CNN Johannesburg bureau chief to speak at Fairfield University

CNN Johannesburg bureau chief to speak at Fairfield University

Image: Charlayne Hunter-Gault Charlayne Hunter-Gault, CNN's Johannesburg bureau chief and a respected commentator on African affairs, will speak on Wednesday, Feb. 23, at 8 p.m. at Fairfield University. Hunter-Gault's talk, entitled "From Jim Crow America to Apartheid South Africa and Beyond: A Journalist's Journey," is being presented by Open VISIONS Forum, a program of University College, and the Office of Multicultural Relations.

Hunter-Gault's appearance is sponsored, in part, by Somerset Capitol Group, Ltd. and the Connecticut Minority Supplier Development Council and the Patrick J. Waide Jr. Fund for Ethics and Public Policy at Fairfield University.

Before joining CNN in 1999, Hunter-Gault was National Public Radio's chief correspondent in Africa and won two Emmys and a Peabody Award during her 20-year career as a national correspondent for PBS' MacNeil/Lehrer Report. She was also a reporter for The New York Times , serving two of her 10 years as Harlem bureau chief.

Hunter-Gault has devoted much of her career to covering Africa, attempting to bring stories of this vast continent - both tragic and triumphant - to the rest of the world. In recent interviews, she has said she believes Africa is at a crucial juncture.

"There's a direct correlation between poverty and security; the condition of Africa makes it ripe for activity by terrorists," she told World Press Review in 2003 on the eve of the war in Iraq. "In Africa, many young men who were in guerrilla groups come home with military skills but no jobs. They're in the frontline of susceptibility to exploitation by extremists. So poverty is a real threat to security, and the lack of understanding of that, especially by Westerners, is frightening."

While she's spent most of her life covering the news, she spent some early years making it: Hunter-Gault made civil rights history in 1962 as the first African-American woman to graduate from the University of Georgia.

By 1967, she was a reporter on the investigative news team of WRC-TV in Washington, D.C., where she anchored the evening news. Prior to that, she was the "Talk of the Town" reporter for The New Yorker.

After winning the Russell Sage Fellowship to Washington University, Hunter-Gault was on the staff of Trans-Action magazine.

She joined The New York Times in 1968, serving as a metropolitan reporter specializing in coverage of the urban African-American community. Her work received several honors during her tenure, including the National Urban Coalition Award for Distinguished Urban Reporting.

Hunter-Gault joined The MacNeil/Lehrer Report in 1978 as a correspondent and became The NewsHour's national correspondent in 1983. In 1989, she was the correspondent for MacNeil/Lehrer Productions' five-part series, "Learning in America." She also anchored the award-wnning "Rights and Wrongs," a newsmagazine focused on human rights.

During her association with The NewsHour, Hunter-Gault received several awards, including two Emmys and a Peobody for Excellence in broadcast journalism for her work on "Apartheid's People," a NewsHour series on South Africa. She also received the 1986 Journalist of the Year Award from the National Association of Black Journalists, the 1990 Sidney Hillman Award, and top honors from Good Housekeeping , American Women in Radio and Television and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Hunter-Gault's work has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine and Book Review , Saturday Review , Essence and Vogue . In 1992, she wrote In My Place , a memoir of her experiences at the University of Georgia.

Tickets are $25, $22.50 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

Posted On: 01-27-2005 10:01 AM

Volume: 37 Number: 148