The efforts by the Stony Brook University School of Journalism to establish a center for International Reporting in honor of Marie Colvin have been bolstered by a generous $50,000 donation from Rupert Murdoch of News Corporation. Murdoch’s donation was made through the News Corporation Foundation and will help expand the Marie Colvin Center’s overseas reporting program, Journalism Without Walls. The program is an educational experience offered by Stony Brook that gives students the ability to report internationally. Students have already been sent to Russia, Cuba, China, and Kenya.
“Marie was an outstanding foreign correspondent who risked her life to tell Sunday Times readers what was really going on in war zones across the globe,” said Murdoch, her previous employer. “She stood in the finest tradition of war reporters and News Corp.’s donation will help train the next generation so they too can bear witness.”
Colvin was a Long Island native known for her work as a foreign correspondent with The Sunday Times of London for nearly 20 years. Colvin’s work often required that she insert herself directly into conflict zones, including the areas of Chechnya, Sri Lanka, and multiple countries in the Middle East. During her travels, Colvin’ courage exposed her to experiences that are far beyond the normal American’s reality, including encounters with Middle East leaders Muammar Gaddafi and Yasser Arafat, and a glimpse into some of the most violence-ridden regions in the world. She saw it as her duty to bear witness to the extreme tragedies of life, and shed a light on them for the world to see. A winner of multiple awards, including the British Press Award for Best Foreign Correspondent and the International Women’s Media Foundation Award for Courage in Journalism, Colvin was also credited with helping to save over 1,000 lives in East Timor in 1999. Tragically, she was killed by rocket fire while on assignment covering the Siege of Homs in Syria during February of 2012, but her family and Stony Brook University hope that her legacy can live on with the help of donors like Murdoch.
“The Colvin family is extremely appreciative of Mr. Murdoch’s generous contribution to the Marie Colvin Center,” said Cathleen Colvin, Marie’s sister. “It means a lot to my family that he would continue to remember her in such a meaningful way after her death. Mr. Murdoch’s contribution is a significant step toward establishing a lasting legacy to Marie’s memory.”
Murdoch joins the likes of CNN International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour in supporting a program that administrators hope will nurture and grow the next generation of foreign correspondents. Eventually, Stony Brook hopes to raise several million dollars to establish an endowment in Marie Colvin’s name.
“Mr. Murdoch’s magnanimity is an investment in the future of journalism and the next generation of both, foreign and domestic journalism students educated at Stony Brook University,” said Dennis N. Assanis, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Stony Brook University.