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Communication & Media

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Kevin Sites of Yahoo! News' "Hot Zone" is featured speaker at Media Day


NEW PALTZ -- Award-winning journalist Kevin Sites, recipient of the 2006 Daniel Pearl Award for courage and integrity in journalism and creator of Yahoo! News' "Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone," will be the keynote speaker for the fifth annual Media Day at the State University of New York at New Paltz on April 21. The event is free and open to the public, and is sponsored by The Department of Communication and Media and the Legislative Gazette.

Sites' presentation will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Lecture Center 100 and will be followed by a discussion on the topic, "Media in Conflict: Are We Getting The Real Story?" led by a distinguished panel consisting of:

* U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey, SUNY New Paltz alumnus and Congressman, 22nd District; member, House Appropriations Committee; founding member and chair, Future of American Media Congressional Caucus.
* Ann Cooper, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists; former award-winning NPR correspondent and Ottaway Professor of Journalism at SUNY New Paltz
* Don Torrance, associate professor, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University; former ABC-TV news anchor, war reporter and PBS documentarian
* Steven Poskanzer, president, SUNY New Paltz and former SUNY vice provost for academic affairs.

The moderator for the panel, Bruno F. Battistoli, is an alumnus of the SUNY New Paltz journalism program and chair of the SUNY New Paltz Department of Communication and Media advisory board. He is currently a graduate assistant at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University.

Sites' reporting is described on the Hot Zone Web site ( as "news reporting for the new millennium - a nexus of backpack journalism, narrative story-telling techniques and the Internet, designed to reach a global audience hungry for information."

Sites has covered major global conflict in Iraq, Iran, Chechnya, Afghanistan, Somalia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Sudan and Lebanon. Coverage of Afghanistan on The Hot Zone Web site in March drew more than 4 million viewers a week. The Hot Zone content is now being carried by the Scripps Howard wire service. Yahoo! has a global audience of nearly 400 million users.

Note to editors: For complete biographies on all of the distinguished panelists, contact the office of Public Affairs at (845) 257-3245 or e-mail