PRODUCER-JOUNALIST TO DISCUSS MEDIA COVERAGE OF IRAQ
AND ‘WAR ON TERRORISM’ AT BOOKSTORE AND MCLA SEMINAR
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – Journalist Kristina Borjesson, author of “Feet to the Fire,” a disturbing insider’s look at how America’s news organizations have reported the Iraq conflict and “war on terrorism,” will speak and sign copies of her new book on Wed., March 1, at 7 p.m. at Water Street Books, 26 Water St.
“Feet to the Fire” is a collection of interviews with 21 of America’s most distinguished journalists and news executives involved in areas of reporting most germane to pre-Iraq war and post war reporting. It provides an unprecedented look at how the nation’s arena of political power have interacted with the press since 9/11.
The book is divided into five sections: Executive Impressions, The Arena of Power, National Security and Intelligence, The Middle East: History and Context, and War Correspondents.
The author’s appearance at Water Street Books is part of a two-day visit to Western Massachusetts to discuss her work, including a Thursday evening public talk and discussion with students in the “Future of Journalism” seminar program at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.
The seminar appearance at MCLA, which is also open to the public, is scheduled for 8 p.m. on March 2, in Bowman Hall Room 101. The “Future of Journalism” seminar is supported in part by a grant from the Hardman Endowment at MCLA.
A former independent producer for CBS, PBS and CNN, Borjesson has had a 25-year career in television documentary and news production. “Feet to the Fire,” published in October by Prometheus, is her second book. Her first, “Into the Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of a Free Press” (Prometheus, 2004), won the 2005 Independent Publishers Book Award for Best Book in the Current Events Category. “Buzzsaw” was a bestseller overseas, garnering critical acclaim in Europe and Canada.
Borjesson speaks internationally about issues surrounding American society, investigative reporting and the press. A graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism she received her BA (magna cum laude) from Boston University’s School of Public Communication. Borjesson was raised in Haiti, and speaks fluent French, Spanish and Creole.
Since moving from TV production into book writing, Borjesson has embarked on an effort to help journalists develop their own base of readers and viewers via the Internet independent of major news organizations. In Quebec, Elle magazine selected Borjesson as their Woman of the Year in Journalism.
Borjesson won an Emmy and a Murrow Award for her investigative reporting for “CBS Reports: Legacy of Shame” with correspondents Dan Rather and Randall Pinkston, and was the producer and co-writer for “CBS Reports: The Last Revolutionary,” an Emmy-nominated film biography of Fidel Castro.
Borjesson’s credits also include .Showdown in Haiti,. an Emmy-nominated investigative documentary for PBS.s Frontline, “Living with Crocodiles,” a National Geographic Explorer production, the CNN NewsStand magazine, shows for Fortune and Entertainment Weekly, a PBS film biography of Thomas Merton, the Trappist monk and renowned social critic, and “On Television,” a 13-part series for PBS examining TV in America.
Borjesson also contributed her findings on the TWA Flight 800 disaster to CBS Evening News and 60 Minutes. Prior to producing for CBS, Borjesson was field producer for "Showdown in Haiti," an Emmy-nominated investigative documentary for PBS's Frontline.
She has said in one interview:
"The press has not caught up with the PR machine. The PR machine is going 500 miles an hour; the press is going 50. We really do need to have more reporters who are far more extensively trained, not only in the subject matter they are going to cover, but they need to be trained in critical analysis; the need to become more savvy about how they are being spun or misinformed or disinformed; they need to know a lot more about how the government works, and who the people are in government. I think there's a big education hole there too. No longer in this very complicated world can you just have sort of workmen like journalist covering the arena of power. It is just way, way, to complicated and sophisticated for that. We need far more cultured and educated people."
Link to story from the alternative weekly, The Hartford [Conn.] Advocate, about Borjesson's CBS producing job, and her involvement reporting the aftermath of TWA 800: http://www.hartfordadvocate.com/gbase/News/content.html?oid=oid:35037
Bill Densmore, Densmore Associates
Water Street Books: