Ivan Watson Biography, Age Wife, CNN, Great Barrier Reef, Salary, Interview

Ivan Watson Biography

Ivan Watson, is a CNN senior international correspondent based in Hong Kong. 

Prior to joining CNN, Ivan had been working in National Public Radio (NPR) for eight years working as a reporter on significant events that took place in the Middle East, Central Asia, and West Africa.

Ivan Watson Age

Ivan celebrates his birthday on 25th November. However, his year of birth still remains a mystery.

Ivan Watson Wife

Ivan fancy keeping his love life private. He has never revealed if he is dating or not or if he really is married or not. As of now, we assume he is single and has all his focus on his work.

Ivan Watson Photo

Ivan Watson CNN

Ivan is CNN’s senior international correspondent based in Hong Kong. He moved to the city in the summer of 2014 after five years of being based for in Istanbul and Turkey as a CNN correspondent. In 2014 he moved to the city in order to focus on reporting from the Asia Pacific region.

During his time at CNN, Watson has roamed across the world, reporting on a wide range of stories. Most recently, he covered Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution pro-democracy movement. In 2013, Ivan reported on the devastation and struggle for survival in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan. He also broadcast from Cairo’s Tahrir Square in 2011, where at the height of the Arab Spring, Watson and veteran cameraman Joe Duran filmed CNN’s iconic and disturbing images of the “Battle of the Camel.” In 2010, Ivan was part of CNN’s award-winning team of reporters who landed in the earthquake-shattered capital of Port-au-Prince in Haiti.

While he was based at Istanbul, Ivan charted the deadly government crackdown on protesters in neighboring Syria and the country’s descent into civil war. He made multiple trips into rebel-controlled parts of Syria and also documenting the surge of refugees across the border into Turkey. He also reported on the ethnic and sectarian cleansing of thousands of minority Christians and Yazidis in Iraq by ISIS.

Ivan rejoined CNN in 2009 from NPR, where he spent eight years reporting extensively on major stories around Central Asia, Middle East, and West Africa. While at NPR, he covered US invasion and troubled occupation of Iraq and the US-led overthrow of the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001. Before joining NPR, Watson had worked as a Moscow-based producer for CNN in the late 1990s.

All through his career, Ivan has sought to share his affection for countries in the region with audiences, by reporting on the quirks and cultural treasures of societies that rarely grab headlines. His topics range from profiling a millionaire doctor who used hypnosis and shamanistic traditions to treat heroin addicts in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan to romping with Turkey’s enormous and treasured Kangal sheepdogs in the highlands of Anatolia.

CNN’s “World’s Untold Stories” aired a documentary in 2010, reported by Watson and Istanbul cameraman Joe Duran which documented the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople’s efforts to protect Istanbul’s dwindling Greek community from disappearing all together.

Ivan Watson Great Barrier Reef

In a half-hour documentary, Ivan dived underwater to see the impact of climate change on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Damage, which the world’s foremost expert on coral reefs, Charlie Veron, claims could trigger a “mass extinction”.

Ivan met with Charlie, who has spent 45 years of his life diving in the Great Barrier Reef and has personally discovered 20 percent of the world’s coral species. The marine park is bigger than two-thirds of the countries on Earth. Veron took Ivan Watson deep into aquamarine waters to get a snapshot of the reef’s ecosystem and the impact of climate change up close.

Veron explained to Ivan how the Australian government has pumped nearly $400 million into protecting the reef but still insisted that money alone cannot provide a solution.

When asked what lessons people should take from the current plight of the reef, told Ivan: “Coral bleaching is driven by carbon dioxide, unless you stop pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, it’ll go on. It’s as simple as that. There’s no way around it, there’s no alternative… The lesson from geology is that’s the trigger of mass extinction. We can’t – as humans – can’t exist independently of the welfare of that planet.”

Ivan Watson Salary

His salary is not yet known but he definitely is earning a handsome amount of money.

Ivan Watson Twitter

Ivan Watson Instagram

Ivan Watson Interview

In an interview with Brown Political Review, Ivan Watson tells more about his reporting.

How do you maintain objectivity when reporting on travesties?

