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14 October 2014
The Threats and Costs to Getting the Facts: A Review of Journalism Safety
Join UNA-NCA's Peace and Security Committee, The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, and National Education Association for a panel discussion on the safety of journalists abroad.  Learn what it's like to report from a crisis zone or one hostile to freedom of information as well as efforts to protect journalists in these situations.  Get a unique, firsthand perspective from those who have been there. 

When: Tuesday, October 14, 2014
              6:00pm - 8:00pm  

Where: National Education Association
              1201 16th Street, NW 
              Washington, DC 20036

Cost: Student - $5 
          Member - $10 
          Non-Member - $15 

      • Kathleen Reen, Vice President for ICT Policy and Programs- Internews (moderator)
      • George Papagiannis, External Relations and Information Officer - UNESCO
      • Tom Hundley, Senior Editor - Pulitzer Center  
      • Mesfin Erko, Former Radio Journalist and Torture Survivor - Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition (TASSC) International



Kathleen Reen 

Kathleen Reen is Internews’ Vice President for ICT Policy and Programs, leading the development and implementation of the organization’s global internet initiatives, including internet policy and research.

Reen was named a Young Global Leader in 2012 by the World Economic Forum, is an Asia 21 Global Fellow of the Asia Society, and serves on several boards, including the Indonesian Media Law and Policy Center, the Earth Journalism Network, and the International Center for Communication and Development.

In the fall of 2012, Reen served as a Harvard Kennedy School Shorenstein Fellow, where she focused her research on the relationship between international development, the media, and the global Internet. Reen is an advisory member of the Global Network Initiative, a multi-stakeholder group of companies, human rights and press freedom groups, investors and academics working on a collaborative approach to protecting and advancing freedom of expression and privacy in the ICT sector.

Reen established Internews’ first program in Asia – in Indonesia – and the regional support office for Asia programs in Bangkok, Thailand. She has worked all over South East and South Asia. As Country Director in Indonesia she managed a program developing and implementing projects with local partners focused on media legal reforms, training and productions, Internet access, and local media NGO-building. In late 2004, Reen led Internews’ first humanitarian media efforts in Aceh devoted to information access after the devastating SE Asia earthquake and tsunami.

Reen was the first director of the Global Forum for Media Development.

A journalist and documentary producer by background, Reen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication and broadcast journalism from Charles Sturt University. In addition to her native English language, Reen speaks Bahasa Indonesian.

George Papagiannis

George was born and raised in New York City. After studying broadcast journalism at Boston University, he worked in journalism and media development for close to twenty years, in a career that took him from Boston to Germany and finally to the Chad-Sudan border. He also spent two years working as Nancy Pelosi's Director of Communications in the 105th Congress.

In 2007, George joined UNESCO, working in the Paris office for two years before taking up his position in Iraq. In this interview, he tells us about how he ended up in Iraq, the type of work UNESCO is doing there, and why it's important. Previously, Mr. Papagiannis served as the Director of UNESCO office in Baghdad.

Tom Hundley

Before joining the Pulitzer Center, Tom Hundley was a newspaper journalist for 36 years, including nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune. During that time he served as the Tribune’s bureau chief in Jerusalem, Warsaw, Rome and London, reporting from more than 60 countries. He has covered three wars in the Persian Gulf, the Arab-Israeli conflict and the rise of Iran’s post-revolutionary theocracy.

In the mid-90’s, he spent several years in the Balkans reporting on the violent break-up of Yugoslavia. He covered Eastern Europe’s transition from communism to democracy, Northern Ireland’s transition from war to peace and the Vatican’s transition from John Paul II to Benedict XVI.

In addition to the years overseas, Tom has spent time at U.S. newspapers large and small, from theMiddletown (NY) Times-Herald Record and the Bergen Record to the Detroit Free Press and theTribune. His work has won numerous journalism awards.

He has taught at the American University in Dubai and at Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. He has also been a Middle East correspondent for GlobalPost and a contributing writer for the Chicago News Cooperative.

Tom graduated from Georgetown University and holds a master’s degree in international relations from the University of Pennsylvania. He was also National Endowment for the Humanities journalism fellow at the University of Michigan.

Mesfin Erko

Mesfin is a member of the Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition (TASSC) International. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theater Arts from Addis Ababa University.  He wrote, directed and acted in many short TV dramas and launched a radio show with two other friends. The government cancelled the radio show after only seven months because Mesfin and his friends “dared” to raise social, cultural and economic issues the government considered controversial. 

Mesfin will discuss the Ethiopian government’s total control of the media and its campaign to frighten and destroy independent voices. Many of his journalist friends are detained or in exile, afraid of being captured and forcibly sent back to their country. One of them is Reeyot Alemu, a prominent journalist who was imprisoned under Ethiopia’s notorious “anti-terrorism laws” used to silence dissidents.