Christiane Amanpour, a URI alum and Chief International Correspondent with CNN, accepts the prestigious Burton Benjamin award with humility and grace. She begins by addressing his daughter with warmth, reverence and compassion, expressing her desire to do justice to the honorable memory of her father, Burton Benjamin.
In her compelling acceptance speech, she challenges journalists and the media industry to stand up for truth and values in a post-truth and post-values era. A round of applause breaks out when she states “a great America deserves a great, free, and safe press!”
She states that right now journalism and democracy are both in mortal peril. She speaks to her journalism colleagues when she says “We cannot continue to operate in the current paradigm where we equate the victim with the agressor. She calls journalists to fight for the truth against the “tsunami of fake news.”
Her clarion call is a call to action. Christiane Amanpour leaves the audience pondering this question: Will journalists choose to deepen the current divisions or will they re-commit to robust, fact-based journalism that enables unity and defends basic rights? She invites journalists to stand together and to “get into some good trouble” — to heal a divisive nation and continue to serve as a media example for the world.