Acclaimed journalist Christiane Amanpour received her latest recognition this month when the University of Arizona School of Journalism awarded the host of Amanpour & Co. the Zenger Award for Press Freedom. Amanpour shared her views on the importance of a free press with Christopher Conover. She also discussed the philosophy behind her reporting mantra, “be truthful, not neutral.”
“You’ve got to tell the truth. You cannot sit and assume or tell people that in every case there’s a 'he-said, she said.' That’s an attempt to be neutral when often it doesn’t exist,” Amanpour said. She went on to apply that philosophy to early reporting on climate change.
“For a long, long time, journalists were guilty of treating this crisis as a 'he-said, she said,' thinking that objectivity was equating the unbelievable weight of scientific evidence with the teeny-weeny number of deniers who we elevated to equal partners,” Amanpour said.
During Amanpour’s visit in Tucson she spoke to students in the UA school of journalism. She explained to Conover her views about the future of journalism and opportunities for women entering the field.
“When I started, certainly as a war correspondent, there were very few women doing this. Very, very few. And now almost everyone is a woman,” Amanpour said. “I would say one thing: There aren’t enough women in the executive suites. There aren’t enough women in the top decision-making places.”