Sara Sidner is co-anchor of CNN News Central, airing weekdays from 9am-12pm ET, out of CNN’s New York City Bureau. She is also CNN’s multiple award winning senior national correspondent.
Sidner led the network’s coverage in Minneapolis of the protests following the death of George Floyd and the trial of Derek Chauvin. She also extensively covered the protests in Ferguson, Missouri after an unarmed black teenager was shot and killed by a white police officer. She was there for weeks while a grand jury looked at evidence and ultimately decided not to indict the officer. Their decision sparked two nights of violence in Ferguson but it also lead to nationwide protests and a national conversation about race and policing in America, as well as a state commission and Presidential task force on policing.
As an international correspondent, Sidner reported on a wide range of subjects, from terrorism to business to social and cultural issues. She has reported from a multitude of countries, including Libya, Egypt, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Taiwan.
In the Middle East, Sidner was part of the team that won a Peabody award for CNN’s coverage of the Arab Spring. Her work in Libya reporting in the midst of rebel fighters during the fall of Tripoli has been recognized all over the world. In 2011 Sidner shared the Achievement of the Year Award from SKY WFTV Women in Film & Television in the United Kingdom for her war coverage in Libya.
While in India, Sidner headed the coverage of South Asia from the New Delhi bureau. One of her first major international stories unfolded when terrorists attacked several places in Mumbai, including the famed Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel, on November 26, 2008. Sidner was live throughout the 2008 siege that lasted 60 hours and took more than 170 lives. Her stories from South Asia also included a documentary on the 25 year civil war in Sri Lanka, several stints reporting in war-torn Afghanistan, and live coverage of violent political eruptions in Thailand and Bangladesh. She also explored many stories about the social and economic developments in India, culminating in a series of stories for CNN International’s award winning “Freedom Project.” Sidner also traveled to Chile and Haiti to cover the aftermath of devastating earthquakes in those countries.
Sidner has collected two Asian Television Awards – one for her 2011 report on the horrors faced by young Bangladeshis forced into begging and a second for the 2012 Freedom Project documentary ‘Operation Hope’, which chronicled the extraordinary journey, from suffering to recovery, of one of these children, a seven-year-old boy who was castrated and left for dead when he refused to beg.
In 2013, Sidner received two Alliance for Women in Media Gracie Awards; one for her coverage of India’s unwanted girls where she explored the issue of female infanticide in India and a second for her breaking news coverage of the 2012 Gaza-Israel conflict from Gaza & Israel. In 2014, Sidner also reported from Malaysia on missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370, from Ukraine on the downed Malaysia Airlines flight 17, and from the Israeli border during the 2014 war between Israel and Gaza.
Prior to joining CNN, Sidner was an anchor and reporter at local television news stations in San Francisco, Dallas, Florida, and Missouri. She received multiple awards during this time, including a regional Emmy Award, an Edward R. Murrow Award, and several Telly Awards. Sidner received her journalism degree from the University of Florida and was named an Alumni of Distinction in 2011.
Follow Sara on Twitter @sarasidnerCNN.