Tadias Interview with Fanna Haile-Selassie

Fanna Haile-Selassie is a correspondent for ABC-affiliated WSIL-TV's News 3 - a television station that covers parts of Illinois, Missouri, and Tennessee. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tseday Alehegn

Published: Monday, March 12, 2012

New York (TADIAS) – Our second interview for the Women’s History Month series features broadcast journalist Fanna Haile-Selassie, a political reporter for the ABC-affiliated WSIL-TV – a television station that covers Southern Illinois, Southeastern Missouri, and parts of West Tennessee.

Fanna joined WSIL-TV’s News 3 team in August of last year. She was previously in Rochester, Minnesota, where she worked as the political, crime, and courts reporter for a local TV station for more than three years. Fanna has been honored for her work by the Minnesota Associated Press and the Minnesota Society of Professional journalists. She is a graduate of University of Missouri’s School of Journalism.

Below is our Q&A with Fanna Haile-Selassie:

TADIAS: What do you most enjoy about your work?

Fanna Haile-Selassie: I love that I am always learning something new at my job. Each day means a new story, whether I am heading to the state Capitol or into a medical clinic to learn about the latest scientific breakthroughs; my job is always exciting.

TADIAS: Who are your female role models?

FH: I admire all women who have the gumption and perseverance to reach their goals. Christiane Amanpour has always been a long-standing favorite of mine, but I actually find new role models almost on a weekly basis in my career. I have told many stories about strong women breaking barriers in their industry, or making a difference in their community while battling cancer, or even giving up everything to provide for their families. I find renewed strength in myself every time I get to meet one of these women and tell their story.

TADIAS: What challenges have you faced as a female reporter?

FH: The stereotype of broadcast journalism being dominated by men is quickly changing. More women are graduating from journalism schools than ever before. My journalism graduating class had more females. Currently, my newsroom has only one male reporter. As my industry recognizes more women in the field, the challenges have also reduced professionally.

TADIAS: What are some practical tips you can give for young women who want to follow in your footsteps?

FH: I would classify journalism almost like a calling. Reporters do not make a lot of money on average, they work long hours, sometimes get a bad reputation from the public, and have to report on some pretty terrible things. So before I recommend anyone to become a journalist, I would have them make sure this is truly what they wanted to do. The true satisfaction I get from my job is knowing that I am making a difference in this world by informing the public. People who are not in this career for the right reasons don’t know that satisfaction, and they rarely stay in this career.

TADIAS: Please tell us briefly about yourself (where you were born, grew up, school and how you developed your passion for your work?)

FH: I was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. My parents always encouraged me to strive to be the best, and I believe my pursuit of success led me to be a bit of a control freak. I always need to know what is going on around me at all times, and I never like being “out of the loop”. I figured out in high school that journalism would allow me to investigate all the things that made me so curious. I chose to go to the Missouri School of Journalism, one of the best broadcast journalism schools in the country. There, I discovered my passion for political reporting while working at a radio station in the state Capitol. Since graduating, I have worked as a general assignment reporter, but am the “go-to” person for all the political stories.

TADIAS: Thank you so much and Happy Women’s History month from all of us at Tadias!

Stay tuned for more highlights celebrating Ethiopian women role models and change agents.

Video: Collection of Recent News Reporting by broadcast journalist Fanna Haile-Selassie

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27 Responses to “Tadias Interview with Fanna Haile-Selassie”

  1. 1 Selamawit Mar 12th, 2012 at 12:37 am

    Great highlight of Fanna Haile-Selassie!

  2. 2 mel tewahade Mar 12th, 2012 at 12:46 am

    Fanna Haile Selassie is a source of pride to all of us. She is bringing the diligence that can be example to young people and Ethiopian girls and boys in particular. Keep up the good work and may you go national and be syndicated as soon as the opportunity present itself to you.

  3. 3 Feven Mar 12th, 2012 at 1:26 am

    I love Tadias Magazine!

  4. 4 Selomme T. Mar 12th, 2012 at 3:24 am

    I enjoyed the Q & A with Fanna! Thank you Tseday. Good luck Fanna!


  5. 5 Haime MS Mar 12th, 2012 at 3:59 am

    She is FAB!

  6. 6 Mimi Mar 12th, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Thank you Tadias for always featuring positive and inspiring news about our people. I appreciate your website very much.

    Great job Fana! I’m proud of you.

  7. 7 Mez Mar 12th, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    As a writer I agree with Fanna Haile-Selassie that Journalism is a calling and a passion and compassion for people and their stories. Anyone can learn how to hammer a nail, but not everyone can be a carpenter. It is the same in Journalism. It’s a profession. My favorite quote about journalism comes from Henry Anatole Grunwald who said that “Journalism can never be silent: that is its greatest virtue and its greatest fault. It must speak, and speak immediately, while the echoes of wonder, the claims of triumph and the signs of horror are still in the air.” How true.

    I enjoyed learning about Ms. Haile-Selassie! All the best to both ladies. Happy Women’s History month!

  8. 8 Ras Mitat Mar 12th, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    She is konjo!!

  9. 9 Debre Tabor Mar 12th, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Thank you for this profile Tadias. She is someone to watch and root for.

  10. 10 Edward G. Udell, Sr. Mar 12th, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    Thank you for sharing this information! Is Fanna Haile-Selassie related to H.I.M. Haile Selassie?

    Edward George Udell, Sr.

  11. 11 Elsi Zwriter Mar 12th, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Fanyeee! We all are so proud of you…(In-behalf of your family around the world!!!)

    We Love You!!!

  12. 12 H.I.M. Mar 12th, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    Who she is related to is irrelevant. Don’t get scared, I am not H.I.M. I am Ras Mitat :-)

  13. 13 Sara Mar 12th, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    I like Fanna. She is a serious journalist. I live in Harrisburg and we watch her all the time. I am so proud of her. Go Girl!!

  14. 14 Fish Mar 12th, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Good interview. I also watched the video collection of Fanna’s reports. She definitely got talent!

  15. 15 kim Mar 13th, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Very talented!

  16. 16 Proud Ethiopian Woman Mar 15th, 2012 at 6:15 pm


    Thank you so much for the report. I love reading Tadias because it focuses on postive things that Ethiopians do in their country and abroad!

  17. 17 silver Mar 16th, 2012 at 11:38 am

    I also watch Fanna on WSIL channel 3. She got what it takes to be a network anchor. She is professional, beautiful and witty.

  18. 18 Rules for Posting Comments Mar 17th, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Tadias encourages thoughtful discussion. All comments must follow one simple rule: Stay on topic. We reserve the right to remove or edit comments.

  19. 19 Mahlet Mar 18th, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Fanna, you are a good reporter. I am applying next year to University of Missouri’s School of Journalism. Will keep my fingers crossed!


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