Veteran political journalist explains why she uses Instagram to report

By Grace Segers

/ CBS News

Jessica Yellin, the former CNN chief White House correspondent, wants you to know that there is "life after TV." Yellin, who left the network in 2013, has taken to explaining the news to readers in posts on her Instagram account, which has a fervent following. She also published her first novel, "Savage News," this spring.

Yellin spoke with CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent Major Garrett for this week's episode of "The Takeout" podcast.

"The idea is that I'm using a different kind of platform to reach an audience of people who might not be getting news in general, and I want to explain to them what's going on in no-drama terms," Yellin said about her newscast on Instagram, which she calls #NewsNotNoise. Her feed has won some prominent followers, including comedian Amy Schumer, who announced her pregnancy on the newscast.

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"I do think that there is a need for some news that is more calm than our politics and that reaches an audience that just feels that there's too much shouting, and they can't take it anymore, and so they're tuning out," Yellin said.

Yellin also talked about the difficulty of "reporting while female," and how she incorporated her struggles as a woman in journalism into her book. She said that focusing so much on her appearance as a TV reporter could distract from doing her job.

"It's the constant balancing act. How do I look TV-appealing, but not sexy. This is a constant mindspace that's being spent on these questions that eats up other energy that you could be using to think about the news," Yellin said.

She also talked about incorporating #MeToo related stories into her writing. When she first started writing, she said, early readers told Yellin to take out stories about workplace harassment. After the #MeToo movement began, those readers told her to put those stories back into her novel.

"Let's acknowledge there's this other category of gray area where creepy stuff happens, and you don't have to get someone fired over it, but we need a language to talk about it and stop it," Yellin said about everyday workplace harassment women face.

For more of Major's conversation with Jessica Yellin, download "The Takeout" podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, or Spotify. New episodes are available every Friday morning. Also, you can watch "The Takeout" on CBSN Friday at 5pm, 9pm, and 12am ET and Saturday at 1pm, 9pm, and 12am ET. For a full archive of "The Takeout" episodes, visit www.takeoutpodcast.com. And you can listen to "The Takeout" on select CBS News Radio affiliates (check your local listings).

Producers: Arden Farhi, Katiana Krawchenko, Jamie Benson and Sara Cook
CBSN Production: Alex Zuckerman, Eric Soussanin and Grace Segers
Show email: [email protected]
Twitter: @TakeoutPodcast
Instagram: @TakeoutPodcast
Facebook: Facebook.com/TakeoutPodcast

First published on May 17, 2019 / 6:30 AM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Grace Segers

Grace Segers is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.

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