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Read this: Christiane Amanpour and a brief history of CNN

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Christiane Amanpour and a brief history …

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts hello, I'm Andrea catherwood, and this is the media show from BBC Radio 4 might be on standby ready to take 3 - 340 years ago and the concept of television news was changed forever.

When was the first Rolling news channel leader riders as the chicken noodle network but at the start of the 90s had spawned a host of imitators is live coverage of the first Gulf war in particular.

Had made it.

Essential viewing not just for millions of Americans but presidents and despots around the world further information about the prices of the computer screen 2 hours ago Lidl forces began attack on military targets in the weather in Baghdad autounattend Turner and that his fortune building something that is rival said couldn't be done to provide information to people when it wasn't available before for the American people whose first for understanding and a better life has made this venture possible to do the Madness that is consuming Bosnia British un forces stationed in this area are investigating the latest psychotic episode 3 all of its 40 years.

Has been christiane amanpour reporting of Wars and disasters and interviews with world leaders as 111 Ms for Peabody and a slew of other award good evening everyone and welcome to the program.

I'm christiane amanpour CNN international anchor she has her own Daily Show but today she's August Christian and brought into the media.

Show is great to be with you is quite emotional hearing you talk about the start of CNN 40 years ago and it really did change the world absolutely and you know we are in a changing world all over again right now because I'm on for your program is broadcast out of London of course normally from the CNN studio.

It's coming from your home at the moment.

I just wondered for someone who spends so much of their time travelling the world.

How is locked on journalism working for you.

You want to be out their reporting the news going to the hospital is going to wherever you can go to get the story because everybody is pretty much in the same boat.

So just about the whole world is deal with remote interaction except of course the Frontline workers.

Who are the heroes of this particular struggle.

It is working.

I have a set-up like many many others in television in my home and I'm able to do it and to be honest with you.

You know the technology is great sometimes it goes a little skew-whiff and you can have a little break ups and this and that but I'm all the years that I spend in the field with no you know no mod cons prepared me for not only the little bit of the hardship of being in this particular horse itchy but also to just just arrived with the punches and and go with the flow whenever there's any technological problems and just go with it well.

Let's hope the text that holds up for us today.

Thank you back, then these days.

It is branded mainstream Media sometimes in a derogatory way and will come on to that but when you first joined in 1980.

It was so new it was as new as anything.

That's like there today and terms of A Revolutionary platform.

Tell me about what the atmosphere would like planter and your first job because the first job was at for me it was you know absolutely you know bottom level bottom of the wrong and it was an entry-level job in assistant on the foreign desk thereafter.

It was changed to International that's because Ted Turner believed in you know not not using language that could that could drive people that even the word he thought was a divisive word, so we turned our foreign News Network into an international news network and international editors international corresponded.

It was a bit of a mouthful, but that was that was his.

And it was electric because you know as you said not many people thought that this experiment was survive that it was you know something that might make a ripple on the Pantheon of Media but it wouldn't necessarily become such a game changer and we who all entry level and most of us came from university and we decided we wouldn't go on to get masters in journalism or whatever it was you no further degrees will come and do that on the job at CNN and then go out and get real jobs.

So imagine we all believe that this was just a fantastic practical stepping stone to the big leagues and we didn't even believe that it was going to be the big leagues and of course very shortly there after it did become so I would just say that it was a mission.

It was a camaraderie Ted Turner is larger than life and an amazing human being and his motto was lead follow or get out of the way.

We did we both we follow and to be honest with him nothing nothing has been the same since and nothing has imitated it or rather nothing has changed everything that's come after is an imitation everything everything 24/7.

Just the platforms of change the concept of 24/7 the concept of putting television into the international sphere just for dictators and despots but to democratize the information and the and the access of information in countries, which had only state-run Media so it was a massive massive change you grow up in a run one of those countries use a British mother and a raining and Dad I know you're educated in the UK for not at that time as well, but I wonder if if being foreign and I'm putting her in quote marks that you can't see but having knowledge of Europe and the Middle East gave you an advantage at CNN

In your quest to become a foreign correspondent for everybody is although their makeup what they've done is always going to play into what they become how they are you know the sort of DNA so I definitely think so I was a product of a Muslim Christian upbringing and I was able to understand you know the word no differences between us as human beings no matter what languages we spoke what countries we came from what religions we practice and that was very helpful you and really CNN colour came to prominence in the first Gulf War that experience.

