ISU honors Jamal Khashoggi with speaker David Ignatius

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Tuesday night, community members filled Tilson Auditorium on ISU’s campus for the inaugural Jamal Khashoggi Annual Address on Journalism and the Media. It is an event that ISU President Deborah Curtis felt was an appropriate honor for the journalist that was killed last October.

“At his passing last fall, we felt it was incredibly important to mark this time and continue his name as our alum through this annual series,” Curtis said.    

The first speaker chosen for the series is Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, who was both a long time colleague and friend of Khashoggi. He says his goal during his lecture is to share the life and memories of a journalist who gave everything for the truth.

“This is a moment where we think about a courageous man who risked his life to tell the truth about his country and I’m glad that Indiana State is honoring that,” Ignatius said.    

While sharing the memories of Khashoggi was a priority, it wasn’t the only message that Ignatius delivered to Tuesday’s crowd.

“When I travel overseas, my foreign friends say to me, America looks like a country that is lost, and we are. So we need to find our way out of that. This election cycle, the debates we have, are the way out,” Ignatius said.

President Curtis said bringing in a speaker like Ignatius with much knowledge of journalism, world affairs, and Khashoggi, was crucial in honoring him the correct the way.

“We could not have found a better speaker and it was important to us to pick someone who not only had status and prestige in the press, but of course for him to have had this long experience in being a friend of Jamal’s,” Curtis said.

Ignatius says many questions have been left unanswered regarding the death of Khashoggi but he says the answers to these questions will be critical in improving the United States and Saudi Arabia’s relationship, moving forward.

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