TRAILBLAZER THURSDAY: Christiane Amanpour
by Anna Morais
Born in England, raised in Iran, and college educated in Rhode Island. Christiane Amanpour, world-renowned journalist, has been a true trailblazer since childhood.
Christiane Amanpour, born in London, England in 1958, was raised in Tehran, Iran until she was 11 years old and began to attend boarding school in England. When she was 16 years old her family decided to permanently move to England, due to the Iran-Iraq war. After finishing her studies at New Hall, one of the boarding schools she attended, Amanpour decided to attend the University of Rhode Island, where she majored in journalism.
During her time at the University of Rhode Island, Christiane Amanpour worked in the news department at WBRU-FM, a small local radio platform. This job led to a job as an electronic graphics designer for NBC affiliate, WJAR, a television news station out of Providence, Rhode Island. Amanpour graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the university in 1983.
In 1983 Amanpour was hired as an entry-level desk assistant by CNN’s foreign desk out of Atlanta, Georgia. Her first major assignment in this role was to cover the Iran-Iraq War. This role led to another major assignment where she was tasked with covering the fall of communism in Europe. Her next assignment had her reporting on the democratic revolutions sweeping Eastern Europe. This assignment was a turning point in Amanpour’s career, as she was promoted to serve as a correspondent for CNN’s New York bureau in 1990.
During her time as a correspondent for CNN’s New York bureau Christiane Amanpour gained national notice for her fearlessness while reporting from conflict areas. During her coverage of the Bosnian War, Amanpour received backlash to her emotional delivery of her report from the Siege of Sarajevo. Many viewers felt her report was unprofessional and she favored the Bosnian Muslims. In response Amanpour stated, "There are some situations one simply cannot be neutral about, because when you are neutral you are an accomplice. Objectivity doesn't mean treating all sides equally. It means giving each side a hearing." Amanpour’s in-depth coverage of international conflicts helped CNN rise to an even better level of news coverage.
Amanpour continued to work as an international news correspondent with CNN until she left to anchor ABC News’ This Week. Unfortunately, during her first two months hosting This Week, ratings fell to their lowest point since 2003. In December of 2011 Amanpour announced she would return to CNN International, but would maintain a reporting role for ABC News.
This past May, it was announced Amanpour would permanently replace Charlie Rose on PBS, after he resigned in light of sexual misconduct allegations. Until the official premier of Amanpour & Company in September of 2018, Amanpour appeared on PBS nightly as Amanpour on PBS.
Amanpour has also guest-starred in many fictional television series, such as Gilmore Girls where she guest-starred as herself in the show’s series finale. This was because the main character Rory Gilmore, an aspiring journalist, looked up to Amanpour. This is easy to understand as Christiane Amanpour is an inspiration to many women worldwide. Over the course of her lifetime she has been able to advance in her career, all the while caring for her family. Amanpour has created a name for herself and it is known worldwide.