‘I like being surprised’ – former news anchor Robyn Curnow on why she left CNN

Zain Johnson speaks to South African journalist and news anchor, Robyn Curnow.

After more than two decades as CNN International’s correspondent and anchor, seasoned journalist Robyn Curnow announced her exit from the world-renowned network in 2022.

Robyn Curnow was born in Australia but raised in South Africa. Before joining CNN as London-based correspondent in 2001, she started at the SABC in 1995 – when she was just 22 years old.

She often revels starting her career at the state broadcaster, during a the time when South Africa underwent a poignant turning point in its history.

I grew up learning about this country during Mandela’s presidency.

Robyn Curnow, South African journalist and CNN news anchor

Curnow says reporting at the SABC meant that her scripts would get translated into South Africa’s official eleven languages so they had to be varied inclusive – something that points to her accomplished story-telling.

You had to tell the story of bridging audiences as Madiba would say it.

Robyn Curnow, South African journalist and CNN news anchor

She previously anchored CNN Newsroom at 6 pm and 7 am on Friday and worked during the coronavirus pandemic.

During her time Curnow covered political scandals, human rights abuses and corruption.

She interviewed several high-profile historical and political figures Nelson Mandela – her conversation with Mandela on his 90th birthday was the last interview he gave – U.S President Bill Clinton, Michelle Obama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu to name a few.

Curnrow says one her most formidable traits and what she considers ‘the beauty of being a journalist’ is how much she likes ‘to watch people’.

I certainly get more from some Gogo than Donald Trump.

Robyn Curnow, South African journalist and CNN news anchor

I like being surprised and that’s one of the reasons I left CNN was I just looked ahead at the months and weeks ahead and I just went… Oh no I’m going to be doing the same thing over and over again.

Robyn Curnow, South African journalist and CNN news anchor

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Author: editor

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