Jackie Spinner, a former Washington Post reporter who covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, will be the Fishback Visiting Writer at Washington and Lee University this month.
She will present a public lecture at 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 13, in Stackhouse Theater of Elrod Commons. The lecture, titled "Stay Back 100 Meters or You Will Be Shot: War Reporting and Objectivity," is open to the public at no charge.
Currently an assistant professor of journalism at Columbia College in Chicago, Spinner was a metro reporter and a financial reporter at the Post before becoming its Bagdad Bureau Chief. She reported from Iraq during the Battle for Fallujah and survived a kidnapping attempt outside Abu Ghraib prison.
After leaving the Washington Post in 2009, she founded "Angel Says: Read," an international literacy project based in Belize. She has started independent student newspapers at both The American University of Iraq and Sultan Qaboos University in Oman, where she taught journalism as a U.S. Fulbright Scholar in 2010-11.
Adedayo Abah, associate professor of journalism, said that Spinner will offer students "a fascinating professional background as a journalist and a writer" that will help them understand the current challenges faced by media.
Spinner's 2006 book on her experience is titled Tell Them I Didn't Cry: A Young Journalist's Story of Joy, Loss and Survival in Iraq. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, Journalism and Women’s Symposium and Military Reporters & Editors Association. She is co-director of Conflict Zone, a groundbreaking multimedia exhibit featuring some of the world's best combat photographers and journalists.
The Fishback Program for Visiting Writers at Washington and lee was begun in 1996 thanks to a generous gift from Sara and William H. Fishback Jr., of the Class of 1956, in memory of Margaret Haggin Haupt Fishback and William Hunter Fishback. The program brings an outstanding writer to the W&L campus annually. The Fishback Fund is administered by the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications.
Previous Fishback Visiting Writers have included New Yorker writer Jane Mayer, author and journalist Steve Coll, author and legal scholar Stephen Carter, political scientist Larry Sabato and columnist and Brookings Institution Fellow E. J. Dionne.
Jeffery G. Hanna
Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs