Award-winning reporter to talk at URI about Boston Marathon bombings in the context of covering terrorist bombings worldwide, April 18

Posted on

UPDATE, April 17, 2013: In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, Sennott will discuss critical needs for solid reporting during this bombing in the context of other terrorist bombings that he has covered from Belfast and London to Iraq and beyond. Sennot is from Boston.

KINGSTON, R.I. – April 9, 2013 – Award-winning reporter Charles M. Sennott will deliver the 2013 Christiane Amanpour Lecture at the University of Rhode Island on April 18. The talk, free and open to the public, will start at 7 p.m. in the College of Pharmacy Building, 7 Greenhouse Road, on the Kingston campus.

Sennott’s lecture is called “Ground Truth: Why it’s crucial for the U.S. to have reporters on the ground in international venues.” Sennott will also discuss his coverage of the Arab spring and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“We are excited to have someone of Charles Sennott’s achievement and experience coming to URI to talk about this critically important subject,” said John Pantalone, chair of the Journalism Department at URI. “He is a leader in the world of international reporting, and the website he co-founded,, is cutting the new path to the innovative future of journalism at a time when mainstream media have severely cut back on reporting from foreign countries.”

Sennott is the vice president, executive editor and co-founder of GlobalPost, a news website with more than 70 reporters in 50 countries. An award-winning foreign correspondent with 25 years of experience, Sennott has reported on the front lines of wars and insurgencies in at least 15 countries, including the 2011 revolution in Cairo and the Arab Spring.

He was among the first journalists on the ground in Afghanistan after Sept. 11, 2001 and has continued reporting there throughout the last decade. He covered the war in Iraq from the invasion through the surge to the beginning of the drawdown of troops.

Before joining GlobalPost, Sennott was a longtime foreign correspondent for The Boston Globe. He served as the Globe’s Middle East bureau chief based in Jerusalem from 1997 to 2001 and as Europe bureau chief based in London from 2001 to 2005. He is the author of two books, The Body and The Blood and Broken Covenant, the story of Father Bruce Ritter and his fall from grace amid financial improprieties and allegations that he seduced young men at his New York charity.

In 2005, Sennott was awarded a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University. In the fall of 2006, he returned to the Globe newsroom as a staff writer for Special Projects where he did pioneering work in multimedia.

In April 2008, he and CEO Philip Balboni launched GlobalPost, seeking to produce a new source of original international reporting for the digital age at a time of diminished foreign coverage by American media.

Sennott built a stellar team of editors and more than 70 correspondents in 50 countries who since the site’s launch in January 2009 have produced excellent daily coverage that has been widely recognized in the industry.

The team has also gained a loyal and growing audience that in early 2011 exceeded 2 million unique visitors per month. Recently, Sennott has headed up a new non-profit initiative at GlobalPost that is supported by the Ford Foundation and other institutions to carry out in-depth “Special Reports.”

Throughout his career, Sennott has broken new ground in reporting across platforms in print, video and audio and where they all come together on the web. His reporting has won numerous journalism prizes including the prestigious Livingston Award for National Reporting and the Foreign Press Association’s “Story of the Year,” and he was named a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting by Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center. For the last two years, Sennott has served as a juror in the “International Reporting” category for the Pulitzer Prize. He also sits on the board of the Overseas Press Club Foundation.

Sennott has been a frequent analyst of the Middle East and religious extremism for the BBC, CNN, the PBS NewsHour and NPR. In February 2011, he reported on the revolution in Cairo for PBS FRONTLINE. Sennott is a sought-after speaker who has given talks at the Council on Foreign Relations, the Salzburg Global Seminar and the Newseum.

He has also delivered formal lectures at Harvard, Columbia, Dartmouth, University of Southern California, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Beijing University and Providence College, where he delivered the commencement address and was awarded an honorary doctorate for his reporting on religion amid conflict.

He has a bachelor’s in history from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a master’s from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. He lives with his wife and four sons in Harvard, Mass. Sennott writes a regular column as GlobalPost’s chief correspondent and blogs at GroundTruth.

The Christiane Amanpour Lecture is named for the 1983 URI alumna and 1995 honorary degree recipient who is the chief international correspondent for CNN International. She is also the anchor of Amanpour, a nightly foreign affairs program on CNN International.

The annual speaker series, in its 5th year, is designed to help the University bring well-respected professional journalists to campus. The lecture is sponsored by the Department of Journalism and the Harrington School of Communication and Media.

Pictured above: Charles Sennott, an award-winning reporter who will deliver the annual Christiane Amanpour Lecture at 7 p.m. April 18 at the University of Rhode Island. Information about Sennott for this release came from

Photo courtesy of Charles Sennott.