Markie Martin shared a frustration with many longtime cable viewers about the divisive partisanship in national news organizations — which made joining the team of the nonpartisan news organization NewsNation a perfect fit.
“When you channel surf, it’s hard to find a cable news network that isn’t an echo chamber for its audience, and so, for years, I just thought that unbiased fair journalism doesn’t really exist as a whole,” Martin told TheWrap in a recent interview. “I think NewsNation was created at a time when American news consumers were ready for change, and they were ready to watch something that wasn’t an echo chamber.”
For Martin, who began her tenure co-hosting “Morning in America” alongside Adrienne Bankert on Monday, joining the network at the onset of its rebrand in 2020 enabled her to get in on the ground floor as a world-class team of journalists focuses on providing content that is palatable to a wide range of American news viewers.
“You can turn on Newsnation, and be in a living room with your family — the aunts and uncles that you don’t agree with or the sibling you don’t agree with — and you can all be together and watch the same program, and nobody has to leave the room — nothing gets contentious, because I think we’re offering something that is down the middle,” Martin said. “We are getting more viewers who are ready for something refreshing, and they’re ready to hear the facts.”
Growing up in the small town of Ada, Oklahoma, Martin understands the average NewsNation viewer as like the members of her hometown, with the majority of the network’s composition middle America-based “hard workers who want the facts.” As viewers tune in to get their day started with the big stories of the day, Martin notes that NewsNation viewers want to trust their hosts and “relate to the people who are telling them the news.”
As she shifted her attention from serving as the network’s Dallas-based correspondent to delivering the most pressing news that broke overnight during the morning show, Martin is cognizant of the close relationship viewers share with morning news anchors, and looks forward to enabling the network’s morning audience to get to know her better.
“For a lot of people watching first thing in the morning, you are getting the kids ready for school or you’re getting yourself ready for work or you’re in bed with a loved one, and oftentimes those morning voices are the first to hear and for some people do the only voices that you hear all day long,” Martin said, adding that her new gig is a responsibility she doesn’t take lightly.
In addition to informing viewers of the nation’s biggest stories of the day, Martin hopes to report on stories rooted in human connection, noting that the most memorable projects she’s worked on have been those that struck a cord with the audience.
“At the end of the day, everybody watching wants to feel like they’re part of of that family, or like they’ve been seen, or they’ve learned something,” Martin said. “Stories that elicit change, hope, answers — those are the greatest stories to tell, because that’s the journalism that really makes a difference.”
Martin already scored several big wins during her three years at the network, most notably her exclusive interview with former President Donald Trump from Mar-a-Lago during the midterm elections, ahead of which she recalled considering which questions would be most important for Americans to hear from both perspectives.
“Since he left office, there are a lot of people who voted for [former] President Trump in 2016 that won’t be doing so again in 2024. I asked him, [if he ends up being the Republican nominee] does he think that he’s become a distraction to the Republican Party?” Martin recalled. “He thought quite the opposite.”
Ahead of Martin’s first Monday taking the reins of the morning show, she shared the positive response and feedback from viewers following the announcement of the change.
“[It’s] a testament to what we’ve done at the network, we’ve offered viewers — news and a product that is relatable [and] fair, and I think people are picking up on that,” Martin said.