Media School Speaker Series Features Media Entrepreneur, White House Correspondent, Documentary Filmmaker: News at IU: Indiana University


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana University School of Media will feature professionals from three different areas of media in its Spring Speaker Series. Media entrepreneur and IU alumnus Rafat Ali, New York Times journalist Maggie Haberman and documentary filmmaker James Balog will speak in a series of free lectures open to the public.

“This semester’s lecture series provides an excellent sample of the kinds of topics we study at media school,” said Dean James Shanahan. “We hope that our students as well as members of the community will find these lectures enriching and enlightening.”

The Media School‘s Speaker Series takes place in the fall and spring semesters, bringing media experts to campus to talk about their careers and current media issues.

The speakers for the spring semester are:

  • Rafat Ali, Founder and CEO of Skift: 6 p.m. February 18, Franklin Hall commons
  • Maggie Haberman, New York Times White House correspondent: 5:30 p.m. March 18, Buskirk-Chumley Theater
  • James Balog, photographer and documentary filmmaker: 5:30 p.m. April 9, Buskirk-Chumley Theater

Rafat Ali

Rafat Ali is the founder and CEO of Skift, a New York-based travel business intelligence and marketing platform. The platform provides news, information, data and services to the international travel industry.

Prior to founding Skift, Ali founded and ran paidContent and ContentNext, which covered the impact of digital content on the media, entertainment and entertainment industries. He sold these operations to the Guardian News and Media in 2008, remaining editor and publisher until 2010.

Prior to starting ContentNext, he was editor-in-chief of Silicon Alley Reporter. Ali was the Knight Fellow at IU and completed his Master of Arts in Journalism here in 2001.

Maggie Haberman

Maggie Haberman is a White House correspondent for The New York Times. In 2018, she was part of a Times team that won the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting, which she shared with a Washington Post team. Pulitzer’s board cited “deeply sourced and relentlessly reported coverage in the public interest that significantly enhanced the nation’s understanding of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and its ties to the campaign.” Trump, the president-elect’s transition team and his eventual administration.”

She also won the 2018 Aldo Beckman Award from the White House Correspondents’ Association and the 2018 Front Page Award from the Newswomen’s Club of New York for Journalist of the Year. Before joining The Times in 2015, Haberman worked for Politico, The New York Post and The New York Daily News.

Former U.S. Representative Lee Hamilton, a Distinguished Fellow of IU’s Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies, will present Haberman with the Lee H. Hamilton Public Service Fellowship. The conference is co-sponsored by The Media School, the Indiana Center on Representative Government, and the Office of the Vice Provost for Research.

James Balog

James Balog is a visionary photographer whose work extends far beyond the camera to the international stage, where he educates the public about man’s relationship with the environment.

In 2007, Balog founded the Extreme Ice Survey, which placed more than 40 cameras on two dozen glaciers to capture time-lapse images of climate-induced changes. The investigative work was captured in the Emmy Award-winning documentary “Chasing Ice”, which will screen at 5:30 p.m. on April 10 in the Franklin Hall common room at the School of Media.

Balog founded the Earth Vision Institute in 2012 with a mission “to integrate art and science to reveal environmental change and inspire a balanced relationship with nature.” Balog’s latest major project with the institute is “The Human Element”, a documentary about human interaction with earth, air, fire and water. The film will be screened at 7:30 p.m. on April 9 at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater following the public talk and reception.

The event is co-sponsored by the City of Bloomington, College Arts and Humanities Institute, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Environmental Resilience Institute, Department of Geography, Office of Experimental Programs of first year, the Integrated Program in the Environment, the Association of Residence Halls, the School of Public and Environmental Affairs and Sustain IU.

Since its creation in 2006, the Media School Speaker Series brought many big names from the media to the IU campus, including author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates, Washington Post columnists Margaret Sullivan and EJ Dionne, and filmmaker Mira Nair.

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