Wednesday, October 13, 2010

IIJ to Host International Journalist Jon Sawyer

Amber Skorpenske

IIJ Ambassador

The Institute for International Journalism will host Jon Sawyer at Ohio University to give a series of lectures and presentations on Thursday October 21 and Friday October 22, 2010. He will give students an in depth look at the current state of international journalism and international issues of global interest. The main event is on Thursday, Oct 21, in Scripps Hall, Rm 111 (Anderson Auditorium).

Jon Sawyer is Executive Director of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Sawyer became the center's founding director after a 31-year career with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The center is a non-profit organization that funds independent reporting to raise the standard of media coverage of global affairs.

His journalism assignments have taken him to five dozen countries. He has focused much of reporting on the Middle East and predominantly Muslim countries. Sawyer is a recipient of many coveted Journalism and Investigative reporting awards. This summer he reported on water and sanitation issues in Bangladesh.

Jon Sawyer will come to Ohio University to speak to faculty, students and members of the Students for Global Media Diversity (SGMD). He will discuss the challenges and opportunities of foreign reporting in today's media market. Other issues he will discuss include the role media should play in covering and illuminating international crises and what the Pulitzer Center's model means for under-covered issues.

Sawyer will highlight the role of the Pulitzer Center and other similar non-profit initiatives in meeting journalism's new challenges and the collaborative approaches to covering the news. This includes news collaborations forged by the Center with PBS Newshour, National Geographic, the Washington Post and others.

Ohio University is a charter member of the Campus Consortium, the Pulitzer Center's program that brings international journalists on campus twice a year. It gives students the opportunity to compete for a $2,000 international reporting fellowship each year. Ohio's support has helped persuade other universities to follow suit, in an effort considered vital to giving journalists income and exposure.

Sawyer says, "I'm very much looking forward to visiting Ohio University and to meeting with students and faculty there. Campus outreach is a very important part of the Pulitzer Center model and mission."

The Pulitzer Center's campus outreach aims to increase the quality and quantity of U.S media coverage of global issues - and then using that journalism as a basis for engaging the broadest possible public in issues that affect us all.

The IIJ encourages students to attend Sawyer's public lecture on Thursday October 21 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Scripps 111 (The Anderson Auditorium).

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