Skip to main content

CNN's Amanpour makes plea to fund and protect journalism

By Peter Bale, CNN
November 14, 2013 -- Updated 1534 GMT (2334 HKT)
CNN's Christiane Amanpour addresses the audience at NewsXchange in Morocco.
CNN's Christiane Amanpour addresses the audience at NewsXchange in Morocco.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • CNN's Christiane Amanpour gave a speech at the NewsXchange event
  • She highlighted the need to fund journalism and respect human rights, including press freedom
  • She described U.S. President Barack Obama's administrations as "litigious against journalists"
  • Amanpour also encouraged journalists not to portray every person in authority as corrupt

(CNN) -- Christiane Amanpour has urged news industry leaders and politicians to protect journalism with proper funding and respect for human rights, including freedom of the press.

In a speech to a major gathering of television executives in Morocco on Thursday, CNN's Chief International Correspondent painted a picture of a vital industry squeezed by cost cutting on one hand and aggressive political interference on the other.

"What we are is story-tellers," Amanpour told the opening session of NewsXchange which brings together broadcasters from around the world. Without that commitment to storytelling, the industry would lose its reason to exist and society would lose the ability to hold politicians to account, she said.

"Good journalism is good business," Amanpour said, addressing a news industry fraught with concern about falling advertising budgets, challenges from the Internet and fears over the cost of maintaining news coverage. "Without the storytellers there is no business; there is no successful business."

Amanpour said that politicians were putting increasing pressure on journalists; particularly those from their own national and local media. She called for a recommitment to the principle of the freedom of the press, and a move away from the demonization of journalists themselves.

She described the U.S. administration of President Barack Obama as the most "litigious against journalists that we have had in decades," making clear it was not just a problem in emerging democracies such as Turkey, Cairo and Sri Lanka.

On Sri Lanka, where the government has attacked media coverage of its human rights record in the victory over Tamil Tiger rebels, Amanpour urged Commonwealth leaders meeting there this week to hold the Colombo government to account: "I do hope that they will put freedom of press and human rights at the top of their agenda."

At the same time Amanpour made clear journalists had a responsibility themselves to protect balance in their work and also not to portray every politician or person in authority as vain or corrupt.

"We are also at risk of further tearing down the fabric of civil society by adding to the notion that every form of authority is simply useless; hopeless."

AMANPOUR BLOG: Did UK government target journalist?

READ: Iraq: Where were the journalists?

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
September 15, 2014 -- Updated 2232 GMT (0632 HKT)
ISIS has slaughtered hundreds. Now nearly 40 nations have agreed to take the fight to the militants. But what can they do?
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1253 GMT (2053 HKT)
ISIS has captured the minds of a new generation of global jihadists. What does it mean for al Qaeda?
September 15, 2014 -- Updated 1504 GMT (2304 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 0338 GMT (1138 HKT)
Treated with all due respect, volcanoes can offer some stunning vistas. Just don't fall in.
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 0522 GMT (1322 HKT)
The blogger, the hacker, the PM... and Kim Dotcom? New Zealand's election campaign erupts in scandal.
September 11, 2014 -- Updated 0236 GMT (1036 HKT)
In the aftermath of that deadly day, the enemy quickly became clear. But now a plurality of extremist threats tests global resolve.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1321 GMT (2121 HKT)
Soviets put stray dogs into orbit. Then, next thing you know...
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 0928 GMT (1728 HKT)
Her name is Thokozile Matilda Masipa, and she is the woman who will rule whether Oscar Pistorius is a murderer.
September 9, 2014 -- Updated 1448 GMT (2248 HKT)
As a 10-year-old, this boy first hit the headlines in 1982 when he saved his cat from a fire. This year, he was reported to be a suicide bomber.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1517 GMT (2317 HKT)
After months -- if not years -- of speculation, the tech giant's first foray into wearables has arrived. Here are our first impressions.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 0805 GMT (1605 HKT)
Bali might be a popular tourist destination but there are crowd-free corners worth exploring.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1120 GMT (1920 HKT)
Scots are preparing to vote on the future of their country. Will they decide to leave the UK?
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT