Rose's reputation built on interviewing

Feb. 28, 2014 @ 12:40 AM

CHAPEL HILL — For Charlie Rose, no matter where he goes, he always remembers from where he came.

“North Carolina also keeps me honest,” he said. “I always know when I got back to North Carolina, everybody there will tell me the truth and tell me what matters and help me understand that, wherever I have gone, the roots of it began there. Never forget your roots.”

The Henderson native spoke at the N.C. Press Association’s awards banquet Thursday evening, where he was honored as the North Carolinian of the Year.

Rose said good journalists take the time to delve into what’s going on in the communities they cover.

“What they have done is what I try to do, which is, in a sense, to get at truth, to speak truth to power and to tell you what are the forces that are shaping your life,” he said. “My world is questions. I take great pride in the fact that my reputation was built on interviewing.”

Rose said reporters and editors need to ask themselves three fundamental when going about their routines: What is shaping the world today? What are the values that define the community? What are the great debates of the time?

Though the tools of the trade have changed, Rose said the basics of storytelling remain the same.

“It is a wonderful calling, and it is practiced no better than in North Carolina and in the towns here,” he said. “All of you know the challenges of that. We live in a very different world than I was born into.”

NCPA board president Les High said the press association’s decision to pick Rose as the North Carolinian of the Year was unanimous. While the honoree doesn’t have to be a North Carolinian or even a journalist, the person needs to represent the best of what the state has to offer.

And Charlie Rose does just that.

“This is a difficult task because there are so many outstanding Tar Heels doing good work at home and across the globe,” High said. “Journalist Charlie Rose is this year’s North Carolinian of the Year. I like that there is no mistaking the fact that Charlie is from North Carolina from the minute he opens his mouth.”

Contact the writer at vshortley@hendersondispatch.com. Follow her on Twitter at @herding_stets.