Amanpour talks media, family, and reinvention

Yesterday, I attended the More Magazine Reinvention Convention in New York, to hear Christiane Amanpour as the breakfast keynote speaker.

Yesterday, I attended the More Magazine Reinvention Convention in New York, to hear Christiane Amanpour as the breakfast keynote speaker. She was interviewed by Lynn Sherr, a well-known journalist in her own right, and the duo spoke about being a woman in a male-dominated profession, the changing media landscape, and, of course, reinvention.

Amanpour joked that her transition to ABC's This Week with Christiane Amanpour and being stationed in Washington was just a move to "a different kind of war zone." Amanpour has worked to reinvent herself, and made some changes since she started the show on August 1, including having a greater focus on women.

"Each week, I've tried to have women guests and women in the roundtables," she said. "I am very drawn to women, to their dignity, their rights, and countering the abuse of women and children."

Being a female foreign correspondent seems to come with its own challenges in dealing with parts of the world where women aren't seen as equal to men, but Amanpour said she was always able to get the news she wanted and needed and, in fact, being a woman helped her. "It allowed me to get to stories that men couldn't because of culture," she said, including telling women's stories from around the world.

As for the changing media landscape, Amanpour said it is a constant battle to get the ratings wanted for the show, and attract younger viewers, who are getting their information from more online platforms.

"The big issue is still the content," she said, noting that social networks and the Internet are just distribution platforms. "Exceptional content is what we should be striving for, no matter how it's delivered." She also added, "good, solid journalism is vital."

It was interesting to hear Amanpout talk with candor about her work and career in journalism, and then switch with ease to discussing her family and struggles with work-life balance.

In talking about her 10-year-old son, Amanpour said she used to tell him, when she had to go away for work, "it's because Mommy is going to confront the bad guys."

He's now old enough to understand the issues of the world and her place in it, she added, but with her work on This Week, she said, "I'm trying to break down an inside-the-beltway, inside-the-politics reality."

You can follow the rest of the convention online via Twitter.

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