Jim Bittermann

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Jim Bittermann (right) with Betty E. King (2011)

Jim Bittermann is Senior European correspondent for CNN since 1996.


Bittermann graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Illinois University in 1970 and began in print journalism from 1965 to 1970 as a reporter for the Waukegan News-Sun in Waukegan, Illinois. His television career began at WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee from 1970 to 1972. From 1972 to 1973 he worked at WQED-TV in Pittsburgh and 1973 to 1975 he was as a reporter for WKYC-TV in Cleveland, Ohio. Bittermann was with CBC News as a Toronto-based correspondent and producer for the broadcaster's newsmagazine from 1975 to 1978.

From 1978-1990, he was a European correspondent for NBC News. Based in Rome from 1978–1979, he covered two Papal transitions and the travels of Pope John Paul II. From 1980-1990, he was based in Paris. While there, he reported on many of the decade's major international stories in Eastern Europe, Northern and Western Africa, the Middle East, the Philippines, Japan and the Soviet Union. He received a national news Emmy Award for his coverage of the 1988 Sudan famine.

He became Paris correspondent for ABC News from 1990 to 1996.[1] He has reported wars and revolutions in the Mideast, Africa and eastern Europe as well as such stories as the Soccer World Cup, the travels of Pope John Paul II, and Princess Diana's death in 1997.[2][3]

Since 1998, Bittermann has been an assistant adjunct professor of communications at The American University of Paris.[4] His wife, Emmy-winning television producer Patricia Thompson, died in 2010.[5]


He was awarded the French Legion of Honor on January 1, 2009.[4]

  • CableACE Award for CNN's coverage of the civil war in Zaire
  • Southern Illinois University's Journalism Alumnus of the Year 1989
  • SIU Alumni Achievement Award 2000.