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Communication & Media

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Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist to discuss media ethics


NEW PALTZ -- Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Charles J. Hanley of The Associated Press will be the featured speaker on Thursday, April 14, as the Communication and Media Department at the State University of New York at New Paltz kicks off the fourth annual Communication and Media Day. Hanley's talk will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Terrace Restaurant and will be followed by a discussion on "Integrity in the Media" by an expert panel. The event, which is free and open to the public, offers participants an opportunity to learn more about media issues in America. It is sponsored by The Legislative Gazette, a weekly newspaper written by journalism students and published by the college in Albany.

"At a time when the media - from The New York Times to CBS - is under fire, a discussion of ethics is most relevant and important," said Patricia Sullivan, chair of the Communication and Media Department. "Open discussions help hold the press accountable."

Hanley's remarks will be followed by a discussion between audience members and a panel that includes Paul Conti, news director for Channel 13 in Albany, Elizabeth Benjamin, a reporter for The Albany Times Union, and Dr. Howard Good, a noted author on ethics and professor of journalism at SUNY New Paltz. Hanley was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2001 for his investigative reporting into the role of the U.S. military in killing refugees at No Gun Ri in South Korea in 1950. The culmination of Hanley's investigative reporting with two fellow Associated Press journalists was "The Bridge at No Gun Ri"(published in 2001), which also won a George Polk Award, given annually to journalists who show particular courage in their reporting.

The panel will have much to talk about. In recent months, the media has been criticized because of a scandal at The New York Times in which a reporter, Jayson Blair, falsified stories; because CBS failed to document evidence making serious allegations against the military record of President Bush; and because a newspaper columnist, Armstrong Williams, was revealed to be taking money from the White House to promote the Bush Administration's point of view.

Hanley, 57, has been a roving correspondent assigned to AP's International Desk in New York for most of the past two decades, reporting from more than 80 countries. Hanley spent nine months in Afghanistan and Iraq in 2002 and 2003. Hanley has also co-authored the books "World War II: A 50th Anniversary History" and "FLASH! The Associated Press Covers the World." He has worked for the Associated Press since 1968, covering war, crises, and conflicts, including working as a U.S. Army journalist in Vietnam in 1969 and 1970.

A graduate of St. Bonaventure University with a degree in journalism, Hanley's international reporting has earned him awards from the Overseas Press Club, the Associated Press Managing Editor's Association, Brown University's Feinstein Media Award Program, and the Korn-Ferry Award for reporting on the United Nations.