The President’s Award 2023

The following are remarks from OPC President Scott Kraft from the 2023 issue of Dateline magazine:

“We selected CNN’s Christiane Amanpour as the recipient of the 2022 President’s Award for her dogged work holding truth to power in a career that has spanned more than four decades. A journalistic force of nature, Christiane has delivered sober and penetrating reporting from every corner of the world.”

Kraft spoke about Amanpour in his introduction during the awards program:

“The life of a war correspondent has never been easy. It requires steely nerves, of course. The logistics can be daunting and the danger, real. It also requires a deep understanding of the world and an ability to focus – to ask tough questions in high-pressure settings and to find the stories behind the stories.

“Christiane Amanpour, tonight’s recipient of the President’s Award, is one of the leading war reporters of this or any generation. She has covered genocide and war in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. She has reported from every part of the world over the course of three decades, and produced award-winning documentaries and in-depth specials. She also has put numerous world leaders on the spot in tough interviews.

“Christiane has said that her desire to be a journalist was kindled by her family’s firsthand experience with trauma. Her father was an Iranian airline executive, and the family fled Iran following the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Her father lost everything he owned in Iran.

“She earned a degree in journalism from the University of Rhode Island and worked for an NBC affiliate in Providence before CNN hired her as an assistant on the international news desk. She soon moved to CNN’s New York City bureau as a producer-correspondent and, from there, to the Frankfurt bureau, in the midst of the pro-democracy movement then under way in Europe.

“Most of us remember her illustrious work from her next assignment – covering the Persian Gulf War, from the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait to the victory of the U.S.-led coalition.

“She has won awards for her journalism and her dedication to journalistic freedom. And, yes, she also has won an OPC award – for her work covering the Arab Spring for ABC News – and several citations.

“She is currently chief international anchor for CNN and host of CNN International’s nightly interview program, Amanpour. She is also host of Amanpour & Company, on PBS.

“I am pleased to give this year’s President’s Award to one of the world’s most-respected journalists – Christiane Amanpour.”