Christiane Amanpour makes headlines just by speaking up

An interesting on-air exchange took place yesterday at CNN between chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour and anchor Wolf Blitzer.

Of course what followed were these headlines:

Christiane Amanpour Snaps At Wolf Blitzer Over CNN Ukraine Coverage


Christiane Amanpour Scolds Wolf Blitzer: ‘You Have To Be Really Careful’ About Ukraine Facts


CNN’s Amanpour Battles with Blitzer and Guest over Allegations of Anti-Semitism in Ukraine

Snap? Scold? Battle? Oh my. That doesn’t sound very ladylike.

I don’t mean to get all Sheryl Sandberg on you here… oh hell, maybe I do…

It’s worth pointing out to all of us women that what Amanpour did was assert herself in her area of expertise. Amanpour reminded her colleague of CNN’s journalistic responsibility in reporting on events in the Ukraine. Yes, she raised her voice as did Blitzer, but it never got unprofessional.

I know for many women, including me, speaking up to a male colleague is not always easy.  I’m going to keep this exchange in mind the next time I find myself hesitating to speak up. I hope you will too.



Doesn’t this image remind you of the old Sesame Street song “One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others”? It’s from Mediabistro’s story about CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker reorganizing his leadership team. The gist of the article is one middle-aged white man is leaving and two other middle-aged white men are joining the team. I’m not surprised by this story yet I do think this image says so much about the television news industry.

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