Dina Temple-Raston, national security and counterterrorism correspondent for National Public Radio, is coming to McPherson College on Nov. 3 to talk about current terrorism news and how it fits into the larger picture of national security.
The Flory Public Policy Lecture starts at 4 p.m. in the college’s Mingenback Theatre with Temple-Raston talking on the subject “Behind the Scenes of Today’s Terrorism Cases.”
Temple-Raston said she covers national security differently from many reporters in the same field.
“I see it not as a law enforcement beat but as the intersection of culture, religion, poverty, young men coming of age, and foreign policy,” she said. “Those are all ingredients in virtually every story we do.”
Temple-Raston has worked as a foreign correspondent for Bloomberg News in Asia, opening Bloomberg’s Shanghai and Hong Kong offices for its financial wire and radio services. During the Clinton Administration, she was also Bloomberg’s White House correspondent, while also covering finance and economics for “USA Today” and “CNNfn.”
She joined NPR in March 2007, and her work appears regularly on national NPR news magazine programs. She’s also an award-winning author, including “A Death in Texas,” which won the Barnes & Noble Discover Award and was chosen as one of the Best Books of 2002 by the “Washington Post.” Her second book, “Justice in the Grass: Three Rwandan Journalists, Their Trial for War Crimes, and a Nation’s Quest for Redemption,” was a “Foreign Affairs” magazine best-seller.
She’s had a varied career, she said, and is most proud of the times a story has made a difference, she’s gotten first to a story or issue, and when she’s helped to mentor the next generation.
Her work for NPR is in the background of listeners’ daily life, but at the same time it’s up-close and personal.
“People listen to us when they are doing something else — driving, cooking, getting ready in the morning — but radio still has an amazing intimacy,” she said. “And that is very powerful. Everyone likes to be read to as a kid. In a sense, that is what I now do for a living.”
Temple-Raston said she thinks the current generation of college students in the United States grew up with a different perspective on terrorism than she did. The closest event to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks for her was Pearl Harbor. Her great uncle was in the Navy and at Pearl Harbor, she said.
“We have talked about it, but it all seemed very distant,” she said. “We grew up in the Cold War. We were worried about a nuclear holocaust, not terrorism. That is a different type of fear on an individual level.”
Page 2 of 2 - Hearing what college students and other citizens of Kansas are thinking is what she’s most looking forward to in the lecture at McPherson College, Temple-Raston said. She encourages them to take an active role in speaking up about their position on issues of national security and counterterrorism.
“Participate in discussions and debates like this and take the issues seriously,” she said. “They need to take their citizenship seriously. As they said in the 1960s, you are either part of the solution or part of the problem. And you have to choose.”