How do you assess and I know you started off with an all-female crew in in Saudi Arabia that must have been an extraordinary place will it was crazy? You know I was junior at that time and the big boys at the network basically and they were the big boys at the network.

They got was considered the plumber Simon's they were sent to.

And that was the obviously going to be Ground Zero of this of this war because if Saddam Hussein didn't meet us and international demands to get out of there was going to be a walk, so I didn't get to go there instead.

We Moore Jr or female team will centre Saudi Arabia which quickly in fact fantastically became the centre of the story because that's where the United States Britain all these countries this massive global coalition raise a military that numbered almost half a 10 people on Monday at Royal Marines in double decker buses armoured vehicles and supply trucks were spotted heading toward an area on the Gulf Coast where there is a key Saudi Arabia then I did the second part of the war from rocks from bad.

That's what I got to see both sides, which was pretty amazing.

I got to see where the cruise missiles and and the aircraft.

Launching their bombs and I literally saw it from the aircraft carrier we counted them out and I counted them in the famous words with BBC correspond and saw them land in Iraq by time.

I got there you know and that was that was actually an extraordinary extraordinary experience then came Bosnia and you were been sorry and while your report was award-winning and extremely compelling you are also criticized by some at that time for a lack of objectivity.

I want to talk to you about the difference between impartiality and neutrality where do you stand on that I had to learn that it was a very steep learning curve.

When you go to journalism school your child that objectivity is your Golden Rule and that is I could still consider objectivity 2BR Golden Rule but in the face of of things like Genesis

Ethnic cleansing you know gross violations of international humanitarian law the Geneva conventions in that kind of situation.

You'll quickly realise that this is not just any story gunfire rips into the side of the house the UN is under attack and now colonel Stuart decides to fire back into all of this Security Council with a huge Entourage they came all the way from New York City to see this destroyed model village and even a scar lion inside one of the houses to see themselves their diplomacy has been so for me.

I was telling the truth and I was showing who the addresses were and who the victims were on a daily basis and the world didn't like it, because it meant that they have to intervene.

They didn't like all of us for doing that wasn't just me.

I just got you know highlighted for doing it and and I quickly realised that in this kind of situation if

Neutral i.e.

Marley off actually equivalent if you draw that false equivalence then you're an accomplice and I was not prepared to be an accomplice to genocide without the time would say that they were also there.

Are you telling the truth being impartial but the truth was very difficult for Western leaders to hear I wonder if one of the reasons particularly was because of the way that you spoke to Bill Clinton because perhaps at the time while people were happy to tell the truth on the ground and that was quite a hard truth.

They might not directly to to the president is that your right world leaders didn't want to deal with Bosnia they didn't want to have to intervene.

So they kept saying sides equally guilty.

Will I put that to President Clinton this present our next question is from Sarajevo from CNN correspondent christiane amanpour.

Cristiano head

Mr President is a privilege to address you from Sarajevo I was reported in the field covering ethnic cleansing and genocide and I had the president of the United States at a town hall meeting in who wanted to take questions from the field and I was chosen as one of those to ask you a question it just so happened that I was really tough because the situation was to flip flops of administration on the issue of Bosnia dangerous president and would lead people to take you less seriously than you would like to be take no but species like that make them take the less seriously than I like to be taken.

Urbano constant flip flops Merthyr Tydfil and I thought that's it.

I've lost my job.

I'm going to get fired but then because Clinton is Clinton he came back and he can have made up with me on earth and he was remarkably gracious but what happened and this is very important on the 40th anniversary of CNN the CNN Factor was the game-changing Factor because we're doing this night after night day after day week month year after year and it did reach people and it reached the Halls of power all over the world and it became unbearable for them to tolerate so in the end, they had to intervene after a week of war between Muslim and pride in central Bosnia the UN forces here or enter.

