Part of the Spring 2018 MENAS Colloquium Series
Maggy Zanger, Professor of Practice, School of Journalism, University of Arizona
In a devastating political misstep, in September 2017 the Kurdistan Regional Government held a referendum asking if residents in the KRG and in the disputed "Kurdistani areas" wanted to become an independent state. To no one’s surprise, 93 percent voted yes. The local, regional and global backlash was immediate and severe. The referendum transpired in the wake of a brutal military campaign against ISIS, a multi-year dispute with Baghdad, rampant corruption and financial collapse. The punitive response to the vote has forced the region to its knees: the Kurdish leadership is in disarray, the people devoid of hope, and prospects for the future are dim.
In Fall 2017, Zanger spent a sabbatical semester interviewing Kurdish media workers and teaching journalism at the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani, in the Kurdish region. Since 2000, she has conducted numerous research and reporting trips into the area and lived in Baghdad and Sulaimani in 2003 and 2004 when she trained scores of Iraqis to work in independent media. She has authored a number of articles on the Kurdish media and on Kurdish forced migration and has co-authored a number of research articles on the influences impacting the work of Iraqi journalists.
Cosponsored by the Center for Border and Global Journalism