New York Times deputy foreign editor, Ethan Bronner, spoke on campus last Monday in a speech titled, "War and Terror: How the New York Times Covers Today’s Big Global Conflicts."
Bronner emphasized the importance of the younger generation understanding foreign affairs. "Whether you like it or not, we live in the most powerful country in the world…what we do affects everyone else in the world," said Bronner.
A bulk of Bronner’s speech included things that a foreign correspondent would encounter during a stay in a foreign country. He spoke of the expenses entailed when sending someone to another country to report, but said, "going to the other side to get a better point of view," is worth the expense and lends credibility to stories.
Bronner mentioned that finding out how people living in other countries feel about the U.S. is important because it helps Americans see how people living across the globe can be like them.
Most of Bronner’s speech was filled with information about current foreign affairs. He talked about the war in Iraq extensively. "This war will define the legacy of the Bush administration," Bronner said. He spoke particularly about journalists working in Iraq and said there are situations in Iraq that no journalist has ever faced before. Bronner made no question about a journalist’s importance in covering the war, saying although it is dangerous, it is important.
"Bush failed to examine his own assumptions," said Bronner about the war on terrorism, "How do you organize peace with an organization that wants destruction?" Bronner also warned that we are doomed to repeat terrorism until we understand it, "We must educate ourselves about these issues. If we don’t, we are doomed for greater failure than Iraq."
Considering exit plans for the war, Bronner said, "We don’t have to get out; we will get out." Following his speech, during a question and answer forum, Bronner predicted that an exit from Iraq would take, in his guess, "a decade."
After spending eight years covering stories in the Middle East, Bronner is currently preparing to leave the U.S. once again to be a foreign correspondent for the New York Times.