Images for the first time to assess the Saudi of violence soldiers first found dead animals littering the streets, then they went house to house searching for evidence of what they believed to be a they founded inside this home on the stairs unusually Christian for a foreign correspondent you touched on this most foreign correspondent.

Don't get to sit on with world leaders on a fairly regular basis and you you have managed to do that and often you are talking to two despots, but you have actually see what they've done in the field.

You've been there and thinking of of in Bosnia but also in Syria and what is it like then to be sitting down in a room and to show I kind of a dignity and respect and have that person perhaps lie directly to you when you actually know what you've seen on the ground.

How do you cope with that?

Well by being incredibly prepared and obviously the older I get the less fearful I buy um of that situation where the Beginning is really kind of scary and don't let me tell you it's not you know when you're a junior or just up-and-coming correspondent and you get to sit let's say the president of Sudan back in 1991 when there was massive famine going on and warm and delicious and you know in 2004 when there was the Darfur massacres and an all beyond and before I before I became more kind of Avon interviewer.

It was it was kind of scary because you were in their territory telling them home truths picking them up when they were lying try follow-up and they were they could have done anything to you.

They could have arrested you.

They could have done worse and they have in the past.

Obviously there are many many instances of of reporters in various.

Locations who sadly you know paid with their lives and their freedom so it is scary to be frank in his actually very scary and you just have to steal yourself and the most you have to have the facts and you'll have to be prepared to you know to keep following up and trying to get the truth you become a role model for many women working in journalism at and beyond.

Does it exhaust you that the playing field is still not level which maybe you do it makes me really really angry many many women are in the forefront of this profession right now and the fact that is still an issue and we still have to you know Scramble for equal pay for all of that kind of stuff is just Abominable and it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

I might also add that the country.

With female leaders during the Covered pan, demic have been shown to have done incredibly incredibly well.

There are countries with male leaders have also done well, but there's no country with a female leader who's done badly in my personal opinion only when women and men are equal and have equal share in whatever it is government science education politics whatever it is will the world be a healthy and better place and then should be ashamed of itself having you working for them.

You are a rude terrible person.

You shouldn't be working for CNN when did you first hear the term fake news in a way that made me stop and take notice when President Trump in fact used it against a CNN reporter before even his inauguration his first.

I guess press conference after his election was in the Trump Tower and that's when he flung that turn around don't be silly question.

Can you say you are a very cynical and from his point of view clever use of a term because he said this to a CBS reporter who got the first interview after the inauguration sadly.

She didn't share it with the world for a good year or so, could you set my job will be to denigrate you in the Press so that when things are written about me and nobody will believe it.

That is was and is his plan and I wish that we wouldn't all fall into the trap and just keep reporting and just do it and don't get confused and don't get this.

Don't get run by his agenda.

Is it is it damaging there now that CNN is is considered to be anti-trump pro-democracy the voice of Liberal and it wouldn't be considered to be neutral in the way that PBS or the BBC is is that slightly playing into Trump's hands you know CNN would never say that and then I believe that CNN is pro truth.

We do not report conspiracy theories hoaxes are untested and unproven medical no we don't do that.

It's a very different thing and Ted Turner creative CNN to be you know an alternative to all the other established networks Ted Turner has given us a mandate and the mandate is to report the truth the reason we're in Baghdad in the first Gulf war was because Ted Turner said I want CNN there most of the other news.

What are the kicked out or left? We were there we reported the truth.

I wonder if it's the same you know you've gotten network like PBS that would consider itself to be riding riding the middle, but yes it does seem to be a lot more liberal and more pro Democrat what is the thing again? I'll say this there are two this CNN international.

This is CNN USA USA is covering the trump administration that checking holding the president accountable sadly the truth isn't and this is the problem and you identify this around the world the news is being pushed into political corners.

That's true.

That is true.

It's being pushed into political corners either into the left or into the right or wherever it might be and that is a problem and I would say though and I think it it it it it wouldn't deny.

I would say MSNBC is much more the anti fox who I mean those of the two networks that have sort of pitted against each other is CNN that's the one in the middle trying to you know hold a certain line.

