Ed Gordon Brings New 'Conversations'

The Root caught up with the veteran black journalist to discuss his celebrity interview series.

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With Kem, we took him back to the Salvation Army in Detroit where he found his sobriety. It was the first time he walked back into one of those resident's rooms in all these years. His reaction is priceless. He talks about being emotionally and sexually abused as a child and overcoming that, and that we couldn't change any of it because it made him who he is today.

TR: You started out with Detroit Black Journal, you've hosted NPR's News and Notes and you're well-known for your coverage of 1992 Los Angeles riots, among other weighty issues. Is there still an appetite for that type of black programming, or do people want something lighter?

EG: Honestly, if you look at my career, I've always merged the news with other issues. I've always done a little bit of everything. In terms of the appetite for what America wants and what the community wants, hard news will always be there, but it's not as popular as it once was. Celebrity news has overtaken what we want as viewers and listeners. If you say to me that's good, that's another thing … I'm all for being entertained, but when it gets to a point that that's as important as other things we should be looking at, it's time to take a step back. I hope that hard news doesn't go away -- but certainly there's a role for celebrity news.

My goal for every interview is to get something out of that person they haven't talked about before, or get them to talk about it in a way they haven't before.

Jenée Desmond-Harris is The Root's staff writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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