Oscar-winning actress Renee Zellweger got the treat of her life recently, when she met with one of her biggest heroes - veteran broadcast journalist Christiane Amanpour.

The CHICAGO star studied journalism in her native Texas before coming an actress and still keeps a close eye on the news, particularly when CNN's Amanpour is on the screen.

She says, "Christiane Amanpour has been a familiar face for as far as I can remember... She's putting her life on the line to bring us the information that she feels is essential. She has this desire to be in the middle of it and is drawn to the chaos, and you can't do that without having a lot of courage.

"I went to college to study journalism and I thought for sure that that was the course my life would take. I figured acting and the theatre was part of my adolescent career and that it would stop there. I had intentions of doing this... That's where we get our truth and our history. We look to the media - the journalists - to go and get their hands dirty."

During a taping of US TV show ICONOCLASTS, Zellweger met with Amanpour in New York City, where they went to CNN's Manhattan news centre and Ground Zero, once the site of the World Trade Center. They also discussed the lacking focus on serious news.

She told Amanpour, "What I can't understand is when the information is provided and is available, why it takes a back seat to, say, American Idol."

Gwyneth Paltrow has also expressed admiration for Amanpour.