Barnett has been an anchor and reporter for CNN International, based in Atlanta; among news stories he covered were the attacks in Paris, protests in Ferguson, Missouri, and the death of Nelson Mandela. Prior to anchoring from Atlanta, Barnett was a general assignment correspondent based in Johannesburg, South Africa. He also hosted CNN’s weekly series Inside Africa, for which he reported from 22 countries on the continent in 24 months.
Barnett joined CNN in 2008, after working briefly as a host-correspondent for ReelzChannel, while he got his degree at UCLA. For ReelzChannel, he interviewed Angelina Jolie, Russell Crowe, Halle Berry and Christian Bale, and covered film festivals and movie premieres.
He started his journalism career when Channel One News selected him to join their annual ‘Student Produced Week’ in Los Angeles. The network offered him a full-time job and, during his five years there, he reported on the 2004 Democratic National Convention; the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the teenage heroin use in the New England suburbs, among other things.