By Amanda Ballard, University Communications
February 13, 2014
During a discussion titled "Reporting Border Conflict: Stifled News, Lost Lives," panelists will address the dangers journalists face when reporting on border conflicts.
In 2013, 70 journalists around the world were killed and 211 were imprisoned, according to the Committee to Protect journalists. Four award-winning journalists will discuss the impacts of the dangers border reporters face at a free public discussion on Tuesday.
Bill Schmidt, UA School of Journalism professor of practice and former deputy managing editor of The New York Times, will moderate Tuesday's discussion.
From Sonora to Syria, border conflicts across the globe are some of the most dangerous assignments for field reporters. Four award-winning journalists will discuss the impacts of these dangers at a free public discussion on Tuesday at the University of Arizona.
"This is a great opportunity for people to hear firsthand the dangers and travails of journalists who are literally in the line of fire," said David Cuillier, director of the UA School of Journalism and president of the Society of Professional Journalists.
Bill Schmidt, UA School of Journalism professor of practice, will serve as the panel moderator. Schmidt joined the UA faculty last year after retiring as deputy managing editor of The New York Times following a 32-year career with the organization. Schmidt also worked as a foreign correspondent for Newsweek and has reported from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Africa.
"The idea of bearing witness is at the very of core of journalism," Schmidt said. "But the mission of journalists is imperiled. … The toll of journalists killed or missing grows by the year. … This has consequences for all of us everywhere who depend on a free press as a guarantor of a free society."
The other panel members include Mort Rosenblum, UA journalism professor of practice, Giannina Segnini, investigations editor at La Nación in Costa Rica, and Ricardo Sandoval Palos, a Latin America reporter and human rights researcher.
Rosenblum , and eight-time Pulitzer nominee and UA alum, joined The Associated Press in 1965 after working at the Arizona Daily Star. Throughout his career, he covered war and peace on four continents. He also edited the International Herald Tribune from 1979 to 1981 and is author of a global news coverage book series.
Segnini is an investigative editor and reporter who has helped disclose 10 cases of international corruption during her career, including one that sent two former Costa Rican presidents to jail. She also teaches investigative journalism at the University of Costa Rica.
As a reporter for The Dallas Morning News, Sandoval spent a decade in Latin America writing stories on drug and border issues. In addition, he has supervised global investigative journalists for the Center for Public Integrity and researched border issues for Human Rights Watch.
During Tuesday's discussion, panelists will focus on issues related to the U.S.-Mexico border and Central America. They will also take questions from the audience.
Cuillier explained that threats to journalists' ability to report on border conflicts have widespread impacts.
"When reporters are killed or intimidated, the public loses because we are all denied information we need to learn about the world and to adequately self-govern," he said. "These journalists understand the tactics bullies and thugs employ in the world to stifle justice and free speech."