Norah O’Donnell on moving “CBS Evening News” to Washington, D.C.

“CBS Evening News” anchor Norah O’Donnell feels she’s returning to her roots as a reporter now that “Evening News” is based in Washington, D.C. It launched this week, the only evening news broadcast to originate from the nation’s capitol.

“It’s my background, being a reporter. This allows me in some ways to return back to my roots and my strengths,” said O’Donnell, who began her career as a journalist in Washington. “Just about every decision that affects our lives has a nexus in Washington.”

She also looked back at the legacy of Edward R. Murrow, a storied CBS News journalist perhaps best known for his incisive reports on Senator Joseph McCarthy.

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“What journalism can do is not only inspire but it can also hold the powerful accountable. It can expose abuse. It can expose corruption,” O’Donnell said. “We’re tough on the president. We’re tough on members of Congress. Because we’re supposed to be.”

O’Donnell also defended the role of television journalism and its importance in providing news to the public.

“We can take people with television cameras and explain what’s happening somewhere in America or in Congress. I think there’s a burden that we face: are we doing that with the current charges against the president and the impeachment scandal?” O’Donnell said. “How can we explain some of the most difficult issues of our time? Because that’s important to have an informed electorate, to have a functioning democracy.”

For more of Major’s conversation with Norah O’Donnell, download “The Takeout” podcast on  iTunesGooglePlaySpotify and Stitcher. New episodes are available every Friday morning. Also, you can watch “The Takeout” on CBSN Friday at 5pm, 9pm, and 12am ET and Saturday at 1pm, 9pm, and 12am ET. For a full archive of “The Takeout” episodes, visit And you can listen to “The Takeout” on select CBS News Radio affiliates (check your local listings).  

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