Reporting the story

60 Minutes Overtime takes you behind the scenes of the broadcast each week, featuring interviews with the correspondents and producers who reported the story


60 Minutes Overtime's trademark is the "debrief" interview with a correspondent or producer. Through our weekly debriefs, the viewer gains a deeper understanding of how each story on the broadcast was reported, why producers chose a particular angle, and how the reporting unfolded in ways correspondents may not have expected. We pride ourselves on giving viewers a candid look at "the story behind the story" -- and we tell these stories in a highly intimate, short-form style that's tailored for a digital space.

November 9, 2014:

"One thing that strikes you when you arrive in the country is that the first thing you see is Liberian workers in the airport who are wearing face masks, and some of them wearing aprons. Before you can enter the terminal building, you have to wash your hands with chlorine," recalls Lara Logan about arriving in Liberia for her 60 Minutes story on an American-run clinic set up to treat people with Ebola.

Logan spoke to 60 Minutes Overtime via FaceTime from a hotel room in South Africa, where she and her 60 Minutes colleagues are self-quarantined following their week-long reporting assignment in Liberia.

May 18, 2014:

It took 60 Minutes producers Michael Karzis and James Jacoby more than a year to get their hands on visas to travel to Iran on a reporting trip for the broadcast. But when the producers finally arrived in Tehran, they were surprised by how freely they were allowed to do their work.

Karzis and Jacoby spent eight days roaming the streets with correspondent Steve Kroft, taking the pulse of the city through interviews with day-laborers, merchants, families, students, entrepreneurs, and anyone who stood up and had something to say.

Kroft was surprised by the reaction of ordinary Iranians when he stopped them on the street. "Most of these people haven't seen American journalists in more than 30 years, and I think that they really wanted to talk-- to speak their mind to an American. It wasn't hostile."

January 26, 2014:

This week, Scott Pelley reported on parents who are struggling to raise mentally ill kids. It wasn't an easy story tell. "The really difficult part is to get anyone to come onto television to talk about it," says Pelley. "Imagine being a parent appearing on 60 Minutes to talk about the serious mental illness of your child? Very hard to do."

The producers of the segment, Michael Rey and Oriana Zill de Granados, spent nine months working on the story and spoke to dozens of families across the country.

"Oriana and Michael searched the country, talked to any number of people who declined to be interviewed," says Pelley. "They were able to find several people, including Creigh Deeds, who found themselves in a position of wanting to tell the country about this problem so passionately that they were able to overcome, frankly, the embarrassment or the stigma of appearing on national television to talk about mental illness."

One group of mothers from Connecticut gathered for a group interview with Pelley and told him that the stigma is one of the most difficult parts of raising a child with a mental illness. When Pelley asked how raising a child with a physical illness is different from raising a child with a mental illness, the mothers responded in unison: "Casseroles."

February 9, 2014:

A bearded painter, living in the woods. A man with Parkinson's Disease, resting under an overpass. An older woman, sheltering in an abandoned trailer park.

These are just a few of the homeless people a 60 Minutes team met while trekking through the underbelly of Nashville on assignment for the broadcast.

"We interviewed so many people," said producer Andy Court. "You can't help wondering what happened to all these people."

"It really changes your perception of the problem of homelessness and the people who end up being homeless," said Cooper. He took the lesson home to New York City, where a homeless man panhandles and camps outside Cooper's front door.

"Before the story, it really annoyed me," says Cooper "I just ignored him. I just pretended he wasn't there. And after the story, I was like, 'This is ridiculous. This is my issue. Me pretending not to see this person is insane and offensive.'"

November 2, 2014:

"One of the real challenges with this interview was to constantly say, in the back of my head, 'OK, Clarissa, take a deep breath, because if you lose your cool here even for a second, they've won,'" says CBS News correspondent Clarissa Ward, describing her interview with pro-ISIS Islamic preacher Anjem Choudary.

For her 60 Minutes story this week, Ward interviewed Choudary and other radical Islamists, all British citizens, who are suspected of contributing to the spike of western fighters in Syria and Iraq.

Interviewing jihadis is familiar territory for Ward. She's covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the civil war in Syria. But interviewing British-born Islamic extremists in London was an unusual experience.

"It is challenging because when you're dealing with westernized extremists, you're sort of a little unclear on your role as a woman, as a westerner, as a journalist," Ward tells 60 Minutes Overtime. "On the one hand, these people seem very familiar ... one moment you could be kidding around with these guys ... the next moment, they would say something so startling or so deeply offensive that it really sort of throws you because you don't know how to react."

September 21, 2014:

For the season premiere of 60 Minutes, Scott Pelley reports on The Islamic State from the front lines and refugee camps in Iraq. 60 Minutes Overtime sent small cameras with Pelley's producers to document the 60 Minutes team reporting on the ground in Iraq. The producers, led by Henry Schuster, came back with vivid, behind-the-scenes footage.

"We wanted to be up close with ISIS," Schuster tells Overtime's Ann Silvio, using the acronym for the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

"My strategy was to divide and conquer. I went with my crew and we went to the front lines," says Schuster. "Rachael Morehouse is my associate producer, and her team went north to the refugee camps to hear what life was like under ISIS rule."

November 16, 2014:

During her interview with Cardinal Seán O'Malley -- on a windy rooftop overlooking St. Peter's Square in Rome -- CBS News' Norah O'Donnell says it was "tough to concentrate" while discussing the topic of child sex abuse.

Tough, O'Donnell says, because as she was talking with the cardinal, she also had to contend with extremely windy conditions, the blaring horns of Rome's traffic below and the bells of St. Peter's Basilica ringing out every 15 minutes.

Amidst the noise, O'Donnell kept her focus on the interview: "I'm thinking of not only what I want to ask the cardinal next, I'm thinking about what he's saying and following up on what he's saying. I'm thinking: Do I need to re-ask a question because there was a truck that honked in the middle of my question?"