Storytelling at SxSW With CNN’s Anthony Bourdain

By Chris Ariens 

“You wouldn’t think of me as a sunny optimist, but I believe in good stories,” said CNN host Anthony Bourdain at a South by Southwest panel discussion Sunday all about digital journalism.

Three years after the launch of Parts Unknown, Bourdain said his CNN show continues to evolve, as strange as it sometimes turns out to be. “I don’t know when the show morphed into whatever the hell it is, but sometimes you have to acknowledge the elephant in the room: I’ve never had a reputation to lose, which is a huge advantage.”

Covering the annual tech and music conference, Adweek’s Lauren Johnson reports Bourdain also got existential: “I was absolutely sure that [my career] was going to be over in [a few] years—16 years later, I’m still employed, which makes no sense at all. When you try to do honest, powerful—albeit confusing—stories, I think there are going to be people there.”