Speaker Series

Prepare to be challenged and inspired.

The IU Media School Speaker Series gives students and area residents the opportunity to meet with some of the top media professionals in the country. In the past, the series brought speakers such as authors Dave Eggers and Gay Talese, The New York Times’ David Brooks and Fox Sports’ Joe Buck to campus.

All lectures are free and open to the public.

Spring 2016:

Correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro (Courtesy photo)

Correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro (Courtesy photo)

Fred de Sam Lazaro

  • “Making the Foreign Less Foreign: The Under-Told Stories Project”
  • 4:30 p.m. Jan. 29
  • Global and International Studies Building Auditorium

A PBS NewsHour correspondent since 1985, Fred de Sam Lazaro has reported from more than 60 countries, covering topics that often are under-reported in mainstream media. In 2015 alone, he searched for stories in China, Columbia, India, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, the Philippines and Vietnam. As director of the Under-Told Stories Project at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, he engages students at the school in international reporting and media production. De Sam Lazaro founded the project, which is supported by PBS, in 2006. He also is a regular contributor and substitute anchor for PBS’ Religion and Ethics Newsweekly. His honors include a CINE Golden Eagle award, a Silver Angel Award from Excellence in Media, Lincoln University’s Unity Award in Media and numerous awards from professional organizations such as the Society for Environmental Journalists and South Asian Journalists Association.

Fred de Sam Lazaro’s talk is co-sponsored by the Center on American and Global Security and is supported by The Media School’s Miriam Meloy Sturgeon Memorial Fund.


Gerould Kern

Chicago Tribune editor Gerould Kern (Courtesy photo)

Chicago Tribune editor Gerould Kern (Courtesy photo)

  • “Does Mission Matter? Journalism on the Digital Front Line”
  • 7 p.m. Feb. 10
  • Ernie Pyle Hall Auditorium

Chicago Tribune senior vice president and editor Gerould Kern has worked in newspapers since graduating from IU with a journalism degree in 1971, and he has been on the frontlines of the industry’s electronic transition. He has guided the Tribune’s transformation from a traditional news outlet to a dynamic digital source with unique features, such as Blue Sky innovation, a section of the paper reserved for news about innovations and entrepreneurship, and expansion and redesign of the print and digital products.

Under his leadership, the Tribune has emphasized “watchdog” reporting, shining light on issues such as political corruption, government mismanagement, and consumer health and safety regulations in the state. Since Kern joined the organization in 1991, the Tribune has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize nine times, winning the prize for criticism in 1999 while he was features editor. In April 2012, Kern received the school’s Distinguished Alumni Award in Journalism.

Kern is the school’s Roy W. Howard Lecturer this semester.


<i>Radiolab's</i> Jad Abumrad (Courtesy photo)

Radiolab’s Jad Abumrad (Courtesy photo)

Jad Abumrad

  • Gut Churn
  • 7 p.m. March 21
  • Buskirk-Chumley Theater

Radiolab founder and host Jad Abumrad blends his interests in music and storytelling for his innovative radio show that now reaches more than one million people each week, an audience second only to that of This American Life.  With co-host Robert Krulwich, Abumrad presents a variety of topics, from an interview with the country’s first transgender mayor to a scientific perspective piece on the Ebola outbreak, with original music and commentary complementing the interviews. Abumrad founded Radiolab in 2002 after studying creative writing and music composition at Oberlin College, where he developed a strong background in audio, video and multimedia. Since its founding, Radiolab has won two George Foster Peabody Awards. In 2011, Abumrad was named a MacArthur Fellow, known as the “genius grant.”

Abumrad’s visit is supported by the school’s Miriam Meloy Sturgeon Memorial Fund.


Speaker archive:

  Soraya Sarhaddi  Nelson Paula Kerger Ta-Nehisi Coates
 Dave EggersEric DeggansWalt BogdanichMargaret Warner
Carolyn JonesKatherine BooJose Antonio VargasSonia Nazario
Sage SteeleRobert NickelsbergDavid IgnatiusBob Dotson
Andrew FergusonSeymour HershMaria HinojosaDavid Sanger
Rajiv ChandrasekaranByron PittsDavid MargolickKatharine Weymouth
Gay TaleseLara LoganThomas FriedmanDavid Brooks
Sheryl WuDunnJohn F. BurnsKen AulettaAnna Quindlen
Jeff ZaslowVivian SchillerJoe BuckJames Burke
Steve KroftSylvia NasarElizabeth GilbertNina Totenberg
Leonard DownieAndrea KoppelWilliam SafireMichael Beschloss
Bob Woodward
Lisa Ling
Ken PaulsonDavid Halberstam
Frank DefordAlexandra RobbinsChristopher HitchensMichele Norris


Profiles interviews

Many of our guests also have been interviewed on Profiles, the radio interview show on WFIU the Bloomington-area NPR affiliate.

2011 Journalism Centennial Speaker Series Panels:


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