“Journalism in an Age of Despots”

Ithaca City of Asylum writers-in-residence featured at 2019 Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival

With a theme of “Disruptions,” FLEFF 2019, hosted by Ithaca College, explored ideas of sustainability across all its forms, including the political, the cultural, and the aesthetic—and intersection that embraces the craft and art of writing.

onali Samarasinghe speaks at a table, backed by colorful banners

Sonali Samarasinghe, Sri Lankan delegate to the United Nations, speaks about threats to a free press in international spaces. Also on the panel: political cartoonist Pedro Molina (center) and Raza Rumi, director of the Park Center for Independent Media.

On April 3, two of ICOA’s former writers-in-residence shared their extensive knowledge and personal experience of international journalism: Sonali Samarasinghe, now Sri Lankan delegate to the United Nations; and Pakistani journalist Raza Rumi, now director of the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College.

Pedro Molina, a political cartoonist from Nicaragua who is published widely in the international press, joined the panel for a wide-ranging discussion of the issues journalists face all over the world in an age of increasingly authoritarian and oppressive governments. Each panelist addressed the state of journalism in their own country. They also discussed systematic causes of repression.

The panel was moderated by Barbara Adams, professor of writing at Ithaca College and member of the ICOA board. Fifty people from the campus and community attended.


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