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Last modified: Tuesday, February 9, 2010

IU Journalism lecture series features two Pulitzer Prize winners and media commentator

Feb. 9, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- This spring, the Indiana University School of Journalism's lecture series will feature two Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists who have reported from inside some of the most embattled places in the world and one of the premier media commentators in America.

Sheryl WuDunn, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has reported from within Myanmar, North Korea and China, will speak March 8 at Alumni Hall in the Indiana Memorial Union (IMU), 900 E. Seventh St.

John F. Burns, the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times chief foreign correspondent and London bureau chief, will speak March 29 at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, 114 East Kirkwood Ave.

Ken Auletta, an author and media columnist for The New Yorker, will speak April 19 at the Indiana Memorial Union' s Whittenberger Auditorium.

All of the lectures will begin at 7 p.m. and are free and open to the public. The Indiana Memorial Union Board is co-sponsoring WuDunn's lecture.

Since its inception in the fall of 2006, the IU School of Journalism Speaker Series has brought to campus highly regarded journalists and authors including Anna Quindlen, Steve Kroft, Nina Totenberg, Elizabeth Gilbert, Lisa Ling, Frank DeFord, David Halberstam and Christopher Hitchens.

Sheryl WuDunn

As a foreign correspondent for The New York Times, WuDunn covered China and won a Pulitzer with her husband, Nicholas D. Kristof, for their coverage of the Tiananmen Square democracy movement in Beijing and the military crackdown that ended it. They were the first married couple to win a Pulitzer for journalism, and she was first Asian-American woman to win a Pulitzer.

WuDunn has co-authored three best-sellers: China Wakes: The Struggle for the Soul of a Rising Power (1994), Thunder from the East: Portrait of a Rising Asia (2000)and Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide (2009).

With a background in banking and an MBA from Harvard University, she was the lead correspondent for The Times' coverage of Japan's financial crisis that has produced lessons for today's economic turmoil. Her longtime coverage of the economic development of China and other emerging markets has given her a broad understanding and many first-hand examples of how change in centrally planned economies can come about peacefully through growth. She recently was an investment adviser at Goldman Sachs.

Her experiences trekking through Asia over the years, along with her husband's reporting for his op-ed columns for The Times, led the two of them to write Half the Sky: From Oppression to Opportunity for Women Worldwide, about women in the developing world. The book illuminates the stories of many women who have suffered under their society's feudal attitudes toward women. It also describes how a growing crop of social entrepreneurs, mostly local women, are solving these problems and transforming societies around them. Kristof and WuDunn have developed their own ways to bring about change, and they recently went to Cambodia to launch a project to help do just that.

Previously, she worked in strategic planning at The New York Times, helping develop new business opportunities in the media and NYT-branded extensions, and she was deeply involved in sales and marketing for The Times' circulation department. She was The Times' first television anchor for its nightly headlines broadcast, and she helped develop a four-hour documentary on China for The Times' Discovery Times Channel. She has won other journalism prizes, including the Polk and Overseas Press Club awards.

John F. Burns

As London bureau chief and former Baghdad bureau chief, Burns is the longest-serving foreign correspondent in The New York Times' history and a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize. For more than 30 years, he has been a fearless representative in embattled regions -- from South Africa during apartheid to the siege of Sarajevo and then to Iraq before and after the war.

Burns' work has taken him to China, India and the Soviet Union during perilous periods. After Sept. 11, 2001, he directed the paper's coverage of the Afghanistan war, first from a base in Islamabad and later from the Afghan capital. He covered the last six months of Saddam Hussein's regime. When American troops captured Baghdad, Burns served as bureau chief for the paper in Baghdad -- often under hazardous circumstances -- until July 2007.

He has been a familiar face during these conflicts, appearing on "The Newshour," "The Charlie Rose Show" and many other news programs.

In addition to his two Pulitzers, Burns also is a dual winner of the George Polk Award for foreign reporting in Africa and Afghanistan. He is completing a book project on the trial and execution of Saddam Hussein and is planning a book about his time spent in "far away and nasty places."

Ken Auletta

Author and media columnist for The New Yorker, Auletta is "the James Bond of the media world," wrote Business Week, "a man who combines the probing mind and easy charm of a top intelligence agent with the glamour that benefits the holder of a high-profile job." In ranking him as America's premier media commentator, the Columbia Journalism Review concluded, "No other reporter has covered the news communication business as thoroughly."

His award-winning "Annals of Communications" profiles have revealed, with unique intimacy, the inner workings of such famous media personalities as Rupert Murdoch, Harvey Weinstein, Sumner Redstone, Michael Eisner, Barry Diller and Bill Gates. His profile about Ted Turner, "The Lost Tycoon," won the National Magazine Award.

Auletta's 2009 book Googled: The End of The World As We Know It is a New York Times business best-seller. Business Week named it one of the best books of the year. Auletta also is the author of four other national best-sellers: Three Blind Mice: How the TV Networks Lost Their Way (1992), Greed and Glory on Wall Street (2001), The Highwaymen: Warriors of the Information Superhighway (1998) and World War 3.0: Microsoft and Its Enemies (2001).

Starting in 1974, Auletta was the chief political correspondent for the New York Post, then staff writer and weekly columnist for the Village Voice and contributing editor of New York Magazine. He started writing for The New Yorker in 1977.

Between 1977 and 1993, he wrote a weekly political column for the New York Daily News. He wrote and narrated a 90-minute biography of Rupert Murdoch for PBS's "Frontline," and appears regularly on "Nightline," the "News Hour" and "The Charlie Rose Show." Auletta has won numerous journalism honors. He has been chosen a Literary Lion by the New York Public Library, and one of the 20th century's top 100 business journalists.

For more information about the series, see