June 17th, 2008
11:49 AM ET

Anderson's View: Reporter's Notebook

Anderson Cooper in Cameroon

Anderson is on assignment for Planet In Peril: Battle lines following a team determined to stop the next deadly virus before it gets out of the jungle. Watch his Reporter's Notebook from Africa where he shows us some of the most poignant pictures from his trip and what they mean to him.

Filed under: Anderson Cooper • Planet in Peril
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. winar, indonesia

    Thanx for sharing your great adventure in africa.Keep up the good work!

    June 18, 2008 at 7:43 am |
  2. Dee Stevens

    The web was confusing yesterday, I found the poetic verse of PIP Two in the transcript pages 9 and 10. Your reporter's notebook should align your captions with the still life photos, then you will have a photo journal of your journey through the jungle.

    June 18, 2008 at 7:43 am |
  3. Gail Duncan

    Happy to hear you are out in the world keeping us informed! I love Africa and I pray for it's people and us all. I pray that this world, which more and more is flat not round, will see how we are all connected and must put aside our differences to make this planet safe and recover. Recover from our selfish abuses and egotistic way of living. There is hope. Keep showing us what is going on. Glad to see you out of the office and on the road!!!!!! Thanks

    June 18, 2008 at 5:38 am |
  4. ruth

    Thanks Blair for your comment and for your service to my country (Cameroon). I wish many others would travel to Africa and live with the people. If they did, they would have the kind of understanding that you portray. I love AC's work and admire the fact that he tries to be fair in his commentaries. Yet I have this question to ask. If all these deadly diseases come from Africa, why is it that we have existed for centuries and not been wiped out? Some times I almost wish explorers and colonizers should have left us alone, maybe we would have been better off with our ways and traditions and not get blame for the bad things that happen to the world.

    June 18, 2008 at 3:53 am |
  5. Megan Dresslar

    Hi Anderson
    Welcome back! Thank you for share with me while you were in Africa, This is so amazing pictures I seen! I love Planet in Peril 1 and soon 2.... I can't wait see PIP 2 next fall! Get rest and sleep tonight! Great job!!! 🙂 xoxo
    Megan D.
    Shoreline, Wa

    June 18, 2008 at 1:52 am |
  6. Annie Kate


    Great reporters notebook. I really liked the part on the gorillas and what you had to say about them. The images were very arresting especially with the narrative behind them.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    June 17, 2008 at 11:47 pm |
  7. Pamina

    What haunting images you have in your reporter's notebook. It's amazing to think that we have what we have here and yet in the communities you showed in the pictures, they do not have the same access. I look at those pictures and am so thankful I live where I do with the rights and medical care I have access to. Thank you for sharing those images with us.

    June 17, 2008 at 9:13 pm |
  8. David

    I am confused??? Why is Gore’s endorsement even news worthy? Obama has already won the nomination- why should this be important? The mainstream media should be covering real news like our troops in Iraq are winning the war… 19 killed this month as apposed to 179 a year ago. GOD BLESS AMERICA and our TROOPS!

    June 17, 2008 at 8:29 pm |
  9. EJ (USA)

    I saw this last night – and yes it is beautiful. Anything new to report today?

    Any personal thoughts? About life, guilt, death, joy, sorrow, war, peace? Let Sanjay and Anderson tell us their thoughts on that.

    June 17, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  10. Kim in NY

    Thank God the primaries are over and Anderson is out in the world again. This notebook was beautiful to both the ears and the eyes. My suggestion – leave the political stories to the others (Wolf is great, Candy is amazing...) and continue traveling the world and the US to tell us the human story. It seems to be where WE need you to be.

    Thanks for all your insights.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  11. Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX

    Poeticly written, amazing photography, and beautifully said about a tragic subject.
    Thanks and be careful out there.
    All .the best~

    June 17, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  12. Paula, Colorado

    Hi. Your Reporter's Notebook from your week in Africa is very moving. I look forward to seeing Planet In Peril II, but your personal reflections when you travel always make a profound difference in what story you are working on. Thanks for posting your Notebook on the website–it was the highlight of last night's program.
    Travel safely!

    June 17, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  13. Dee Stevens

    Your fans are waiting patiently for your return to NY Anderson. I agree with some of the bloggers your poetic voice describing your African journey amist the morning jungle habitat was very beautiful. Please post the text I would like to read your poem. You have captivated the moment with your own original imagination. May God be with you AC. I hope your documentary will win an award in that category.

    June 17, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  14. anne,nlfd.canada

    Hello Anderson:

    Thank you for your very moving and thoughtful Reporter's Notebook on last night's program.
    I have always looked forward to you doing them,and some of your Katrina and Niger ones still move me to tears.

    Your words,intertwined wiith Jeff's amazing images, are just one of the many things that make me look forward to seeing your next Planet In Peril installments.

    I have also enjoyed the blog updates as well.

    I hope all of the 360 team are now safely back home.

    Take care.

    June 17, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  15. pati mc., camp hill, pa

    Dear Anderson,

    I cannot even begin to relay how very moved I was by your beautiful words in this Reporter's Notebook. So poetic and deeply effective, you have captured the heart, the very essence of this amazing land and her people.

    This is you at your very best. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us in such a soulful way. It is so apparent how touched you are by these people, this land, this Africa.

