Two Pulitzer Prize winning journalists with combined experience of more than 50 years in covering war, conflict and U.S. military affairs will be the main speakers in March at a symposium at California State University, Fresno focusing on media coverage of the conflict in Iraq.
New York Times war correspondent Chris Hedges and free-lance writer Seymour Hersh will speak at Fresno State’s first Roger Tatarian Symposium in Journalism, “Covering the War after the War,” that will examine how well the media has covered the Iraq conflict since the fall of Baghdad about a year ago and other related issues about the Iraq war.
The free symposium will be on Friday, March 5, from 9 a.m. until noon at the Satellite Student Union (2485 E. San Ramon Ave.) on the university campus.
It is sponsored by the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism and the Roger Tatarian Endowment for Journalism. The endowment honors the late Fresno State journalism professor, who was once editor-in-chief of United Press International.
The conference also will include a panel discussion with other media representatives and experts on the topic of war. To date, confirmed panelists are:
• Kevin Diaz, a reporter with the McClatchy newspapers bureau in Washington;
• Retired U.S. Army Col. David Hackworth, an author and former war correspondent for Newsweek magazine; and
• James Hattori, a reporter with NBC news in San Francisco. Hattori recently covered the conflict in Iraq.
Other journalists and experts on war from the U.S. and abroad have been invited to be on the panel, said Tommy Miller, the Roger Tatarian Chair in Journalism and coordinator for the conference.
Miller was managing editor of the Houston Chronicle when he was named to the Tatarian Chair last summer, joining the Fresno State journalism faculty in the fall. The Roger Tatarian Endowed Chair in Journalism is a tenure track position at the associate professor level and is principally the result of a major gift of the McClatchy family.
Miller said the new symposium is intended to serve both the university and the Fresno community by bringing in top-quality professional journalists who can explain and analyze issues that are important to the public.
“This symposium will provide an opportunity to hear some excellent journalists examine how the media is doing its job in covering what’s going on in Iraq now,” Miller said.
“We’re especially pleased to have Chris Hedges and Seymour Hersh here to share their expertise,” he added. “Hedges is one of the best war correspondents in the world, and Hersh is regarded as one of the best investigative reporters on military affairs.”
Hedges was a member of The New York Times team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for the paper’s coverage of global terrorism.
In 1969, Hersh was the first to report the details of an upcoming court martial of Lt. William Calley in a case involving the massacre of more than 500 civilians at a small Vietnamese village called My Lai. The story won the Pulitzer Prize for Hersh in 1970. He is now a regular contributor to The New Yorker magazine on military and security matters.
Hedges has written two books about war, War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning, and, most recently, What Every Person Should Know About War. Before joining The New York Times, Hedges was the Central American bureau chief for the Dallas Morning News and later the Middle East Bureau Chief for that newspaper, based in
Jerusalem, from 1988 to 1990. In 1991, he became Middle East bureau chief for the Times, based in Cairo.
He holds a bachelor of arts degree in English literature from Colgate University and a master of divinity degree from Harvard University, where he was a Nieman Fellow during the academic year of 1998-1999.
Hersh, a graduate of the University of Chicago, began his career in 1959 as a police reporter for the City News Bureau in Chicago. He later worked for United Press International in South Dakota and The Associated Press in Chicago. In the early 1970s he was a reporter in The New York Times Washington bureau. He has written eight books, including The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House, which won him the National Book Critics Circle award.
Diaz, one of the panelists, reports for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune in the McClatchy newspapers Washington bureau. Shortly before the war started last year, he was assigned to Qatar in the Middle East and filed stories for all McClatchy newspapers. He has about 20 years of reporting experience, mostly with the Star-Tribune.
Hackworth, another panelist, covered the Gulf War for Newsweek. His books include About Face, Hazardous Duty and the Price of Honor and Steel My Soldiers’ Heart’s. He also has been a frequent guest on national radio and television shows.
Hattori, the third panelist, worked for CNN before joining NBC news. He was assigned to the network’s coverage in Iraq last fall.
While the free symposium is primarily for the university community and journalists, it is open to the public.
Additional information about conference registration will be forthcoming or call Miller at (559) 278-2087. See updates at www.FresnoStateNews.com
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