Journalism in a Violent World : Speaker Bios (N-Z)

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Elana Newman, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Tulsa and Director of Research for the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma. She is Immediate Past President of the International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies. She has conducted studies on trauma-related occupational health of journalists covering trauma, and the effects of trauma-related practices on audience reactions. In addition to studies about trauma and journalism, she conducts research on broader areas of traumatic stress including research participants’ reactions to trauma-related research, and assessment of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Kevin Newman is the Anchor and Executive Editor of Global National, a position he has held since its first edition on September 3rd, 2001.

He returned to Global Television after seven years as an anchor and correspondent at ABC News in New York. During that time he hosted and reported for Nightline, World News Tonight and Good Morning America.
He has been a journalist for 25 years. After graduating from the University of Western Ontario, he started making coffee and ripping wire copy at the Global Newsroom in Toronto.

His first on-air job was for Global's Sportsline, and he later reported from Queen's Park and Global's Ottawa Bureau. Kevin has also been a national correspondent for CBC and CTV News, and was co-host of CBC's Midday in the early 90's.
While he was working in the United States, he won two Emmies and a Peabody. Since his return to Canada, he has added – among others - two Gemini Awards for Best News Anchor (2005 & 2006) and the RTNDA’s Edward R. Murrow Award (for coverage of the last federal election).
With extensive experience in both Canadian and international current affairs for CBC, Carol Off has covered conflicts in the Middle East, Haiti, the Balkans and the Indian sub-continent, as well as events in the former Soviet Union, Europe, Asia, the United States and Canada. She reported the fallout from the 9/11 disasters with news features and documentaries from New York, Washington, London, Cairo and Afghanistan. She has covered Canadian military missions around the world including its latest combat operation in Kandahar.
Her award-winning documentaries include: “Fatwas and Beauty Queens”, the story of a young Nigerian woman journalist who fled into exile when her article on a Miss World Pageant was deemed blasphemous; “Of Crimes and Courage”, the story of a child who survived the massacre of her family in Kosovo and then went on to hunt down the killers; “In the Company of War Lords”, the story of Washington’s complicity with Afghanistan’s most murderous criminals; "Playing with Fire," about the anti-Indian movement in North America; "Children of Chernobyl”, the story of Cuba's medical therapy program for child victims of the Chernobyl disaster; “Flight from Bosnia”, an investigation into war criminals who found safe haven in Canada’s refugee system; and "Thou Shalt Not Kill”, a profile of religious extremists who kill abortion doctors.
Carol Off's coverage of the post-war reconstruction of the Balkans and the war crimes trial for Yugoslavia led her to write the best-selling book, The Lion, the Fox and the Eagle: A Story of Generals and Justice in Yugoslavia and Rwanda; and another national best-seller on the war in Croatia, The Ghosts of Medak Pocket: The Story of Canada's Secret War, which won the prestigious Dafoe Foundation Award in 2005. Her most recent book, Bitter Chocolate: Investigating the Dark Side of the World's Most Seductive Sweet, chronicles the international cocoa industry and the machinations behind Big Chocolate.
Carol has won numerous awards for television and radio work, among them: a Gemini; two gold medals from the New York Festival of Television; a selected screening at the Monte Carlo Television Festival; several awards and citations from the Columbia Television awards; a Gabriel award; a B’nai Brith Award and a number of awards and citation from the National Radio and Television Association.
She is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario. She lives and works in Toronto, where she co-hosts CBC's Radio's As It Happens.

John Owen
John Owen is a long-time journalist based in the UK. He is the founding Executive Producer of News Xchange, the pre-eminent international broadcast news conference group. He is a Visiting Professor of Journalism at City University in London. He also serves as the founding Chairman of the Frontline Club. In addition, Owen is a Trustee of the Open Society Foundation and a founding Editorial Board Member of the International News Safety Institute. He is also a Trustee of the Crimes of War Project and the Media Diversity Institute. As well, he is a member of the Advisory Committee of Dart Europe. He also serves as a founding Editorial Board member of the proposed pan-African 24-hour news and information network, A-24.

Owen has also taught international journalism at the London campus of New York University and at the University of Addis Ababa graduate journalism school. He has served as a media consultant to the BBC College.

Owen was formerly the founding Director of the European Center of the Freedom Forum that he established in London. In that position, Owen organized conferences, seminars, and journalism training throughout the Balkans and former Soviet Union as well as making his London center a hub of media and journalistic activity. Upon its closing by the Freedom Forum as part of its world-wide shutting down of international centers, Phillip Knight, the British journalist-historian said it was "one of the most inspiring developments in modern journalism, a powerhouse for free speech…"

Owen spent most of his working journalism career with the CBC. He held many senior editorial positions including Chief News Editor of CBC Television News and Chief of Foreign Bureaux based in London.

