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2012 USC Annenberg School of Journalism Commencement Address

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Published on May 25, 2012

May 11, 2012: USC Annenberg School of Journalism 2012 Commencement Address by Christiane Amanpour

The USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism celebrates the achievements of the Class of 2012!

At the School of Journalism satellite ceremony, USC Annenberg will be honoring candidates for bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism and public relations. The Journalism ceremony speaker, Christiane Amanpour, is the global affairs anchor at ABC News, as well as host of "Amanpour" and chief international correspondent for CNN International.

Her illustrious career in journalism spans three decades. When she became an international correspondent for CNN in 1990, her first major assignment was covering the Gulf War. She has since reported from the world's major hot spots, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Somalia, Israel, the Palestinian territories, Asia, Rwanda, the Balkans, and the U.S. during Hurricane Katrina. She has interviewed most of the top world leaders over the past two decades, including securing the only interview with Hosni Mubarak and an exclusive with Muammar Ghadafi during the Arab Spring.

Amanpour has received every major broadcast award, including an inaugural Television Academy Award, nine News and Documentary Emmys, four George Foster Peabody Awards, and nine honorary degrees. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, and an Honorary Citizen of Sarajevo. Amanpour is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island.

Excerpts from Amanpour's commencement address:

"I feel very at home here with all of you journalists."

She praised graduates ' enthusiasm and said they were right to be "boisterous and curious and eager to set off on adventure."

Citing her own experiences in Bosnia, Rwanda and elsewhere, Amanpour beseeched the audience to never confuse objectivity with neutrality, or hard-sought fact with the chatter of under-informed opinion.

She urged humility and stressed responsibility among all of the graduates -- public relations and journalism alike -- as they rise to positions of power.

Amanpour also made sure the crowd knew that her profession has a bright future. "There is a great, great need for wonderful journalists who have been trained at a great school. I am massively hopeful. There are jobs -- some of them may be less traditional than before," she said, adding: "I want you to go out there with a great sense of optimism and can-do."

The importance of journalism as a career can't be overstated, she said. "You actually cannot have a robust and healthy democracy without a healthy and robust journalism profession."

Amanpour rallied the students by passing along lessons and observations gained during her highly acclaimed career.

"I learned," Amanpour said, "that this is the most noble profession known to humankind."

For more on Christiane Amanpour: http://www.cnn.com/CNN/anchors_report...

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