The Independent has a new article titled "Back On The Frontline But Without a Flak Jacket" on Christiane Amanpour and her new show. Here's an excerpt:
Christiane Amanpour is surveying her studio, proud. It is typically, grandiosely, CNN. Her name scrolls in giant letters across a dozen flat-screen televisions, bathed in a rich red. Along the vast video wall that dominates one side of the set, a map of the world floats in blue.
"Teal," she corrects. "All the American shows use red, white and blue. We didn't want that." After all, the show – titled simply Amanpour – is a new daily flagship for prime time on CNN International. A "greatest hits" package is aired on Sundays in the US, but the programme is a deliberately internationalist contrast to most of the rest of the output from the New York newsroom where it is based. It is serious global news, from the quintessential global news reporter.
There is something inherently incongruous about the famed war correspondent confined in a studio. This is the woman who rose to worldwide prominence, with CNN itself, as one of the flak-jacketed rooftop anchors of the first Gulf War. Like the BBC's Kate Adie before her, Amanpour exists in the popular imagination as a fifth rider, a short distance behind the apocalyptic horsemen. Her reporting, most notably her heartfelt descriptions of ethnic cleansing in Sarajevo, has been credited with changing US foreign policy. Her laptop case, stickered with entry visas from war zones across the world, is on show in Washington's Newseum, an institution dedicated to journalism. What on earth is she doing behind a desk?
"For me, this is a real challenge," she says. "I am perfectly used to being out there fighting for the story. This, however, is outside my comfort zone. The common imperative is to explain. For me, that is my mission statement. To continue doing what I have been doing in the field, going to difficult places and bringing information back, and presenting it in an honest way, and in as human a way as possible. To tell stories that are vital and compelling, and to connect with people."