Deborah Norville Inducted Into Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame: 'Work Hard and Things Happen'
Inside Edition anchor Deborah Norville received one of the great honors of her life Tuesday night as she was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame in New York City.
Flashbulbs popped as she arrived on the red carpet with her husband Karl Wellner.
"I'm from the South. We tell stories and I told my daddy, who is a smart storyteller: 'I am a smarter story teller than you.'
"He said, 'how is that, Debbie?' I said, 'because I found a way to get paid to tell stories.'"
The event was co-hosted by CBS This Morning's Norah O'Donnell, who said of Norville: "She's a hero of mine, I admire her so much. She is one of the most wonderful people you've ever met.”
Comedian Larry Wilmore introduced the video showing Norville at the start of her career in Georgia.
She told the crowd: "I am so honored and tickled to be here in a room full of people who share a love for this amazing industry."
She credits audacious optimism as the key to her success.
"I didn't know that much about the business, but I knew about hard work and if you worked hard enough you could make things happen,” she said.
InsideEdition.com asked Norville about her career highlights and advice for aspiring broadcast journalists:
What’s the greatest advice you could give someone starting out in this industry?
My advice — be curious. But then, if I need to tell you to be curious, this is probably not the career for you! So since you're already curious, the next advice should be very easy: Read everything you can about as many subjects as you can. The more you know about a variety of different topics, the more attuned you will be to something that is "new" and different. Those are the kinds of stories that you will want to pitch and get to report.
I also think it's really important to understand how government works and there is no better way to do that than to cover it. Whether it's the local town council, the halls of Congress or the state legislature, which was my first reporting job, understanding the process of how a bill becomes law and the political dealing that goes with it is an important knowledge base for all reporters.
What’s the best advice you were ever given?
Be early. Know more than you need to. Always have a better story up your sleeve. Never burn a bridge — no matter how much you might want to!
What’s the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is the variety. Every day I walk into the office with an idea of what we will be covering that day — and every day I am always wrong because so many news events happen between that first cup of coffee and showtime later in the day. The great thing about being a reporter is there really isn't any subject that's not worthy of being reported upon, if you come up with an interesting way to tell the story.
Do you have a personal highlight from your career?
There are so many moments that stand out but one came years ago when I was in Stockholm, Sweden, to interview the king and queen of Sweden in advance of their state visit to the U.S. As I sat in the palace chatting with the king before the interview, I was struck by the realization that roughly 100 years earlier my great grandparents had left Sweden for a better life in America. The fact that "I" was there asking the monarch anything I wanted was proof that their trip was not in vain.
Who has been your favorite interview, and why?
That's like asking, "who is your favorite child?" I will always remember my interview with Britain's Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990. In a live interview, she told me that the evening before she and President George H.W. Bush had decided while it would be nice to have a United Nations resolution authorizing the invasion of Iraq, it wasn't necessary. Needless to say, it was a headline heard 'round the world!
What would you say is the key to your success?
I think the key to my longevity in the business is the same as the key to a successful marriage (and I have been married almost 29 years). It is to "not take the bait." There are many things about which you could get into a row — but sometimes it's better to just "let it go" as that song from Frozen says. You might be right but generally it's better to leave the battles for the fights that really matter.