PBS NewsHour correspondent and renowned conflict reporter Jane Ferguson to deliver annual Amanpour Lecture

Ferguson’s lecture to focus on tools and techniques needed to capture the human side of global conflict

KINGSTON, R.I. – Oct. 11, 2022 – Jane Ferguson, award-winning international correspondent for PBS NewsHour and contributor to The New Yorker, will deliver the University of Rhode Island’s 15th annual Christiane Amanpour Lecture on Thursday, Oct. 20, at 7 p.m.

Ferguson’s talk, “Humanity in War Reporting: Bringing Authentic, Individual Experiences of War into Conflict Journalism,” will explore her experiences covering conflict in Ukraine, Afghanistan, Iraq, and beyond. A question-and-answer session moderated by Vladimir Duthiers, a CBS News anchor and correspondent and a 1991 URI graduate, will follow the lecture.

Ferguson’s lecture will take place in-person in Edwards Auditorium on URI’s Kingston Campus and will be streamed live online. The event is free and open to the public, with registration and livestream information available on the lecture website. The annual Amanpour Lecture is sponsored by URI’s Harrington School of Communication and Media, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Department of Journalism.

Jane Ferguson

“Jane Ferguson’s insights are particularly important at this point in time, given conflicts in Ukraine and elsewhere around the globe,” said Ammina Kothari, director of the Harrington School and journalism professor at URI. “Her effort to show the human side of conflict—to document the lives of ordinary people and families during a war and in the years following it—gives us a critical perspective on the nature of conflict around the globe.”

Ferguson’s reporting has included front-line dispatches from the war against ISIS in Iraq, an up-close look at Houthi-controlled Yemen, and reports on the war and famine in South Sudan. Throughout 2021, Ferguson reported extensively from Afghanistan, spending time with government troops, local militia, and the Taliban as the group marched on Kabul. On Aug. 15, 2021, Ferguson and her cameraman boarded the last commercial flight permitted to fly to Kabul and witnessed the Taliban enter the city hours later. Most recently, Ferguson has covered the ongoing war in Ukraine, reporting from the front lines since Russian forces invaded in February 2022.

Born and raised in Northern Ireland, Ferguson began her journalistic career in 2008 as a Dubai-based reporter for English-language newspaper Gulf News. After joining CNN International in 2009, she was embedded with African Union forces fighting the Al Qaeda-linked group Al Shabab, becoming the first journalist working for a U.S. TV network to report from inside Somalia since the United Nations pulled out in the 1990s.

In 2012, as a correspondent for Al Jazeera English, Ferguson was among the first foreign journalists to be smuggled into rebel-held Homs city in Syria where she reported on the Assad government’s brutal crackdown against protestors. Ferguson went on to report extensively for Al Jazeera across the globe, covering wars, revolutions, and humanitarian stories in countries including Bangladesh, Israel-Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Kenya, and Lebanon.

Ferguson’s work has earned a Gracie Award, the Overseas Press Club Peter Jennings Award, an Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Award, a News and Documentary Emmy Award, a Peabody Award, and the George Polk Award for Foreign Television Reporting. She is a graduate of York University in the United Kingdom and was a McGraw Professor of Journalism at Princeton University for fall 2020, where she was invited to design and teach a course on war reporting.

The Amanpour Lecture series is endowed by Christiane Amanpour ’83, Hon ’95, chief international anchor of CNN’s award-winning, flagship global affairs program, “Amanpour.” The series brings well-respected journalists to campus each year, including Stephen Adler, president and editor-in-chief of Reuters News; Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter C.J. Chivers of The New York Times; author and former ABC News journalist Carole Radziwill; author and journalist Ed Yong, who has covered the COVID-19 pandemic for The Atlantic; and CNN anchor and political correspondent Abby Phillip.

“The Amanpour Lecture series is an incredible endowment for both the Harrington School and URI,” Kothari said. “Christiane’s international reputation enables us to draw journalists of similar caliber to campus, providing amazing opportunities for our students to learn the craft from the very best in the world.”