This story was written by Linda Glaser, writer for the College of Arts & Sciences.
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Ithaca, N.Y. — Journalists often put their lives on the line to cover violent conflicts around the world. This year’s Daniel W. Kops Freedom of the Press lecturer, Amjad Atallah, has had broad experience with conflict and post-conflict situations in the Middle East and Darfur.
Atallah, executive vice president for content (editor-in-chief) for Al Jazeera America, will speak about “Journalism Under Fire” Thursday, Oct. 15, at 4:45 pm in Cornell’s Lewis Auditorium, Goldwin Smith Hall.
“Under Amjad Atallah’s leadership Al Jazeera America has won numerous awards for journalism, and we are thrilled that he will be delivering the Kops Freedom of the Press Lecture,” says George Hutchinson, interim director of the American Studies Program and professor of English. “We are most grateful to the late Daniel Kops and to Nancy Kops for making this event possible.”
Atallah was one of the senior executives on the launch team for Al Jazeera America, as well as AJ+, Al Jazeera’s newest digital channel. Before joining Al Jazeera, Atallah was a director of the Middle East Task Force at the New America Foundation and co-editor of the Middle East Channel for Foreign Policymagazine.
He has served in senior advocacy and advisory roles in conflict and post-conflict situations, including directing international policy and advocacy efforts on behalf of Darfuris, and advising Palestinian negotiations with the U.S. and Israel. Amjad also co-founded Women for Women International in 1993 and served on its board of directors until 2012.
Atallah was born and raised in Gary, Indiana, and received a bachelor’s and a master’s from the University of Virginia and a law degree from American University’s Washington College of Law. He has announced that he will donate the Kops Lecture’s honorarium to the nonprofit Committee to Protect Journalists.
Daniel Kops ’39, former editor-in-chief of The Cornell Daily Sun, established the Daniel W. Kops Freedom of the Press Fellowship Program in 1990. Each year the program brings a distinguished speaker to campus through the American studies program; past speakers include Ta-Nehisi Coates of The Atlantic; Frank Rich and Gail Collins of The New York Times; the American Civil Liberties Union’s Nadine Strossen; and Jonathan Adelstein, commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission.
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