Owen is co-editor with Chris Cramer of Dying To Tell the Story (The Iraq War and the Media) published by the International News Safety Institute.

Owen is the co-editor of a new journalism text book, Frontlines and Deadlines (Reflections on International News Reporting), that will be published in the autumn of 2008 by John P. Wiley & Sons. It is based on his international journalism course taught to M.A. students at City University in London.
Dr. Ross Perigoe was hired as assistant professor of Broadcast Journalism at Concordia University in 1985. Prior to joining the faculty, he received a Master’s in Communications from Syracuse University in 1975. He was a full time journalist for 12 years, prior to his managing CBC television’s flagship station in Ottawa. He served as executive assistant to the Vice President of Regional Broadcasting as his final posting at the CBC before joining Concordia. His early research focussed on the portrayal of visible minorities on television, particularly surrounding the Oka Crisis of 1990.
Dr. Perigoe has had a long-standing interest in how journalists cover traumatic events such as the 9/11 attacks. His last sabbatical was used to begin his doctoral studies at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University in Melbourne, Australia. In conducting research for his Ph.D., Dr. Perigoe examined the texts in The Gazette newspaper in Montreal between September 11 and 30, 2001. A regular presenter at national and international conferences, he is in the process of re-writing his doctoral thesis for publication by UBC Press.

Karen Pierre, B.S.W., M.S.W., R.S.W.
Karen Pierre is a social worker in the Trauma Program at the London Health Sciences Centre, specializing in crisis intervention and counselling for grief and bereavement. She assesses emotional impacts on victims and witnesses to violent events, including shootings, stabbings, motor vehicle crashes and domestic violence. She is a consultant to the Canadian Military Family Resources Centre, where she advises soldiers and their families before overseas deployment and assesses military personnel who present with PTSD symptoms on their return. She has also worked with the Children’s Aid Society and with police on the emotional trauma aspects of sexual and physical abuse cases.
Rodney Pinder is Director of the International News Safety Institute, a Brussels-based organisation dedicated to the safety of journalists and news media staff in areas of conflict and other danger.

The non-governmental, independent institute was created in 2003 by news organisations and support groups out of growing concern over a rising incidence of attacks on journalists. More than 1,200 news media workers – journalists and critical support staff – have died in the line of duty in the past decade.

INSI is an unprecedented coalition of the news media and individual journalists, media freedom groups, journalist unions and humanitarian campaigners working to create a culture of safety in news gathering.

INSI, a non-profit organisation, operates as a network for safety information of all kinds that will be of help to journalists in the field, with its website as its hub.

The institute raises funds from international donors to provide basic safety training free of charge for journalists around the world who are unable to afford their own. It has so far trained more than 730 news media staff in 16 countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia.

Amongst other initiatives, INSI undertook a global inquiry, the first of its kind, into the causes of journalist deaths and produced a report and recommendations for action by governments and the international community to stem the bloodshed.

It also worked with members to persuade the UN Security Council to pass Resolution 1738 on the safety of journalists in conflict.

Pinder, 63, is a former senior foreign correspondent and news executive for Reuters. He retired in 2002 after four years as global Editor of Reuters Television News and more than 20 years covering international affairs in three hemispheres.

He has a long experience of conflict reporting. He has covered wars and civil conflicts in the Middle East, Northern Ireland, Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, Southern and South Africa, Indonesia, Iraq and Iran and the Gulf.
Giselle Portenier is an acclaimed documentary filmmaker who consistently focuses on human rights issues around the world. Her ground -breaking films have received numerous international awards, including two Peabodys. The films have also been used by human rights organizations in action campaigns and several have resulted in changes in the law. Portenier started her career as a reporter and anchor at BCTV in Vancouver, and worked as foreign editor for ABC News and Associate Producer for CBS 60 Minutes in London, England, before joining the BBC in 1986. During her twenty years there, she produced and directed dozens of documentaries, including Murder in Purdah about honor killings in Pakistan, Condemned to Live about torture and rape during the Rwanda genocide, The Slave Children about child slavery in West Africa, Israel Accused, an investigation into Israel human rights abuses in Khiam prison in Lebanon, and The Disposables, about social cleansing in Colombia. In 2001 she was the first CanWest Global visiting professor at UBC School of Journalism. In 2003, she spent a year heading a multi-million dollar mass media health campaign for the BBC in Cambodia. Portenier regularly lectures on journalism and human rights and is now freelancing and based in Toronto.

Professor Rentschler teaches in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies and the Women’s Studies Program at McGill University. She is a former feminist self-defense teacher and anti-violence educator. Her areas of research interest include cultural studies of journalism, feminist theory and media studies, and media studies of crime and victimization. Her research examines media activism around crime and victimization, victims’ rights perspectives on crime and representation, feminist self-defense movements, gendered discourses of fear and security, trauma training and journalism, and the social construction of witnessing as a mass mediated experience of citizenship. She is currently finishing a book manuscript on victims’ rights and the representation of crime victims in the U.S.

Bruce Shapiro
Bruce Shapiro is executive director of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, a global resource center, think tank and forum for journalists who cover violence, conflict and tragedy.

A veteran reporter on human rights, criminal justice and related issues, Shapiro has been acclaimed as one of the most "sharp and thoughtful" (Washington Post ), "perceptive" (Slate) and "nuanced" (Village Voice) journalists on the contemporary American scene. He is a contributing editor at The Nation and longtime U.S. correspondent for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Late Night Live. For the past decade has taught investigative journalism at Yale University.

Shapiro's leadership in reforming news coverage of violence dates from 1994, when he was critically injured in a stabbing near his New Haven, Connecticut home. Over the next several years Shapiro reported extensively on crime victims and American society. As part of the team of journalists, educators and mental health professionals who founded the Dart Center in 1999, he launched a wide range of programs both in the US and worldwide, in locations as diverse as New Orleans and Belfast. He became the Center's first full-time executive director in 2006.

Shapiro's most recent book is Shaking the Foundations: 200 Years of Investigative Journalism in America (Nation Books). He is co-author of Legal Lynching: The Death Penalty and America's Future, with Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (Anchor).
Meg Spratt, Ph.D. is Associate Director of Academic Programs for the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma and a lecturer in the Department of Communication at the University of Washington. With more than 20 years experience as a journalist and journalism educator, her research interests include news coverage of tragedy, race and gender, and political communication, with an emphasis on photojournalism. Her work has been published in American Journalism; Visual Communication Quarterly; Journalism; The Howard Journal of Communication; Popular Communication; and Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly.

Ian Stewart is one of our keynote speakers. View his bio here.

Sara Tiegreen is a doctoral student in clinical psychology at the University of Tulsa (Oklahoma). She is interested in traumatic stress studies, and has written fact sheets for The Dart Center website on how crime and violence are covered in the news and on the impact on consumers of the framing of trauma-related news stories. She conducted the study presented at this forum on how crime stories frame readers' perceptions and opinions.
Keith Tomasek is a lecturer with the Master of Arts journalism program at The University of Western Ontario.
In December 2007, he presented a paper at the University of Sharjah's (United Arab Emirates) conference on Arab satellite television and cultural identity.
His professional background includes producing award winning journalism and dramatic film, television and internet content. He spent two years as an adjunct professor with the Department of Mass Communications at The American University of Sharjah.
In 2002, Tomasek was the director of news programming for CHUM's television operations in Southwestern Ontario. Prior to that, he was the senior interactive media developer with AOL Canada.
A film he produced and wrote was short-listed for an Oscar nomination. He is a recipient of Canada’s National Screen Institute Drama Prize.
Tomasek’s blog, featuring the work of journalism students from the United Arab Emirates, was nominated for a student journalism award by Reuters.
Doug Underwood is Associate Professor of Communication at the University of Washington and the author of two books, When MBAs Rule the Newsroom: How the Marketers and Managers Are Reshaping Today's Media (Columbia University Press, 1993) and From Yahweh to Yahoo!: The Religious Roots of the Secular Press (University of Illinois Press, 2002). From Yahweh to Yahoo! was awarded a 2003 Distinguished Book Award by the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (SSSR). A third book, Journalism and the Novel: Truth and Fiction, 1700-2000, is in press with Cambridge University Press.

He has published in scholarly publications on such topics as media economics and management, media ethics, journalists’ religious beliefs, technology in the newsroom, and journalism and literature, and has been a contributor to the professional media criticism review, Columbia Journalism Review.

He joined the UW communication faculty in 1987 after a thirteen year career as a political journalist and investigative reporter. He was the Olympia state capital bureau chief and the chief political writer for the Seattle Times (1981-1987); a congressional correspondent and environmental specialist in the Gannett News Service’s Washington, D.C. bureau (1976-1981); and a labor and government reporter for the Lansing State Journal (1974-1976).

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