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Last modified: Thursday, January 17, 2008

Koppel, Safire and Beschloss to speak in IU School of Journalism's lecture series

Jan. 17, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- An internationally renowned broadcast journalist who was the first to report that Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi was shutting down his country's production of weapons of mass destruction, a Pulitzer Prize-winning commentator and one of America's most prolific historians will speak at the Indiana University School of Journalism's spring speaker series.

Andrea Koppel, an award-winning journalist at Cable News Network (CNN) since 1993, will speak on Monday, Feb. 11, at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, 114 E. Kirkwood Ave., in downtown Bloomington. William Safire, a columnist at The New York Times since 1972, will speak on Monday, March 24, in Alumni Hall at the Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E. Seventh St. Historian Michael Beschloss will wrap up the series with a presentation on Monday, April 14, at the IU Auditorium, 1211 E. Seventh St.

All of the lectures are free and open to the public. Each lecture will begin at 7 p.m.

Andrea Koppel

For the last 14 years Koppel has worked as a correspondent for CNN, reporting from posts as diverse as Africa to China, covering three secretaries of state and two presidents. She has served as the network's Beijing bureau chief and correspondent, reporting on more than half of China's 30 provinces.

In December 2003, Koppel was the first to secure an exclusive interview with Libyan leader Qaddafi, during which he publicly announced his country would shut down its program to develop weapons of mass destruction. She spent 10 days in Libya -- much of that time as the only U.S. journalist allowed in.

She also has secured numerous exclusive interviews with world leaders, such as China's former President Jiang Zemin before the handover of Hong Kong in 1997, and President Lee Teng-hui after he became Taiwan's first democratically-elected president. She was among a small group of journalists who were invited to accompany then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on her historic visit to North Korea in 2000.

William Safire

William Safire

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Koppel joined CNN in 1993 as the network's Tokyo correspondent and was promoted in 1995 to become CNN's Beijing bureau chief. As a mandarin-Chinese speaking journalist, Koppel was equipped to integrate within and provide rare insight into this complex country and its culture. In 1996 Koppel won a Gracie award for her documentary, Daughters of the Revolution, about Chinese women in the wake of the communist revolution. Most recently Koppel spent 18 months as CNN's Capitol Hill correspondent.

William Safire

From 1972 to 2005, Safire wrote a political column for the opinion pages of The New York Times and continues to write a weekly column on Sundays that focuses on grammar usage and etymology. In 1978 he won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary. In 2006 he won the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Before joining The New York Times, Safire was a senior White House speechwriter for President Richard Nixon. He also had worked as a radio and television producer, U.S. Army correspondent and a reporter for the New York Herald-Tribune. From 1955 to 1960 Safire was vice president of a public relations firm in New York City, then became president of his own firm. He was responsible for bringing Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev together in the 1959 Moscow kitchen debate.

His column, "On Language," has led to the publication of 10 books about grammar and language usage and has made him the most widely read writer on the English language. He is the author of Freedom (Doubleday, 1987), a novel about Lincoln and the Civil War. His other novels include Sleeper Spy (Random House, 1995) and Scandalmonger (Simon & Schuster, 2000).

Michael Beschloss

Michael Beschloss

Print-Quality Photo

Safire has served as a member of the Pulitzer Board since 1995.

Michael Beschloss

Called "the nation's leading presidential historian" by Newsweek magazine, Beschloss is the author of nine books, including the recent bestseller, The Conquerers: Roosevelt, Truman and the Destruction of Hitler's Germany (Simon & Schuster, 2002).

He addresses current election issues through the lens of his own work as an author-historian examining presidents' actions and reactions during pivotal points in their tenures. In addition to his writing Beschloss is the presidential historian for NBC News and is a regular commentator on PBS's The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.

From 1982 until 1986 Beschloss served as historian at the Smithsonian Institution and was a senior fellow of the Annenberg Foundation in Washington, D.C., from 1987 to 1996.

Beschloss has a bachelor's degree from Williams College and a master's degree in business administration from the Harvard Business School.

For more information, please visit the School of Journalism's Web site at