Renowned Foreign Correspondent Visits Dominican To Launch Geyer Initiative

December 6, 2016

By Rich Bodee and Marty Carlino

On Nov. 14, the Martin Recital Hall was flooded with students, faculty, alumni, journalists and more for the inaugural lecture of Dominican’s new Georgie Anne Geyer Initiative.

The initiative was created to honor the work of Georgie Anne Geyer, foreign correspondent and author. Geyer is famous for having procured interviews with Saddam Hussein, Ayatollah Khomeini, Yasser ArafatAnwar SadatMuammar al-Gaddafi and Fidel Castro.

Geyer, a Chicago native, graduated from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in 1956. Geyer then started her career working as an undercover reporter for the Chicago Daily News.

The event featured award-winning journalist and author Marvin Kalb. Kalb shared his lecture entitled, “The Foreign Correspondent, Here, There and Everywhere.” Kalb spoke about the importance of foreign correspondents around the world and the difficult times these heroic journalists currently face.

Kalb, 86, opened the night saying, “I want to go back and do it all over again.” Kalb spent over 30 years in his career working with ABC and CBS as a broadcast journalist and foreign correspondent. Kalb then went on to work at Harvard’s Kennedy school and appeared as a guest multiple times on both Fox News and CNN.

Kalb continued by saying he was honored to be offered the chance to speak as part of the Geyer Initiative. He also shared his admiration for Georgie Anne.

“As far as I’m concerned, she represents the best of journalism,” Kalb said. 

Kalb focused the heart of his lecture on three main points: why you need foreign correspondents, what foreign correspondents use to be and what foreign correspondents have become today. He tied all three talking points together, concluding in a comparison of foreign correspondents past and presents and ultimately what emerges from their coverage.    

A Q&A followed Kalb’s speech with Dominican journalism professor, John Jenks. Jenks opened asking Kalb how he thinks relations between the United States and Russia will go over the next four years under president-elect Donald Trump.

Kalb immediately responded, “Do you want to know what I really think?” After a resounding yes from the audience Kalb went into great detail to discuss his opinion.

Kalb said: “I believe that Vladimir Putin, deep in his sole regards our new president in very much the same way. He will do almost anything to advance the interests of Russia and he believes that the only way he could do that. He’s interested in one thing, the perpetuation of himself in power and he believes that the only way he can do that is advance the national interests of Russia as he sees it.”

Kalb was also asked questions about the future of journalism, the effect of technology on reporting, and bias in the media.

Towards the conclusion of the night, Geyer presented Kalb with one of her prized possessions, a baseball signed by “Mr. Cub,” Ernie Banks.

A book signing followed the event.