Anderson Cooper visits Colorado to listen to Colorado Students

On Tuesday March 6, big-name news anchor Anderson Cooper visited the campus of the University of Colorado in Boulder to address issues faced by, and answer questions from, Colorado students.

Cooper, the son of famed Gloria Vanderbilt, began the evening with a personal story of how the loss of his father and brother early in life had inspired him to not only overcome life’s challenges, but to embrace them. Finding himself in countless perilous and risky environments, “I became interested in questions of survival: why some people survive and others don’t... Covering wars just seemed logical.” Cooper travelled around the globe with his personal video camera, capturing footage that would give him not only a job, but a sonorous and successful career as a news anchor and talk show host.

Following his brief opening speech, the award-winning journalist went on to answer questions direct from students of Colorado. These questions focused exclusively on the current political climate, media credibility, and safety. Cooper met each question unbiasedly with professional experience. “I want real information.” Cooper replies in response to the ‘fake news’ accusations, pressing his tenet that, regardless of show ratings, he wants what he reports on to be the truth. “...I don’t know of another profession that tries as hard to get it right.” Cooper goes on to explain that he himself will not work for a biased news source and avoids news in which the reporters’ views/opinions are part of the news coverage.

According to a survey taken by the students of the University of Colorado - Boulder, students receive 9.2% of news from television, 33% from newspapers, 20.2% from ‘other’, and 45.8% from social media. When presented with these statistics, Cooper spoke on the negative impact that social media has, especially in terms of news distribution. “Frankly, I don’t look at Twitter anymore. It’s gotten so toxic,” claims Cooper.

Michelle Lin, student and future astronaut, asks “What can students like us do to make a change?” To this, Cooper confidently replied “Get an education... individuals can make the difference.” Cooper imparted his philosophy to “follow your bliss,” meaning that the individual should seek out what makes them happy in life and do it. He believes that there is so much potential in the students, and that finding their passion will make the world a better place.

After the two-hour-long question and answer session, Cooper bid adieu to the full house, but not before stating “I wish I could get to know more of the students and hear about their ambitions and optimism.”