Opinion Writing Topic of Seventh Schatt Lecture

Feb. 7, 2013

Award-winning journalist and foreign policy analyst Carla Robbins will be the featured speaker at the seventh annual Paul J. Schatt Memorial Lecture at Arizona State University.

Robbins, who helped guide the editorial pages of The New York Times for six years, will discuss “Sorting through the Cacophony: Opinion Writing in an Opinion-Filled World.” Phil Boas, editorial page editor of The Arizona Republic, will moderate the discussion.

The lecture will take place Thursday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus. It is free and open to the public.

Robbins said that with “all of the shouting out there, deeply reported and rigorously argued editorials and commentary are essential for framing serious political and policy debates.”

Robbins was deputy editorial page editor at The New York Times from 2006 to mid-2012 and also served on the paper’s digital strategy committee. Before joining the Times, she spent 13 years at The Wall Street Journal, where she was chief diplomatic correspondent and national security editor in the Journal’s Washington, D.C., bureau.

While at the Journal, she won the Weintal Prize for Diplomatic Reporting given by Georgetown University and was a part of two reporting teams that were awarded Pulitzer Prizes, one for international reporting for coverage of the 1998 Russian financial crisis and the other for national reporting for stories examining U.S. defense spending and military decisions following the Cold War.

She also is a co-winner of the Overseas Press Club award; the Elizabeth Neuffer Award for Print Journalism, given by the U.N. Correspondents' Association; and the Peter R. Weitz Senior Prize, awarded by the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

Robbins began her career at Business Week, where she was an editor and State Department reporter, before moving to U.S. News and World Report, where she was Latin America bureau chief and later a senior diplomatic correspondent.

During her career, she has reported from Latin America, Europe, Russia and the Middle East.

A graduate of Wellesley College, Robbins also earned a master’s degree and a doctorate degree in political science from the University of California, Berkeley. She was a Nieman fellow at Harvard University and a Hoover media fellow at Stanford University. She is currently Clinical Professor of National Security Studies at Baruch College, The City University of New York, and an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

The Cronkite School established the Schatt Lecture series in 2007 in honor of longtime Arizona Republic reporter, editor and columnist Paul Schatt, who was an adjunct faculty member at the Cronkite School for more than 30 years. The series is supported by an annual gift from The Arizona Republic and an endowment created in Schatt’s memory by his widow, Laura Schatt-Thede.

Previous Schatt lecturers have included Steven Ginsberg, the national political editor of The Washington Post; Mitchell Zuckoff, an award-winning investigative journalist and author of a New York Times best-selling book; Dana Priest, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter for The Washington Post; and Babak Dehghanpisheh, who was Newsweek’s Baghdad bureau chief.