up a person's life.
"It's really cool because you get to have two cultures," she said. "You get to be 100 per cent American, 100 percent something else—or maybe 50/50. It's a big advantage."
For more Tips from the Pros, check out other Scholastic Kids Press Corps interviews with the nation's top journalists.
You can also learn more about Hispanic Heritage Month on Scholastic.com.
To read more Hispanic Heritage Month stories, click here.
Gopa Praturi is a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.