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Istanbul-based journalist discusses ISIS and its victims

Freelance reporter Emily Feldman led a March 7 presentation on campus, highlighting her work abroad that focuses on the humanitarian crises resulting from conflicts in Iraq and Syria, with a special focus on women. 

Istanbul-based journalist Emily Feldman, who is supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, led a March 7 lecture in the McEwen Communications Building theater.

‚ÄčOne of the most compelling aspects of Emily Feldman’s work in the Middle East, where she reports on humanitarian crises resulting from conflicts in Iraq and Syria, is its immediacy.

During her March 7 lecture, sponsored by the School of Communications and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, the Istanbul-based freelance journalist recapped the brutality the Yazidis community – a religious minority in Northern Iraq – has faced at the hands of ISIS. As part of her talk, Feldman discussed the horrors the Yazidis people have encountered, including forced conversions, executions and sexual enslavement of women and children, many of whom remain in captivity.

The most chilling account Feldman shared was that of a young mother’s harrowing escape and how she interviewed the woman just two days following the ordeal. As Feldman spoke, a photograph of the woman and her frightened two-year-old son showed on McEwen theater’s digital screen. 

For the last two years, Feldman has reported on everything from ISIS recruitment to the mass movement of refugees from the region, filing stories from Iraq, Turkey, the Balkans and Western Europe. Her work, which is sponsored by the Pulitzer Center, has appeared on Mashable and Al-Jazeera America, among other online outlets.

“What is interesting about Emily is that she is really representing the great transition that has occurred in international news coverage,” said Associate Professor Glenn Scott, during his introduction of Feldman. “In the old days, it was all big TV news correspondents, newspaper correspondents and magazine correspondents. Today, we see a lot more freelance work for a variety of different outlets, most of them online.”

The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting is a nonprofit journalism organization in Washington, D.C. The center supports independent journalists who cover international topics that are under-reported by traditional media outlets.

The School of Communications is a member of the center’s Campus Consortium, a group of about 20 partner colleges and universities. This membership provides opportunities for center-sponsored journalists such as Feldman to share their insights with students. It also enables the schools’ students to serve as reporting fellows and to produce work for the center’s website. 

In fact, Elon University senior Meredith Stutz spent a week abroad in January as part of her Pulitzer Center Student Fellowship, collecting insights and opinions while examining the European country’s once devout Catholic population.

Tommy Kopetskie,
3/9/2016 9:45 AM