    You are a gifted and rare man. Please keep doing what you were meant to do. The world needs your insight.

    Be Well and safe travels.

    June 17, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  16. Jo Ann

    Dear Anderson,

    I have always loved your Reporter’s Notebooks and this is one of your best! I think that it is the intimacy of these pieces that makes them so special. Your sensitive thoughts are beautifully complemented by the atmospheric black and white photography; the result is very poignant.

    Africa’s troubles may seem far away to us, but as we found out with AIDS, the problems in Africa can become problems for the rest of the world. If we choose to ignore those struggling just to survive, sooner or later these same problems will touch us all.

    I appreciated that you included both the positive and the negative aspects of life in Africa. Your description of the mountain gorillas is very touching. Some people don’t believe in attributing human-like feelings to animals, but when I watch them interact with each other, playing or showing obvious affection without human interference, I am convinced that they have similar fears and joys.

    I wish that you could find time to do more writing.

    This is my favorite passage from the notebook:

    At times in the heat and dust, you feel apart from it all. But when the rains come, the dust disappears, and the streets are born again. You have the chance to see the world, a chance to see yourself in a whole new way. We are just visiting here. One day, we too, will be washed away in the rain.

    Take care,
    Jo Ann
    North Royalton, Ohio

    June 17, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  17. Blair

    As a returned Peace Corps volunteer from Southern Cameroon, I find this series very entertaining. I lived in Nyabessan, the tiny village y'all visited, for over a year (then moving to Ambam, a larger town in the same region).

    It's a big mistake, though, to think that folks are being forced to eat bushmeat because they have no other option. Many Cameroonians – especially in the South – eat bush meat because their people have been doing so for a very, very long time. It's a part of their heritage and tradition, and there's nothing wrong it it (some of the meat actually tastes pretty good). A much more relevant story here would be the rapaciously corrupt, authoritarian government in Yaounde, which oppresses its people and keeps them in poverty while keeping the president and his coterie in luxury.

    It's funny to see my old stomping grounds depicted as deep, dark and dangerous! I hope you enjoyed it there – and tried the mangoes!

    June 17, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  18. Carol B., Virginia

    Hi A.C. The b&w photos, along with your words seem to convey the raw beauty of the region. It also outlines dangerous aspects of humans consuming wildlife, which is creating epidemic health hazards. What will come of this trip and research? Will the indigenous people be introduced and provided with safe farming methods and animal consumption (ie; fish, chicken, etc) and more health care? The pictures of you all sitting among the gentle giants was contemplative. Funny that you have such admirers in the never-married gorillas.

    June 17, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  19. skipper

    gosh, Anderson, what a powerful photo essay!The black and white photos are amazing.

    I am looking forward to the next installment of PIP.

    June 17, 2008 at 1:22 pm |
  20. michelle: Ont,Canada

    This was truly sad and depressing to see al the suffering and the deadly viruses that are spreading through the jungles. Andeerson and your tem are extrorindary at reporting on all of this thank you for being so compassionate Anderson you are truly one of a kind

    June 17, 2008 at 1:12 pm |
  21. Diane N.

    Utterly astounding piece. Nothing but good can come out this search for the causes of and finding cures for viruses old and new. The more that can be taught and learned the better. There are people doing the leg work to find these cures, they have to start somewhere and I can only appreciate more and admire the fact that Anderson is walking with them. Being part of this process and reporting it back wholeheartedly to us.

    June 17, 2008 at 1:05 pm |
  22. Lilibeth

    Hi Anderson, thanks for the Reporter’s Notebook. It gave us a glimpse of what you have discovered in your travels. I, for one, have been educated with the little bit of information I received from you and Sanjay. For example, I hadn’t heard of some of the diseases you described, until now, thanks to the scientists who are so dedicated to their work. I have utmost respect for what they do and I hope that through them we will find ways to combat these diseases. I also hope that through your work, the world at large will come together and help the people of Africa find ways to increase their food supply so that they won’t have to rely on bushmeat.

    Welcome back.

    Edmonds, Washington

    June 17, 2008 at 12:56 pm |
  23. Cherisa

    Your notebook entry, combined with the photos, provide great insight into the last week. I look forward to getting the full context of your travels and discoveries – an appreciation of the cultures, an understanding of the dilemmas and illumination on changing the course.

    June 17, 2008 at 12:46 pm |
  24. Missy

    Hey, did you fly back to the jungle already? We thought you came back!!! We been tricked!

    Anyhoot, good to see your report!

    June 17, 2008 at 12:23 pm |
  25. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    Hi Anderson,
    As usual a great reporter's notebook. Words, really do paint a picture.
    Take care.

    Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif.

    June 17, 2008 at 12:07 pm |
  26. Cindy

    I have to say that this reporters notebook was amazingly awesome!! Your poetic words along with the stark difference in the black and white photos made this notebook the best that you have ever done!! Way to go!!

    I can not wait to see the rest of your work in the doc for PIP2. If it's anything like this notebook then you've got a hit for sure.


    June 17, 2008 at 12:02 pm |
  27. Jeff Thomas

    You're a role model to students everywhere that want to do big things in the world. Thank you for following your dreams and helping our generation realize that the world is a smaller place than we once thought.

    June 17, 2008 at 11:54 am |