Reporters may contact: Janet Ragland
SMU News and Information
(214) 768-7650


January 19, 2001


DALLAS (SMU) -- Southern Methodist University's Muslim Student Association is hosting a human rights lecture by University of Texas journalism Professor Robert W. Jensen Thursday, Jan. 25, on American journalists' coverage of war and foreign policy.

"Following the Flag: The Failure of U.S. Journalists in Iraq" will be an in-depth discussion about United States military actions and economic sanctions against Iraq and the effect they have had on human rights. The free lecture will begin at 7 p.m. in McCord Auditorium of Dallas Hall, 3225 University Blvd. A question-and-answer session will follow.

"Jensen is a very dynamic speaker with a thought-provoking message," said Houda Jarrah, vice president of the SMU Muslim Students Association. "The journalism techniques employed in the Gulf War have left a side of that story untold. Our goal is that Jensen's lecture will awaken the SMU community and Dallas area media to consider the human rights atrocities behind the United States' Middle East policies."

Jensen has taught as an associate professor of journalism at the University of Texas at Austin since 1992. He earned a bachelor's degree from Moorhead State University, a master's degree in journalism and public affairs from The American University and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. In 1996, he earned the Texas Excellence Teaching Award from the UT's College of Communications based on student nominations. He also recently won the 2000-01 Dads' Association Centennial Teaching Fellowship, a university-wide award honoring excellence in undergraduate teaching. He is affiliated with political groups and has organized demonstrations and public education events on U.S. foreign policy. Jensen writes on media law and ethics, newsgathering and media depictions of gender, race and sexuality.

Photographs taken by photojournalist Alan Pogue depicting life in Iraq under sanctions will be on display. The lecture is co-sponsored by the Dallas Peace Center, the Dallas Center for Human Rights, the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee and the Organization in Solidarity with the People of Iraq. For more information, contact Houda Jarrah at (214) 676-3901 or Hadi Jawad, with the Organization in Solidarity with the People of Iraq, at (214) 392-2939.