Christiane Amanpour was born on January 12, 1958, in Iran. However according to some sources she was born in England. What’s certain is that she’s the daughter of an Iranian father and an English mother. She completed her primary education in Iran and she was sent to a boarding school in England when she was 11. She graduated from an all- girl’s school, “New Hall” in England. Because of the Islamic Revolution, she and her family couldn’t live in Iran any longer so they started to live in England.
Amanpour moved to the United States to study journalism at the University of Rhode Island. While she studied there, she worked in the news department at WBRU- FM, in Rhode Island. She also worked for NBC as an electronic graphics designer. In 1983, she graduated from the university with the highest honor and a bachelor of journalism degree.
In 1983, she got a job in CNN as an entry- level desk assistant in Atlanta. She landed her first big assignment about the Iran- Iraq War when she was a correspondent. Because of her success, she was transferred to Eastern Europe in 1986 to report on the fall of European communism. In 1989, she reported on the democratic revolutions that agitated Eastern Europe back than in Germany. In 1990, because of her great success, she moved up to the bureau of CNN in New York. Later on, she reported from a couple of wars such as the Bosnian War and the Persian Gulf War. She is remembered mostly by her courage because during the Gulf and Bosnian Wars, she jumped with a parachute into the conflict areas.
In 1992, Amanpour became CNN’s chief international correspondent. In 2009, she became the anchor of her daily interview program, Amanpour. She reported on major crises such as Palestinian territories, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Rwanda and Iran. She interviewed world leaders (Mohammad Khatami, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, presidents of Afghanistan, Sudan and Syria…) and they all turned out to be really popular. She interviewed Tony Blair (British Prime Minister), Jacques Chirac (French President) and Pervez Musharraf (Pakistani President) and she turned out to be the only person to interview them.
From 1996 to 2005, she made a deal with Don Hewitt to be on the show called 60 Minutes as a contributor who files her choice of important, international news. This show made her win another Peabody Award in 1998 like the one she won in 1993. However Don Hewitt’s successor was not happy with her work so he terminated her contract.
In 2010, she announced that she is going to anchor “This Week” of ABC News and that she is leaving CNN.
“I’m thrilled to be joining the incredible team at ABC News. Being asked to anchor This Week in the superb tradition started by David Brinkley is a tremendous and rare honor, and I look forward to discussing the great domestic and international issues of the day. I leave CNN with the utmost respect, love, and admiration for the company and everyone who works here. This has been my family and shared endeavor for the past 27 years, and I am forever grateful and proud of all that we have accomplished.”
However during the first two months of her new job, the show became less successful than it used to be. In fact, according to ABC News, ratings of the show had never been so low since 2003. On 2011, she interviewed Muammar Gaddafi and his sons.
In 2007, she was chosen the Persian Woman of the Year.
In 2010, she won nine Emmy Awards in documentary and a honor member of the graduating class of Harvard University.
Amanpour was criticized by some of the work she did. One of the reports she wrote for CNN was named “God’s Warriors” and many people from Israel and America didn’t like it. According to Israel’s HonestReporting, the report was being “hard on Jews, soft on Islam”. They claimed that the report was full of unfair prejudgments and the information given was not enough. They also said that the report wasn’t morally right.
In 1994, Stephen Kinzer of the New York Times criticized her report about the Bosnian War. He quoted a part of Amanpour’s report which was a part where Amanpour just made a guess about an event. Stephen Kinzer criticized her because according to him, there wasn’t a way Amanpour could have known it. She just made a guess and couldn’t support her idea which is against the spirit of journalism. However, Amanpour was proved right in 2004, in a trial which was made against Stanislav Galić, a Serb general. The same general showed the evidence which proved Amanpour right.
She was also criticized because she wasn’t being objective. Amanpour commented on this statement by saying:
“Some people accused me of being pro-Muslim in Bosnia, but I realized that our job is to give all sides an equal hearing, but in cases of genocide you can’t just be neutral. You can’t just say, ‘Well, this little boy was shot in the head and killed in besieged Sarajevo and that guy over there did it, but maybe he was upset because he had an argument with his wife.’ No, there is no equality there, and we had to tell the truth.”
She also said:
“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.”
In 1999, she was criticized for some of her points on Democratic politicians.
Amanpour is a member of CPJ: The Committee to Protect Journalists just like many other ones.
She is also a Board Member at the International Women’s Media Foundation. (IWMF)
I think that she is a good journalist because she’s very passionate about her job. If she wants an answer, she doesn’t let go without getting it. Her questions are not complicated. She’s also very brave. She can ask about anything to anyone. Her questions are reasonable because they’re always based on facts. Sometimes she makes the conversation difficult for the person she’s interviewing. She asks critical questions which gives the person whose being interviewed a hard time. She realizes the nervousness of that person and isn’t even afraid to ask why.
In my opinion, a good interviewer should be confident. He or she should be able to ask questions that would interest the viewers and give the interviewee a hard time. To interest the viewer, the interviewer should find a popular person who’s in the agenda. The interviewer should be clear on what he or she wants to know not to confuse the viewers and the interviewee. A good interviewer should always get the answer to his or her questions. An interviewer should always be in control that they stay on topic and never let the interviewee avoid the question. An interviewer should always support her statements with facts so that the answers can be more direct.