Diversity Series

Diversity Series Graphic University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications Presents: Diversity and Modern Media. Fine Print: The Hearst Speaker Series, College of Journalism and Mass Communications.




Bob Ray SandersSeptember 17, 2015
"The Media: In Living Color or Black and White?"

Vice President, Associate Editor and Metro columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Bob Ray Sanders has been a professional newspaper, television and radio journalist for 40 years. Bob Ray worked many years at the Dallas/Fort Worth PBS affiliate, where he served as reporter, producer, station manager, and vice president. A 1969 graduate of North Texas State University, Sanders is past president of the Press Club of Fort Worth. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Black Journalists and the Dallas/Fort Worth Association of Black Communicators. He currently serves on the board of the Mental Health Association of Tarrant County, the advisory board of the AIDS Outreach Center in Fort Worth and the advisory board of Goodwill Industries. He also is Professional in Residence in the Journalism Department of Texas Christian University, where he teaches the course, “Race, Gender and Mass Media”.

Sanders has received some of journalism’s most prestigious awards, among them: five awards from the Houston, New York and Chicago film festivals, five Dallas Press Club KATIE Awards, three Corporation for Public Broadcasting Awards; a regional Emmy; a National Association of Black Journalists award for Best TV Sports Feature, and a National Headliner Award for outstanding investigative reporting.

Other honors include: Ethics Award from the TCU Journalism Department; Distinguished Alumni Award, Fort Worth Independent School District; induction into the “Hall of Honor”, University of North Texas Journalism Department; and the Thomas Jefferson Liberty Award from the Dallas Civil Liberties Union.

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Bob Ray Sanders

Osama Siblani October 13, 2015
"The Arab American News"

Osama Siblani is the publisher of The Arab American News, the largest and most widely circulated Arab American publication in the United States. He was inducted in the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame on April 21, 2013. A recipient of the "Spirit of Diversity in Journalism Award" from Wayne State University.

Born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1955, Mr. Siblani came to the United States in 1976 to pursue his education. He completed his B.S.S. in electrical engineering in 1979 at the University of Detroit. In 1980 he assumed the position of Vice President at Energy International, Inc., a major import-export firm dealing with the Middle East. He held this position until he began The Arab American News in 1984, at which time he resigned to run the newspaper full time.

Siblani's prime motivation for beginning the newspaper was the 1982 Israeli invasion of his homeland Lebanon and the startling discovery of the biased fashion in which the major media in America covered such events in the Middle East. In addition, he had settled in the nation's largest Arab American community, in Metropolitan Detroit, and thus he believed the idea for a community newspaper was viable.

Siblani has now published The Arab American News for twenty-nine years. The newspaper rapidly became one of the local and national media's most popular resource for American-based Arab and Arab American opinion and analyses.

Mr. Siblani's rare political acuity is appreciated by the media. He also has a well-deserved reputation for honest yet engaging interviews with an eye and ear for both the culture and political milieu he lives in and those of the region of the world he was born in. He effortlessly bridges the knowledge and understanding gaps that exist in American audiences and is an expert producer of useful sound bites. He is nimble with analogies that quickly illuminate issues for those whose backgrounds are sketchy.

Siblani has always been a staunch supporter of Palestinian rights and opponent of Israeli occupation and aggression. When Palestinian was considered the "P" word and virtually no one talked about the subject in public, Siblani stood up and shouted from the pages of The Arab American News and whatever opportunities he could get with the media. He was a fearless and vocal opponent of the 1991 Gulf War, tirelessly making back-to-back media appearances and giving print interviews in an effort to avert certain disaster for the Arab World. He did the same in trying to avert the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq. He vehemently opposes proposed American military intervention in Syria.

The following is a partial list of Mr. Siblani's media appearances, in addition to local TV and radio stations, through the last 29 years as publisher of The Arab American News:

New TV
Decmocracy Now
Metro Times
LBC-Lebanese Broadcasting Network
Al Manar TV
ABC News
CBS News
CNN's Larry King Live
CNN's Crossfire
CNN's News Night
ABC's Nightline
MSNBC's Hardball
MSNBC Abrams Report
Al Jazeera & all Arab media
Fox's- The O'Reilly Factor
PBS's MacNeil Lehrer Report
USA Today
Wall Street Journal
The New York Times
The Guardian
The Washington Post
The Detroit Free Press
The Detroit News
Asharq Alawsat Pan Arab daily based in London, England
Assafir Lebanon's leading newspaper
Chicago Tribune
Los Angeles Times
Philadelphia Inquirer
Boston Globe and Mail
The Weekly Standard
The New Yorker
Le Monde
Le Republic

Newspapers throughout the world including Japan, China, India, Pakistan, Africa, Britain, Europe, South America and the Arab World.