That is not political.

It's very difficult is very difficult I totally hear you it's very difficult and I wonder how does CNN go about this next US election as a network will you treat Donald Trump and his supporters differently from the way you did last time.

I think you know if one was to do a male Cooper I would say that the last time CNN perhaps fell into a trap that everybody fell into nobody thought trump or it's does Siri is going to win.

I mean let's face it nobody thought that right so I would say yes that in general the bulk of the mass media including CNN did not.

Play enough attention to his supporters that is a mistake and I think that in terms of of covering them and hearing them and reporting but that's you know that's that's funny that happened across.

You know across the the the media landscape and if you've got to sit on and interview Donald Trump what would you ask him? What his I think you look it's very difficult question and it's one that you know I have thought about a lot but it I think it would depend on what day right now.

I would have to bring to him all his statements and all the facts that have that have led to the United States been the epicenter of coronavirus and I think that I start there and I would ask him to answer for to all the different statements and different ideas and different policies that.

I have not been implemented and then I would go from there and I would just be you know I would not consider myself as a you know as as a warrior I would consider myself somebody who wanted to really get to the heart of how he thinks what makes him tick and why he says the things he does and I would just you know asking those questions and we're talking life and death right now.

There are 90000 or more American dead there are one 1/2 million Americans infected.


Just real CNN international has for decades been synonymous with the US for many viewers around the world particularly other suggestion in developing.

What role do you think that the network has had an broadcasting American values worldwide it has been part of America soft power perhaps perhaps.

Intentionally, but I think that's the way it's been viewed is that something that you're conscious of I am in a way you know we do try to say that we are an international network for the world but we are at heart and American network but we do try very hard on our international you know station to be broader and to be not so us in many situations like right now.

You'll get a lot of the US feed because of coronavirus many other issues, but anyway, I would say you know Madeleine Albright when she was Secretary of State during the Balkan she called CNN XVI member of the Security Council it was that important the CNN effect in international diplomacy in the projection of of of power soft power and and holding people accountable and bringing the news that then us diplomat's and others could not turned her head away from bringing it into people's.

Living rooms into their consciousness, I would say that one of the great things about America historic Lee has been its soft power has been its culture has been its value is democracy human rights and freedoms.

It's great whatever movies and other culture.

It's sports science is it's given so much the world and I think over the last 36 years of existence.

We have contributed to helping bring that around the world.

Just watching the news and reporting all the goes on in the last 4 years of the trump administration.

I would also say brexit and the rise of populism.

It's been very difficult and there has been a push back and also a retrenchment by the United States he doesn't seem to want to engage.

It doesn't want to promote.

Its soft power.

It doesn't want to be a global leader.

It doesn't want to.

Draw coalitions together for the betterment of itself and the rest of the world so the United States has put up a barrier that it calls America first so wondering that space perhaps.

We might even called a vacuum.

Do you wonder about companies like cgtn the China global television network it has European headquarters in a very smart business park in West London it's an English rolling news channel from China and when we look at high influential CNN has been does it give you pause for thought it was actually if I'm not mistaken those networks that you're talking about a pretty much state-run.

I mean they are arms of the Chinese government and there are others which arms of the Russian government and etc etc.

They are getting into our game and they're playing it very effectively.

They are trying to and are successfully projecting their Nash

The projecting their soft power they projecting their hard power and they are successfully for their own people anyway able to shape the agenda.

They are standing essentially in counterpoint to CNN one of our great great values was sending professional unbiased objective information into state which only had stayed run and state-controlled information when CNN international started in 1985 that was the mission and that's what it did it gave a different view of even their own countries but certainly of the world than their own state-run broadcast and propaganda.

Will do and I'm talking about authoritarian countries and dictator until now.

They have learnt this game and they're coming out of the different way.

They're coming at it with very professional television and other media operations.

Us trying to project their own power, but it's specially trying to control the information that their own citizens get Cristiano and 4.

Thank you very much for your time today.

Thank you Andrea and thank you very much for listening to her that was our studio engineer today and will be back at the same time next.

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