Top 10 Reporters Who Couldn’t Hold Back Tears
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Top 10 Reporters Who Couldn't Hold Back Tears

Script written by Sandra Argese

Journalists have emotions just like everyone else, and like everyone else they sometimes can't keep them in check. From Campbell Brown during the Haiti Earthquake, to Gina Silva when a 7-year-old was shot, to Carrie Bickmore in response to a war torn Syria, these reporters were overcome by emotion. WatchMojo counts down ten reporters who couldn't hold back tears.
Script written by Sandra Argese

Top 10 Reporters Who Couldn’t Hold Back Tears

Journalists have emotions just like everyone else, and like everyone else they sometimes can’t keep them in check. Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Reporters Who Couldn’t Hold Back Tears.

For this list, we’re looking at instances where news people were overcome with emotion during on-air news reports as a result of the subject matter.

#10: Campbell Brown

2010 Haiti Earthquake
Natural disasters are constantly filling our newsfeeds with devastating stories. Sadly, in this case, CNN reported that an 11 year-old girl named Anika had become trapped under the rubble of a house following the devastating 2010 Haiti Earthquake. During the broadcast, anchor Campbell Brown threw to reporter Ivan Watson, who broke the news that despite being cut free and taken to a first aid station, Anika passed away due to her injuries. Watson wavered slightly while delivering the piece, but the tragic news left Brown in tears and choking on her words.

#9: Gina Silva

7-Year-Old Desiree Macias Shot
Gun-related violence strikes an emotional chord with both audiences and reporters. 7-year-old Desiree found herself entangled in a messy verbal altercation between adults while she was with her family at a local gas station. Stuck in the middle, she was later fatally shot in the head in a car-to-car shooting as the attackers followed the family home. Acknowledging the sheer horror of the situation, reporter Gina Silva fought back tears as she informed viewers that Desiree was in extremely critical condition, ultimately breaking her professional detachment. Sadly, Desiree did not survive the incident.

#8: Carrie Bickmore

Syrian Chemical Attack
In April 2017, Australian current affairs program The Project shed light on the detrimental effects of exposed chemicals and gas attacks in Syria. After viewing a video package that showed people, including dozens of women and children, foaming at the mouth and physically exterminated as a result, co-host Carrie Bickmore tried to hold back the tears, but quickly gave up the fight. Visibly upset and distressed by the footage, she turned to co-host Waleed Aly and questioned US President Donald Trump’s role. Aly was also lost for words, and given the gravity of the situation, no one could blame him.

#7: Natalie Barr

Lindt Café Siege
This 16-hour siege became known as one of the most catastrophic events in Australia’s history. On December 15th and 16th, 2014, lone gunman Man Monis stormed the Lindt Café and held eight employees and ten customers hostage. By the siege’s end, the gunman had shot and killed café manager Tori Johnson, and was ultimately himself killed by police fire. But it was news of the third death – that of Katrina Dawson, a lawyer and friend of the news program, who was killed by fragments from shots fired by police – that caused “Sunrise” reporter Nat Barr to completely lose her composure as the weight of the devastation hit her on live TV.

#6: Gloria Campos

Ke’onte Cook Says Thank You
Take a Dallas news anchor with a big heart, add a segment that helps foster children find a new home and family, then mix in an 8 year-old orphan and you’ve got the recipe for a seriously heart-warming story. Anchor Gloria Campos first featured Ke’onte Cook on her “Wednesday’s Child” segment in 2007, and later again in 2009. The second time was the charm, as Ke’onte was fostered and adopted by a loving couple and saw his life completely change for the better. In 2014, co-anchor John McCaa introduced a piece bringing viewers up to date on Ke’onte’s journey, after which the now young man walked out to hug and personally thank a tearful Campos for her efforts.

#5: Lance West

Oklahoma’s Wild Tornado
Reporting on natural disasters can’t be something you’d ever get used to. When a wild tornado ripped through the Oklahoma City suburbs, it virtually flattened neighborhoods and hit an elementary school, with catastrophic results. Children and teachers faced winds of up to 200 miles per hour, which left many trapped under rubble and fighting for their lives. Crossing live to the news studio, reporter Lance West couldn’t contain his emotions when talking about the disaster’s dire consequences, and the need to literally pull young bodies from the rubble.

#4: Kate Bolduan

War-Torn Syria
The challenging footage of 5-year-old Syrian boy Omran Daqneesh dominated headlines and circulated social media feeds worldwide in August 2016. After his home was bombed in the final months of the siege of Aleppo, footage captured Daqneesh once he was pulled from the rubble. Not only was he covered in dust and blood, but he was also sitting completely alone in an ambulance. As CNN Anchor Kate Bolduan shared his story and reported on the devastating effects of the Syrian Civil War, the heartbroken presenter struggled to keep herself together.

#3: Graham Satchell

Paris Terror Attack Vigils
Terror attacks inspire fear, but they can also bring out the best in humanity by prompting unity and harmony in the face of evil. People come together to show their support and recognize innocent people that might’ve been affected by terror. It’s for this reason that BBC News Reporter Graham Satchell couldn’t contain his emotions when sharing the uplifting stories of tributes that were flowing in for the victims of the November 2015 Paris Terror Attacks. Reporting from the scene of a Paris vigil, he highlighted the hope and positivity in the air, despite the tragic circumstances.

#2: Walter Cronkite

The Death of John F. Kennedy
It was Friday, November 22, 1963 when John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. One of the first newsmen to report on the death was legendary anchor Walter Cronkite. Cronkite was known for covering some of the biggest events of his era, but nothing would ever compare to the death of JFK. Cronkite revealed that the President had died only 38 minutes after the CBS news coverage began. Visibly struggling to comprehend the cruel reality of the event, Cronkite’s emotional quivering and removal of his glasses spoke volumes and was perfectly in tune with the shocked state of the American public.

#1: Anderson Cooper

Orlando Nightclub Shooting Tributes
It’s no secret that American journalist Anderson Cooper is one of the highest regarded professionals in the business, with this report only solidifying that reputation. Less than 48 hours after the deadly attack where 49 people were killed and 58 were wounded at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, Cooper opened his program by sharing the stories, names and ages of the victims who were lost in the tragedy. While reading the warming tributes, Anderson uncontrollably choked on his words, occasionally pausing and tearing up. A testament to his professionalism, the seasoned journalist didn’t stop until each person was acknowledged.