Thomas Friedman Highlights MAYDAY! Peace Conference

The Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist will discuss the war on the press at home and abroad on May 1.
Posted on April 23rd, 2019 by

Gustavus Adolphus College’s 39th annual MAYDAY! Peace Conference will feature Pulitzer Prize-winning author and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman discussing the “War on the Press: At Home and Abroad.” The conference will be held on Wednesday, May 1, beginning at 10 a.m. in Christ Chapel. The morning session is free and open to the public, but tickets are required and can be reserved online.

Following a short welcoming ceremony in Christ Chapel, Friedman will share his thoughts on the state of journalism today and attacks on the free press both domestically and across the globe in a live interview with Twin Cities media personality and communications expert Roshini Rajkumar. The unscripted interview is expected to explore Friedman’s experiences as a journalist in the Middle East and United States, his views on press freedoms and the practice of ethical journalism, and the future of the Fourth Estate.

Thomas Friedman

“The free press is a central pillar of open societies everywhere,” Gustavus political science professor and MAYDAY! conference director Mimi Gerstbauer said. “In a world where anyone with a computer can publish their version of events and their opinions, a professional and ethical press corps—committed to accuracy and fairness—may be more important than ever.”

Friedman, an internationally known author and journalist, has won the Pulitzer Prize three times for his work at The New York Times. His foreign affairs column for The Gray Lady covers U.S. domestic politics and foreign policy, Middle East conflicts, international economics, environment, biodiversity, and energy. The author of seven books that have garnered numerous national and international awards, Friedman was born and raised in St. Louis Park, Minn. He will be interviewed by Roshini Rajkumar, a former television broadcaster who regularly contributes to KARE 11’s Breaking the News, Twin Cities Live on KSTP, and Business for Breakfast on Denver’s KDMT. Rajkumar, who hosts WCCO Radio’s News and Views from 12-3 p.m. on Sundays, is known for her well-researched interviews and in-depth understanding of current events.

Following the morning interview, a ticketed meet-and-greet lunch hosted by Friends of the Library-Gustavus Library Associates will take place at 11:45 in Cec Eckhoff Alumni Hall. Featuring time for question-and-answers as well as a book signing, limited luncheon tickets are still available for $25 each.

The day’s events will also include a screening of the documentary film Page One: Inside the New York Times at 12:45 p.m. and a Journalism and Peacebuilding Forum from 2:30-3:30 p.m. featuring the University of Minnesota’s Dr. Jane Kirtley, the Silha Professor of Media Ethics and Law at the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication, leading a discussion about the free press and the role of citizens. Both events take place in the Three Crowns banquet room of the Jackson Campus Center.

The MAYDAY! Peace Conference takes place just ahead of World Press Freedom Day, which is celebrated on May 3.

The Annual MAYDAY! Peace Conference was founded at Gustavus in 1981 by the late Florence and Raymond Sponberg of North Mankato and is designed to educate the community about issues related to peace, human rights, and social justice. The conference occurs every year on the last Wednesday in April or the first Wednesday in May. Previous conference themes have focused on land rights, violence in community, hunger, the banning of landmines, food security, global water issues, and political policies relating to peace issues.

For questions or more information about this year’s conference, visit the MAYDAY! website or contact the Gustavus Office of Marketing and Communication at 507-933-7520.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


One Comment

  1. Jack Little says:

    Gonna be awesome, I got my tickets.