Successive American administrations have sought Mr. Siblani's counsel at the White House on issues related to the Arab World. He attended the Arafat-Rabin-Clinton White House signing ceremony. As a journalist, the White House and State Department press offices stay in contact with him and he has attended White House lawn picnics for the media.

Siblani's influence extends abroad as well. He met with several Arab world leaders, including, most recently, Syrian President Bashar Assad and Syrian Vice President Farouq al-Sharaa, as well as with Lebanese President Michelle Suliman.

He has been a guest of former Tunisian President Zine al-Abideen bin Ali, late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahater Mohamed, among other world leaders.

In 2003, he addressed the American Society of Newspaper Editors at their annual convention. He is a frequent lecturer on U.S.-Arab relations and the role of ethnic, minority and alternative media in America, at several American universities, including the Columbia University School of Journalism, the University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Michigan State University, Central Michigan University and Wayne State University, among others.

He hosted, in 2011, the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) convention in Detroit with a grand opening reception in Dearborn, MI.

Mr. Siblani has also become the voice of the Arab American community. While smaller papers have sprung up and fallen by the wayside, The Arab American News just keeps getting stronger. Siblani helped found the Arab American Political Action Committee (AAPAC) in Dearborn and the Congress of Arab American Organizations (CAAO), which is an organization with an unprecedented success at fostering cooperation among the community's many groups.

Mr. Siblani was recently inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame in April 2013. He is the first to be inducted from an ethnic media outlet, and the second Arab American, after the induction of the legendary late Helen Thomas in 1993.

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Osama Siblani

Hank KlibanoffMarch 10, 2016
"Finding the Lost, Remembering the Forgotten: Why Civil Rights Cold Cases Matter"

Hank Klibanoff grew up in Alabama witnessing the evolution of race relations there. Those experiences, along with his 35 years as a newspaper reporter and editor, not to mention his years as a newspaper delivery boy, were key influences as he co-wrote The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle and the Awakening of a Nation. The book won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for history.

Klibanoff, who was managing editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution until the summer of 2008, is now managing editor of the Cold Case Truth and Justice Project, which uses investigative reporting to dig out the truth behind unsolved racial murders that took place during the civil rights era in the South. The project, led by the Center for Investigative Reporting, is using reporters, filmmakers, multimedia experts, public interest advocacy groups, lawyers and archivists to fill in history's huge gaps, to correct its myths and to bring exposure, reconciliation and, where possible, criminal prosecution.

The Race Beat, written by Klibanoff and Gene Roberts, former editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer and former managing editor of The New York Times, explores news coverage of the civil rights movement in the South. The book looks at the impact and involvement of the black press, the Northern press, the Southern liberal and segregationist press, television and photojournalism from the 1930s through the late 1960s.

The book also won the Goldsmith Book Prize awarded by the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and was a finalist for the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award and PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award. It received the Book of the Year Award from the American Journalism Historians Association; and the Frank Luther Mott Book Research Award given by the National Honor Society in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Klibanoff left the South in 1967 to attend Washington University in St. Louis at a time when the campus was bubbling with activism. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in English, Klibanoff received his masters at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He was recently named to the Medill Hall of Achievement and received a distinguished alumni award from Washington University.

While in college, he worked for his hometown newspaper in Alabama, then began his reporting career in earnest in 1972 in Mississippi, where, for more than five years, he was the state capitol bureau in Jackson for the Sun-Herald on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and the Delta Democrat Times in Greenville.

In 1978, Klibanoff took a year to backpack and freelance in Europe and the Middle East, then joined The Boston Globe as a reporter. In 1982, he moved to The Philadelphia Inquirer. Two years later, he was named the Inquirer’s national correspondent in the Midwest, based in Chicago and was responsible for a 12-state region. He covered a wide range of stories, including the administration of Chicago Mayor Harold Washington, but his main focus was the catastrophic farm economy that wiped out a large number of family farms, led to bankruptcies, foreclosures and suicides, and crushed the vitality of rural towns in the Midwest.

He returned to Philadelphia to take on a variety of editing jobs – national, metro, business, sports, Sunday -- before being named deputy managing editor. For six years, Klibanoff taught urban journalism at the University of Pennsylvania. He was also a fellow at the Freedom Forum’s Media Studies Center at Columbia University.

He joined The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as managing editor for news in October 2002 and served there until resigning in the summer of 2008.

He serves as a board member of the John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism, administered by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He is chairman of the board of VOX Teen Communications, an Atlanta non-profit youth development organization that provides teens an opportunity to write, design and publish a monthly newspaper and helps them develop the skills and resources to express themselves on issues important to them. He has served on the board of the Associated Press Managing Editors Association (and was winner of its 2007 meritorious service award).

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Hank Klibanoff