Sunday, August 5, 2018

Isha Sesay out at CNN International after 13 years, cites excessive coverage of Donald Trump; now wants to help Africa's girls.

Isha Sesay, the TV anchor and reporter well-known to African TV news viewers, has left CNN International (DStv 401) after 13 years, citing excessive coverage in Western media of the American president Donald Trump drowning out other news and saying that she wants to focus on more coverage about Africa and devote more time to helping the continent's young girls.

On Wednesday on social media Isha Sesay, using her Twitter account wrote, "It's really happening, folks!! After more than a decade behind the desk with those three red letters… I HAVE LEFT CNN."

In an interview with the site Whatweseee, Isha Sesay said "It's all so Trump-focused. He sucked all of the oxygen out of the room. The media is following that lead to the exclusion of almost everything else, in a meaningful way. For me, personally, it's not what I want to spend all my time doing".

She said she wants to "do more coverage of the Ebola outbreak, of the elections in Liberia, or any number of things that are happening. I'm ready to take control of what I’m talking about".

Isha Sesay who joined Turner Broadcasting's CNN International and anchored shows like International Desk, BackStory, CNN NewsCenter, and filed reports for the weekly African Voices, was also a co-host of the now scrapped annual CNN MultiChoice African Journalist of the Year Awards that rewarded African journalism from across the continent.

Her last anchor work was as co-anchor of CNN Newsroom: Los Angeles with John Vause the past three years done from Los Angeles. In August 2013 Isha Sesay got married to fellow CNN staffer Leif Coorlim in Atlanta.

Isha Sesay was a vocal and outspoken journalist about the story of the Chibok school girls in Nigeria who were abducted in April 2014, doggedly pursuing, covering and holding the Nigerian government to account for its failure to do more faster to find and free the girls.

"I've been at CNN for 13 years, it's the end of a huge chapter," Isha Sesay told Whatweseee. "It's been such a tremendous time, such an eventful 13 years - I feel like I grew up working there. I showed up as a 30-year old in 2005, with two suitcases and a one-year contract - I've managed to make that last 13 years. It's been amazing, I've been married when I was there, divorced when I was there, it's all happened."

She explained that she is "writing a book about the Chibok girls, it's being released in May 2019. It really speaks to where my head is at, currently - a lot more coverage about Africa, a lot more work on the continent, and a lot more focus on young girls. That's what I'm about right now."

Isha Sesay said she wants to "put a focus on Africa in the way I wish all international media would cover Africa".