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UNH Law Launches Justice & Journalism Series with NPR’s Dina Temple-Raston

UNH Law Launches Justice & Journalism Series with NPR’s Dina Temple-Raston

Presented by New Hampshire Public Radio and UNH Law

New Hampshire Public Radio and the UNH School of Law have come together to launch Justice & Journalism, a new series of public events that invite the law school community, NHPR listeners, and the general public to better understand contemporary issues in a thoughtful forum. This ongoing series will present a range of speakers throughout the year to discuss the intersection of justice and journalism and share experiences related to the media’s coverage of public policy and law.

Laura Knoy and NPR’s Dina Temple-Raston

The first event, held last night at UNH Law in Concord, NH was a discussion with National Public Radio’s Counterterrorism Correspondent Dina Temple-Raston. Temple-Raston, who had just returned from a reporting trip to Pakistan, joined NPR in 2007, after serving as a foreign correspondent for Bloomberg News. She is the author of several books, including The Jihad Next Door and A Death in Texas.

In her remarks, Temple-Raston described the planning, decisions, and, often, adventures, that go into the making of her news reports. Drawing on examples from her work in Pakistan, Iraq, Jamaica, and the US, she described the lengths they go to get interviews with real people who are living in the midst of often extraordinary circumstances. But it is these interviews, whether with the "Tony Soprano" of Karachi or a female school bus driver in Baghdad that make for the most compelling radio stories. Several times, Temple-Raston described what went into the story and then played the finished, and polished, audio clip.

She also discussed her transition from print to radio and gave the example of her interview with the brother of the man accused of the 2001 anthrax attacks as an example of the unique power of radio. According to Temple-Raston, the man, confronted with the FBI's report on the attacks, which killed five people, came to the realization, on tape, that his brother may not have been who he thought he was.

Laura Knoy, host of NHPR's daily call-in show The Exchange, moderated the ensuing discussion, which touched on such topics as the challenges of trusting your sources when covering counterterrorism and how she ensures her safety in dangerous countries (try to avoid making a series of bad decisions). Temple-Raston also predicted th US drone strike program will be a big story in the coming year.

Following her appearance at the law school, Dina Temple-Raston appeared on The Exchange for a further discussion of her work and national security challenges facing the US.