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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Getting to Know....Kyra Phillips

Our latest 'Getting to Know.....' is with anchor/field reporter Kyra Phillips. Most CNN viewers have been watching Kyra's reports from Iraq this month. Did you know this was Kyra's fourth trip to cover the war in Iraq? She's done an amazing job and here are a few examples of some of her recent reports.

We're very grateful that Kyra took sometime out of her busy schedule to give us a little behind the scenes look at her life. Thanks for the wonderful job you're doing Kyra and stay safe.

1. This is your fourth assignment in Iraq. What are your impressions on how the current "Surge" has changed your safety and/or security reporting in the country?

Safety hasn't changed at is still dangerous to go anywhere. Deaths are down, but the danger factor remains the same. It amazes me how Iraqis have just become used to it and talk about the fact that they just do what they have to do with explosions going off behind them, but they keep on living. Their resilience is absolutely humbling.

2. What was your big career break?

Getting that first phone call about a real job offer--Lubbock, Texas! I remember asking my parents, "where the heck is Lubbock, Texas?" and my mom said, "I think Mac Davis wrote a song about happiness being Lubbock, Texas in my rear view mirror." Turns out the song was, "I THOUGHT" Lubbock, Texas was happiness in my rear view mirror!

3. Who was your mentor and/or role model?

In my personal life, my grandfather. He was a saint.
In my professional life, Art Buchwald and my investigative reporting professor Ed Guthman. I was blessed to have such amazing mentors.

4. What's on your iPod? What was the last book you read (or the one that you're currently reading)?

Wow...I have EVERYTHING on my iPod....I love music. You name it, I have it.
The last book I read was, "Eat, Pray, Love." I can completely relate to it.

5. What must haves do you take along when traveling to cover a story?

Meditation CDs so I can sleep.

6. When did you decide that you wanted to be a journalist? What attracted you to this professional? If journalism wasn't your initial career goal, what was?

I started a school newspaper in the 4th grade. My first interview was Dr. Seuss. Long story short, my classmate's dad tuned pianos and one of his clients was Ted Geisel. He was my favorite author as a kid so I thought he would make the perfect first interview for my paper! I went home with my classmate, went through her dad's rolodex and there was his number! Boy, was he irritated when I called him. However, he did give me about 10 minutes after I explained what I was doing. It may have been unethical with how I got his number, but I was honest with him when I got him on the phone.

7. If you could pick one story from history to cover, what would be your dream story be?

The crucifixion of Jesus Christ. How's that for "investigating the truth!"

8. What is your guilty pleasure?


9. Are you superstitious? Do you carry any lucky charms when traveling in war zones?

Yes! One of my best friends gives me her Koran necklace to wear every time I cover the war....she got it when she was 3 while living in Iran. She puts it on me before I leave and then I don't take it of until I am home and with her.

That's the second in our 'Getting to Know....' series. If you've got a suggestion for a subject or questions please email us. And a big thank you to Cyn for the clips. ~ Phebe

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BookAsylum said...

What a neat story about meeting Dr. Seuss!

Sapphire said...

Wow I am a huge fan of Kyra's and was really excited to read her getting to know you answers. She is a great reporter and CNN is lucky to have her. Thanks to Kyra for taking the time to do this while she is over in Iraq. Continued safety while over there.

I really enjoyed all your answers.

Can't wait to see who we may possibly get to know next :)