University of Rochester

EVENT: Journalists in the Field How do they inform us about the rest of the world--and what is the context?

October 24, 2000

A Swedish anthropologist who studies the work of foreign correspondents and a panel of journalists who have covered international assignments will discuss how news is reported across cultural boundaries Nov. 1 and 2 at the University of Rochester.

Ulf Hannerz, professor of anthropology at Stockholm University, has trailed correspondents as they work, and observed their fact-finding techniques and career paths in a series of studies. He will deliver this year's Lewis Henry Morgan Lecture and speak on "Foreign News: Media and World as a Single Place" at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1, in Room 321 of Morey Hall on the University's River Campus.

On Thursday, Nov. 2, Hilary Appelman of the Associated Press, Ethan Bronner of The New York Times, and John Schidlovsky, founding director of the Pew Fellowships in International Journalism, will respond to Hannerz's remarks at 1:30 p.m. in the Welles-Brown Room of Rush Rhees Library. Both events are free and open to the public.

The visiting journalists have reported from around the globe: the Middle East, Europe, India, China and the Asia-Pacific region. From 1995 to 1998, Hilary Appelman was a correspondent and editor for the Associated Press in Jerusalem. Before her assignment in Israel, she reported for the AP in Richmond, Va., and Rochester, N.Y., and was an editor on the International Desk in New York. She was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship to the Philippines and was a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan.

Ethan Bronner is currently education editor of The New York Times. Among other assignments, he has written from Brussels, Jerusalem, London and Madrid for the Boston Globe and Reuters News Service. He joined the Times in 1997 as a national correspondent and reported on trends in higher education as well as issues affecting school-age children. He is the author of "Battle for Justice: How the Bork Nomination Shook America."

John Schidlovsky was bureau chief in Beijing and New Delhi for the Baltimore Sun in the 1980s, and earlier was a freelance reporter in Beirut and Cairo, covering the region for NBC, ABC and Newsday. For the last 10 years, he has worked to educate journalists and to encourage coverage of international news. In that role, he has been curator of the Jefferson Fellowships program for journalists at the East-West Center in Honolulu, director of the Freedom Forum's Asian Center in Hong Kong, and currently director of the Pew Fellowships in International Journalism in Washington, D.C.

From their perspective as reporters and editors, the panelists will offer comments, joined by Hannerz and WXXI-AM talk show host Bob Smith. The Department of Anthropology and the Office of the Dean of the College are sponsoring the programs.

In Hannerz's research, he has studied the similarities between foreign correspondents and anthropologists: they follow fieldwork practices and write about culture as observers. But they differ, he says, in how they deal with time and space.

Hannerz, who first came to prominence as an urban anthropologist in 1969 with Soulside, a study of an African-American neighborhood in Washington, directs the Department of Social Anthropology at Stockholm University, and is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. With the publication of Exploring the City: Inquiries Toward an Urban Anthropology (1980) and Cultural Complexity (1992), Hannerz has become a major figure in the study of transnationalism and globalization.

In recent years, Hannerz's interest in global culture has zeroed in on how journalists gather information about a culture that is alien to them, and then how those facts and impressions are communicated to the public.

The Lewis Henry Morgan Lectures were established in 1963 by the University of Rochester's Department of Anthropology to honor a founder of American anthropology and a major benefactor of the University. Morgan (1818-1881) was a distinguished Rochester attorney and the author of The League of the Iroquois, Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family, and Ancient Society.

Anthony Carter, professor of anthropology at the University of Rochester, is editor of an annual volume compiling the documents of the Lewis Henry Morgan Lectures, which is published by University of Chicago Press.