Since taking the reins of the CBS Sunday morning news program Face the Nation in early 2018, Margaret Brennan has helped viewers navigate the rough waters of American politics, global affairs, the economy and more. A Connecticut native, Brennan is the only woman serving as solo moderator of a major Sunday morning television political news program, and her insightful handling of discussions of complex topics, her intelligent approach to analysis and commentary, and her no-nonsense style are considered largely responsible for Face the Nation taking the top spot in the Sunday morning news ratings. As was the case for most Americans, the past year brought a number of unexpected pivots for Brennan \u2014 as well as for the show. As COVID-19 and its impacts gripped the U.S. and the world, Face the Nation revamped into an hour-long PSA, shedding the traditional format of political insiders and pundits to focus not just on politics, but also on those most affected by the pandemic: frontline workers, women and minorities in particular; and bringing viewers interviews with top scientists and economists. Also serving as senior affairs correspondent for CBS News, Brennan recently launched a new podcast, Facing Forward , bringing the focus and format of Face the Nation to a new medium. Here, in an edited email exchange, Brennan looks back on the challenges, divisiveness and major issues that marked 2020, from partisan politics to the pandemic, as well as looks ahead to what\u2019s in store for our nation the rest of this year. Brennan, working from home these days while caring for her 2-year-old son, also shares some life-changing personal news. John Roche: How do you view the press\u2019 performance in handling one of the most tumultuous periods, political and otherwise, in U.S. history? Margaret Brennan: I am proud of my team at Face the Nation for staying focused on facts, information, perspective and context in an environment that often seems to feed off of vitriol, conflict and opinion. JR: Has the press\u2019 role or responsibilities changed in recent years? Are there areas or aspects you'd like to see journalists and commentators handle differently moving forward? MB: My concern for us as a country is that the partisanship and pursuit of affirmation of belief rather than information about a complex reality will persist. I hope that there will be a renewal of respect for journalists who hold all political leaders to account, which is necessary for a functioning democracy. It is frustrating to me at times to see the blurring of lines on television and online between journalists who chronicle fact and commentators who share analysis and opinion. One is not the same as the other. All of us need to remember that and we owe it to the public to continue being tough on those in power so that we continue to hold the trust of the public. JR: What are your favorite aspects of your job? MB: My favorite part is the license it provides to pick up the phone and call decision-makers to ask them directly about the choices that they make that influence our lives. Having a front-row seat to history and being part of discovering and uncovering what is really happening is addictive. It is not just a vocation, it is a calling. You have to have a genuine curiosity and concern to be willing to sacrifice your holidays, weekends and time off to chase the moment and news as it happens. Unfortunately, history doesn\u2019t always happen on your schedule. JR: As the second woman to moderate Face the Nation, are you hopeful that there will be increased diversity in the news media? MB: As an American I am hopeful that we will continue to find ways to reflect and understand our own complexity and diversity. Understanding a point of view and how events impact people is important for us as a country. For instance, I would like to hear more about the solutions to the economic crisis that has been borne most significantly by women this time around. I also want to hear more about why as a society we have not chosen to address the burden put on them specifically as primary caregivers with the challenge of school closures that require childcare, the closure of childcare centers due to the pandemic, and the disproportionate job losses in the industries in which women happen to work. This is the first female-led recession. What will our recovery look like and why aren\u2019t we hearing more about the plan to help them? JR: You were born in Stamford and went to school at The Convent of the Sacred Heart in Greenwich. Do you still have ties to the state? MB: The past five generations of my mother\u2019s family have lived in Connecticut, and I still have plenty of family in Newtown, Danbury and Southington. I was born in Stamford, grew up in Danbury and went to high school in Greenwich. JR: What topics are you hoping to explore in 2021 on Face the Nation and in your other work? MB: It is hard to predict the unpredictable, but to a certain extent we do know some of the critical issues that will confront us in 2021. That includes ending this pandemic through the complicated distribution of a vaccine. That will be the source of lots of political problems for months to come. Rebuilding the economy and the damage it has done to the most vulnerable in our society will take work. The Biden-Harris administration faces a long list of issues to confront. We\u2019ll continue to bring our viewers all of them. I\u2019ll also continue reporting on the global shifts and national security issues confronting the U.S. The full version of this article originally appeared in Connecticut Magazine. You can subscribe here, or find the current issue on sale here. Sign up for the newsletter to get the latest and greatest content from Connecticut Magazine delivered right to your inbox. On Facebook and Instagram @connecticutmagazine and Twitter @connecticutmag.