CNN's Christiane Amanpour to speak at SBU

TV journalist Christiane Amanpour attends the Focus For TV journalist Christiane Amanpour attends the Focus For Change charity event in New York. (Nov. 11, 2009) Photo Credit: AP

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CNN chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour will speak Tuesday night at Stony Brook University to mark the opening of the college's new Marie Colvin Center for International Reporting.

The free, public event is part of a lecture series hosted by the center, named after the foreign correspondent killed a year ago while on assignment in Syria. Colvin, 56, grew up in East Norwich and was a graduate of Oyster Bay High School.

Her family, through a memorial foundation, established the center last year at Stony Brook's School of Journalism.

Amanpour, who knew Colvin throughout her career, said she hopes to raise awareness of the need for international reporting.

"Foreign reporting is difficult. It's dangerous. It's expensive and it requires more resources than talking-head journalism," Amanpour said Friday.

"There is no substitute for being in the field . . . people like Marie Colvin have played a remarkable and important role in explaining what's going on."

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Amanpour, host of the nightly interview program "Amanpour," has reported from major world news events during her 30-year career. She and Colvin crossed paths many times in conflict zones, Amanpour said.

The last time she and Colvin worked together was in Libya in 2011, when they secured the last interview of former Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi before his death.

"She was not only a fiercely competitive journalist but was very collegial," Amanpour said.

Colvin died on Feb. 22, 2012, in a rocket attack in the embattled Syrian city of Homs while reporting for The Sunday Times of London.

The Colvin Center runs a student travel fellowship, a public lecture series and a journalist-in-residence program.

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Amanpour last year gave $10,000 to Stony Brook's Journalism Without Walls program, university officials said. It helped send 16 students to the Turkana Basin in northern Kenya for a two-week reporting trip.

"We are so grateful to Christiane for her support of our program," said Ilana Ozernoy, Colvin Center program coordinator and assistant professor at Stony Brook's journalism school.

"She knew Marie Colvin from various conflict zones around the world, and with her courage, grace and incredible career was the absolutely right person to give the inaugural lecture," said Ozernoy, a former foreign correspondent for U.S. News & World Report.

The talk is at 8 p.m. in the Student Activities Center. RSVP to journalism@stonybrook.edu.

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