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Media School Speaker Series features media entrepreneur, White House correspondent, documentarian

For Immediate Release Feb 11, 2019

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Media School at Indiana University will feature professionals in three diverse areas of media in its spring speaker series. Media entrepreneur and IU alumnus Rafat Ali, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman and documentary filmmaker James Balog will speak in a series of lectures free and open to the public.

“This semester’s speaker series offers an excellent sampling of the kinds of subjects we study in The Media School,” Dean James Shanahan said. “We hope our students and also members of the community will find these lectures enriching and enlightening.”

The Media School Speaker Series occurs in the fall and spring semesters, bringing media experts to campus to speak on their careers and current media issues.

The spring semester speakers are:

  • Rafat Ali, founder and CEO of Skift: 6 p.m. Feb. 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 business intelligence and marketing platform in travel. The platform provides news, information, data and services to the international travel industry.

Before establishing Skift, Ali founded and led paidContent and ContentNext, which covered digital content’s impact on the media, entertainment and entertainment industries. He sold those operations to the Guardian News and Media in 2008, staying on as editor and publisher until 2010.

Before starting ContentNext, he was managing editor 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 it shared with a team from The Washington Post. The Pulitzer board cited the teams’ “deeply sourced, relentlessly reported coverage in the public interest that dramatically furthered the nation’s understanding of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and its connections to the Trump campaign, the President-elect’s transition team and his eventual administration.”

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

Former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton, a distinguished scholar in IU’s Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies, will present Haberman with the Lee H. Hamilton Public Service Fellowship. The talk 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 audiences about humans’ 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 change. The work of the survey was captured in the Emmy Award-winning documentary “Chasing Ice,” which will be screened at 5:30 p.m. April 10 in The Media School’s Franklin Hall commons.

Balog founded the Earth Vision Institute in 2012 with the mission of “integrating 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 shown at 7:30 p.m. April 9 at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater after the public lecture and a reception.

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

Since its inception in 2006, the Media School Speaker Series has brought many top names in media to the IU campus, including author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates, Washington Post columnists Margaret Sullivan and E.J. Dionne, and filmmaker Mira Nair.

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