The National Association of Black Journalists named CNN’s Soledad O’Brien Journalist of the Year at its spring Board of Directors meeting. O’Brien will join other top honorees at the association’s Salute to Excellence Gala, on July 31 in San Diego, during NABJ’s 35th Annual Convention and Career Fair, the largest gathering of minority journalists in the country.
O’Brien is the impetus of CNN’s acclaimed “In America” franchise, which began with CNN’s “Black In America” in 2008, a groundbreaking documentary, which took an in-depth look at the challenges confronting blacks in America. In 2009 CNN followed up with “Black In America 2,” a project which didn’t just seek to highlight challenges, but also acknowledged the efforts by those in the community to come up with proven solutions to the most pressing issues facing the black community. “Black In America 2” was the highest-rated cable news documentary of 2009, sparking conversations and town hall gatherings across the country to further examine the intersection of race, class and gender, subjects that can be challenging for the media to explore.
“Soledad’s work in the ‘Black in America’ series offered extraordinary and gripping stories of successful community leaders who are improving the lives of African-Americans,” said NABJ President Kathy Y. Times. “This was an example of great reporting, and through her work and platform she shared the stories in our communities that often go untold. She is truly worthy of NABJ’s Journalist of the Year honor.”
O’Brien is currently an anchor and special correspondent for CNN.