Journalist and author Kimberly Dozier previews upcoming SIA course with students

Kimberly Dozier talks with students
Kimberly Dozier talks with students Credit: Mary Szmolko

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Kimberly Dozier, CNN and Daily Beast contributor and award-winning correspondent for The Associated Press and CBS News, spoke with Penn State Law and School of International Affairs students, faculty, and staff Monday, sharing insights from her career as a war and Washington correspondent and previewing a course she will teach this spring .

As the 2014-2015 General Omar N. Bradley Chair in Strategic Leadership, Dozier will offer a class in spring 2015 to Penn State Law and School of International Affairs students. After recounting her career as a journalist in international war zones, Dozier spoke about the topics she’ll cover with students in her class.

“We’ll look at case studies where media coverage has affected national security and legal policy,” she said, “instances like Watergate, Iran Contra, the Iraq war, the war in Afghanistan, Syria, ISIS, Edward Snowden -- and discuss the interaction between the media and these issues.”

Dozier will challenge students to evaluate these case studies, and consider how they might present a policy to the public or conduct a White House briefing. She wants students to gain an awareness of how the media have an impact on legal and public policy.

In class, Dozier will ask students to choose three sources of news: one they normally follow, one they have never followed before, and one they can't stand. Students will summarize the coverage of a national security issue by all three every week, which she hopes will make them “literate news consumers” and more informed citizens.

In her talk, Dozier commented that attorneys are often the best resources for the press because they offer educated and objective answers. Through debate, discussion, and research in her class, students will be able to effectively analyze media stories and their impact on public policy and the law. They will also learn how to interact with the media to benefit their future clients.

As part of the discussion, she recounted her experience covering the war in Iraq for CBS News from 2003 until May 29, 2006, when she was critically wounded in a car bombing that killed the U.S. Army officer that her team was filming, Capt. James Alex Funkhouser, his Iraqi translator "Sam," and her CBS colleagues, cameraman Paul Douglas and soundman James Brolan. She detailed the attack in Iraq, her injuries and the long road to recovery, in her memoir, Breathing the Fire: Fighting to Survive and Get Back to the Fight.

Prior to taking the Bradley Chair, Dozier covered intelligence and special operations for the Associated Press out of Washington. She spent over two decades as a news correspondent, specifically known for her work in dangerous areas of the world, such as Baghdad, Tel Aviv, and Kosovo. She has received a Peabody award, two Edward R. Murrow Awards, a Sigma Delta Chi award, and four American Women in Radio and Television (AWRT) Gracie Awards. She is the first woman journalist to receive the National Medal of Honor Society's Tex McCrary Award for her coverage of Iraq.