Veteran journalist Marvin Kalb to speak at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts


Marvin Kalb, former chief diplomatic correspondent for NBC News and CBS News and an astute observer of American media, will speak on Sunday, March 23 at 3 p.m. at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. His timely lecture/discussion, "Journalists and Government: Who's Managing the News at the Frontline?" is part of the Open VISIONS Forum, a program of University College.

Over a distinguished 30-year broadcast career, Kalb served as a key correspondent for both NBC News and CBS News and was the moderator of "Meet the Press." Since leaving his full-time television post, his interest in the medium has not waned: He was the first director of the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University. He is now the center's senior fellow and a lecturer in Public Policy and faculty chair of the Washington programs of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

A frequent commentator on PBS' "NewsHour" and other radio and television programs, Kalb continues to produce provocative lecture series and television programs about politics and journalism. His insights will be especially intriguing as the United States grapples with conflicts in the Persian Gulf, said Philip Eliasoph, Ph.D., founder and moderator of Open Visions Forum.

"With American military forces in harm's way, we want to question Mr. Kalb about how the media will have independent access to the battlefield, and how that information will be deciphered by the Pentagon for an American public demanding nothing less than the truth," said Eliasoph, a professor of art history.

Kalb started his career as a press attaché for the U.S. Department of State in Moscow. He was well-prepared for the post: Kalb holds a master's degree in Chinese and Russian History from Harvard University and completed advanced studies in Russian History there. He had also just completed a two-year stint in the U.S. Army.

But his government employment was short-lived. In 1957, he left the State Department to become a CBS News reporter and expert on Soviet affairs. Within three years, he was the Moscow bureau chief. Three years after that, Kalb was CBS' chief diplomatic correspondent, a job he would hold with the network for 17 years.

During that time, Kalb honed his skills as a writer, publishing two novels and four non-fiction works, including "In the National Interest" with Ted Koppel and "Kissinger" with Bernard Kalb. He also won the Edwin M. Hood Award from the National Press Club for his 1980 piece "The Castro Connection," and a Blue Ribbon Award from the American Film Festival for his 1967 work on "Inside Red China."

Kalb left CBS for NBC in 1980, spending seven years there as the chief diplomatic correspondent and the host of the popular political talk show "Meet the Press."

While at NBC, Kalb garnered high praise for his professionalism and accuracy. He won two prestigious Peabody Prizes for 1982's "The Man Who Shot the Pope" and 1986's "Vietnam: Lessons of a Lost War." He also won two more Hood Awards, an Edward R. Murrow Award and an Alfred I. DuPont Columbia University Award.

Kalb left NBC in 1987 to return to his alma mater, becoming the first director of the Shorenstein Center. For several years, he was also the Edward R. Murrow Professor of Press and Public Policy at Harvard and he has taught, written and lectured extensively about the changing nature of both the press and the politicians and events they cover.

His latest book, "One Scandalous Story" (The Free Press, 2001) considers the coverage of the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky story, which broke on the Internet. In it and subsequent interviews, he's been a strong advocate for editors to continue to place accuracy and fairness above getting the story first.

"Editors, anchors, producers and news executives can summon up the courage to say no to stories without proper credentials and sources," he told a reporter recently. "They can decide to publish or broadcast no fact simply because it's 'out there.' They can end the use of hidden cameras. They can remember that along with press freedom comes press responsibility."

Tickets are $18, $15 for senior citizens. For tickets, call the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396. For more information, visit the website, www.quickcenter.com.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on February 26, 2003

Vol. 35, No. 215