ABC’s Robin Roberts: ‘You Don’t Have to Grill People to Get the Best Answer Out of Them’

By Merrill Knox 

“Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts — who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 — is interviewed in the September issue of Ladies’ Home Journal by Lee Woodruff, the wife of Roberts’ ABC News colleague Bob Woodruff. Roberts, who said she prefers “thriver” to the traditional “survivor,” opens up about how her diagnosis gave her a new perspective on her career:

Woodruff: Have your relationships changed?
Roberts: I tell people I love them more. And hey, I’m Southern. We believe in hospitality. I sometimes get accused of being soft as a journalist, but I believe you don’t have to grill people to get the best answer out of them. You can still be nice and be fair. I interviewed Sarah Ferguson recently and she was in tears because she told me I was so nice to her. But I have also found I have no time for people who don’t add joy to my life. I am not going to spend my time with negative energy and I tell people who are going through treatment to let the negativity go. If someone crosses my path now and they are dark, they’re gone.

Woodruff: Do you take work more in stride now, for example, if you don’t get the big interview or assignment?
Roberts: If I don’t get the interview I accept it. I don’t read into things anymore or look for hidden reasons. I’ve learned to let things go. I wanted to go to Japan after the earthquake but my doctors said no, due to radiation. I think there is a fine line between being passionate and still being competitive as a journalist and I think I’ve found it. There is always another “get.”

Read the full interview here.