Christiane Amanpour: ‘My Job Is Not to Preach to the Choir. I Believe in Being Truthful, Not Neutral’

By A.J. Katz Comment

“Don’t whine that you can’t find fair and unbiased news sources…They exist, but you have to actively seek them out.”

CNN chief international anchor (and new PBS host) Christiane Amanpour made those comments as part of PBS’ sessions at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour in Los Angeles today. Amanpour was on stage at TCA to speak about her new PBS program Amanpour and Company, which debuts September 10.

She also told the audience her approach with the new program is to “lay out as much as possible in terms of context and understanding of what’s happening in the world right now.”

According to PBS, Amanpour and Company “will feature wide-ranging, in-depth conversations with global thought leaders and cultural influencers on the issues and trends impacting the world each day, from politics, business and technology to arts, science and sports. Christiane Amanpour leads the conversation on global and domestic news from London with other interviews from prominent journalists Walter Isaacson, Michel Martin, Alicia Menendez and Hari Sreenivasan from the Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center in New York City.”

Amanpour acknowledged that there’s now some partisanship in journalism today, but says “my job is not to preach to the choir. I believe in being truthful, not neutral.” She aims to show that sentiment on the new program.

In addition to airing on PBS stations, the show will continue to air on CNN International. Some of the production will remain out of London for CNN International; some will be based in New York for PBS.

Amanpour & Company is the permanent replacement for Charlie Rose, which was canceled last November in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against the show’s host.

Washington Week moderator Robert Costa checked in via Skype from Washington to speak about the legendary roundtable program.

As moderator, Costa has found that “there’s a power in turning the volume down in this charged news environment,” and told attendees that he has found “people are craving civil, non-partisan discussion.”

Costa, who is also Washington Post national political reporter, was named Washington Week moderator in April 2017, taking over for the late-Gwen Ifill, who passed away in November 2016.

Adweek TV/Media Editor Jason Lynch contributed to this story. He is covering the multi-week conference on behalf of Adweek. Click here to read his stories on PBS and other networks that are paneling at the this year’s TCA.

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