Journalist Margaret Warner YC '71 Shares Her Global Perspective
Journalist Margaret Warner YC '71 has reported news stories from hot spots around the world for viewers of public television's PBS NewsHour since 1993. On December 4, 2012, Warner brought her distinctly global perspective to an audience at Yale SOM.
Yale SOM Dean Edward A. Snyder introduced Warner, pointing out how the scope of her international reportage mirrors the spirit of SOM's global mission. "Margaret Warner understands the complexity within and among societies," Snyder said. In recent years, Snyder said, Warner has reported from Israel, Sudan, China, Pakistan, Russia, Italy, Brazil, Iraq, Mexico, Syria, and Turkey, among other countries.
Warner discussed the challenges of navigating different countries and cultures, and said that preparation is the key to getting the most out of an international visit, whether the purpose is academic study or reporting a news story. She doesn't wait to get to a country to begin reporting, Warner said; overseas reporting forays are not "listening tours." She arrives at each location with a focus and specific issues she wants to explore and explain to NewsHour viewers. At the same time, she said, she approaches these issues with an open mind. "I go in with questions, but I don't know what story I'll find," she said.
For example, Warner said, she decided to explore the European Union economic crisis last year by analyzing what lies behind the contrasting fiscal situations in Germany and in Italy. Her reporting highlighted companies and communities in both countries, and found sharp differences in their business practices and broader attitudes about work and life. She said that her findings helped explain why the two nations' economies were performing so differently and why the Eurozone's political leaders were having such difficulty finding a solution.
Warner also commented on the United States' role in a changing world. Over the past four years, massive political and economic upheavals—such as the Arab Spring and the European economic crisis—have upset many "fixed points" in American foreign policy, Warner said, adding that in the next four years she believes President Obama will continue trying to "recast the way America leads."
Student Tiffany Young '13 said that Warner was a particularly fitting guest speaker for Yale SOM. "We have a unique mission of serving both business and society," Young said. "Warner's perspective and her insights help us apply in the real world what we've been learning in the classroom."