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Reporters at Risk: Long Island University’s Annual George Polk
Seminar to Focus on the Perils Faced by Journalists Working in
War Zones and other Dangerous Areas

Panelists at the April 7 event to include New York Times reporter held captive
by the Taliban for seven months

Ninety-nine journalists in 2009 were killed in the line of duty – 51 of them victims of murder. Meanwhile, more than 130 others were being held behind bars in locations across the globe.

The alarming statistics compiled by the Committee to Protect Journalists have heightened awareness of news organizations to the perils their reporters face working in war-torn countries and other dangerous areas.

The dilemma of how to stay safe while still getting reliable information from the world’s trouble spots is the focus of Long Island University’s annual George Polk Seminar, “People in Danger/Reporters at Risk,” on Wednesday, April 7, 2010. The event will be inside Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts on the University’s Brooklyn Campus, located at the intersection of DeKalb Avenue and Flatbush Avenue Extension. A 5:30 p.m. reception will precede the panel discussion, which starts at 6:30 p.m. The free event is open to the public.

The panel at the seminar will feature several 2009 George Polk Award winners, including the New York Times foreign correspondent who was kidnapped and held captive by the Taliban for over seven months.

“The world of international reporting has changed drastically over the past decade. Centers of terrorism, failed states, prolonged wars, piracy on the seas, narcotics trafficking on the borders — all these have made the world much more dangerous to cover than ever before,” said John Darnton, curator of the George Polk Awards and the seminar’s moderator.

“At the same time, the public's need to know what's going on in these trouble spots is more urgent than ever. How can these two be reconciled? That's the dilemma for news organizations today,”added Mr. Darnton, who earned two Polk Awards and a Pulitzer Prize as a foreign correspondent with The New York Times.

The following 2009 George Polk Award winners will speak at the seminar:

  • David Rohde of The New York Times, winner of the George Polk Award for Foreign Reporting for “Held by the Taliban,” a series detailing his seven-month ordeal as a prisoner of the Taliban.
  • Dan Rivers of CNN, winner of the George Polk Award for International Television Reporting for revealing the plight of the Rohingya boat people of Southeast Asia.
  • Leo Shane III of Stars and Stripes, winner of the George Polk Award for Military Reporting for exposing a secret Pentagon program to profile journalists and slant war coverage.

The seminar takes place the evening before the George Polk Awards Luncheon at The Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan, during which journalists will be honored in 13 categories, with NBC newsman Tom Brokaw serving at the citation reader.

For reservations to attend the seminar and for tickets to the April 8 luncheon, please contact Long Island University’s Office of Special Events at (516) 299-3298.

Visit for further information on the 2009 George Polk Awards.

Press contact information:
Brian Harmon
Director of Public Relations, Brooklyn Campus
Phone: 718-488-1418

Posted: March 23, 2010

Long Island University Brooklyn Campus