Ivan: My primary responsibility is to deliver facts about what is going on and to try to do it as fairly as possible, but if you are witnessing an overt act of evil, there is no way to argue what is happening there. You call it what it is. That is not a case of these people claim one thing and these people argue another; we have an incredible phenomenon taking place in front of our eyes, and it’s not debatable. A lot of other reporting isn’t as black and white. You try to show both sides of the story and make sure that your facts are well sourced before you go to air with them.

What have you learned about war? What has surprised you?

Ivan: War is pretty awful. There will be a lot of shooting, but it doesn’t seem to be hitting or hurting the combatants…it’s always ordinary civilian people and usually the ones with the worst economic situation who are hit the hardest…That’s one of the rules of conflict that I’ve picked up. It’s really a lot easier to destroy something than to build something. A year ago there wasn’t a war in Eastern Ukraine…I did not see enmity between ethnic Russians and ethnic Ukrainians. They got along. But a narrative was created that said that Ukranians were Fascists and thugs and Nazis and that they were oppressing Russians, and it was promoted. Now there is real hatred between two ethnic people who live side-by-side, intermingled linguistically and in a familial way, and that’s really an awful thing to witness.

How has your experience reporting in Ukraine helped you understand the causes of the conflict?

Ivan: It’s incredible how political leaders can manipulate something that feels like a small difference and turn it into something that is much bigger. Control of the media is one of the most basic ways to do that. That’s a big part of the equation of what happened in Ukraine. It was a country that had problems, but it worked. Now there’s a separatist movement and mutual enmity. It’s incredible to me how fast that happened.

Can you compare the role you’ve had, from freelance journalism to NPR and then to CNN?

Ivan: Going from radio to television meant having a much smaller footprint. In television, if you show up in a village in the middle of nowhere, it’s a big event. People also react differently to cameras and lenses than they do to somebody with a notebook, or somebody with a little microphone — they can get aggressive. When I was a radio reporter, I was a dorky guy sitting with a shotgun microphone recording the sounds of a babbling brook to help enrich the story with some texture. In television, you need to be right upfront with the action, and when there’s trouble you need to be charging into the action rather than just observing from a safe distance.

You’ve been harassed live on air: In Ukraine you were accosted by people holding weapons, and in Turkey, you were asked, “What are your credentials?” How do you respond to this type of aggressive situation?

Ivan: In the case in Istanbul, I was broadcasting live. I tried to respectfully deal with the police, who accused me of not having credentials, and with the live international audience as best as I could. I don’t know if I handled it well or not. I told the Turkish police afterwards: “You know, this is live.” When you are around a large number of people with guns in a conflict zone, there aren’t a lot of rules. You could have planned and spoken and gotten permits from commanders, and all it takes is one psycho and his buddy to spoil it. That’s what happened when we were near a separatist checkpoint outside Donestk in Eastern Ukraine, where we had permission to interview the fighters. Two guys showed up and the next thing you know they were cocking their guns at us and lining me and my team up on our knees on the side of the road and threatening to shoot us. In that case, I talked them down. It was the one time in my career that I used my Russian Orthodox Christian background. What happened was that a couple of guys showed up and accused us, as Americans on CNN, of being liars, and they warned people not to trust anything we did. The guy who I interviewed had given this very passionate statement saying, in Russian, “My friends, we didn’t [kill civilians], we didn’t do it.” He was clearly very motivated by his faith, and after he got riled up he said, “If you lie about what we talked about, I’m going to kill you.” I said, “Listen, brother, I’m Russian Orthodox just like you. I would never do that, you’ve got to trust me.” It’s the one time in my career that being a little boy named Ivan and being an alter boy helped. It was a fortunate resolution to a dicey situation.

Despite the things that you have seen in your career, you have said that most of the world is not evil. Can you describe what you mean by that?

Ivan: As much time as we journalists spend reporting on the crises around the world, whether they are economic or political, we occasionally get to report on beautiful and very human things as well. I am dismayed sometimes when I come back home and I get the impression that people think that the outside world is this terrible, scary place. It’s not. It’s rich, and it’s beautiful, and it’s amazing. That’s part of why I went overseas after [graduating from] Brown, and it’s why I’ve basically stayed overseas since 1998. As an adult, I’ve lived longer overseas than I have in America. I do that not because of the crises and the troubles, but because it is an incredible experience. You’re learning and doing something new everyday. That sounds a little bit like college to me.