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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

On Saudi Arabia

Karen Elliott House is a Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter who spent thirty years writing about Saudi Arabia—as a diplomatic correspondent, a foreign editor, and then as the publisher of the Wall Street Journal (and senior vice president of Dow Jones & Company). She retired in the spring of 2006 and just recently published a book about Saudi Arabia ("On Saudi Arabia: Its People, Past, Religion, Fault Lines - and Future"). Her career as a reporter was unique is some respects, not only because she was a woman working as a journalist in Saudi Arabia, but because she also grew up in a small Texas town where everyone attended church. Thus, it never struck her as strange, as it did many of her fellow journalists, that the citizens of Saudi Arabia were profoundly affected by their belief in God. Her experiences, her book, and a recent Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal, form the basis of a recent Research on Religion podcast (hosted by Tony Gill). Here's a brief description of their discussion:
Pulitzer Prize recipient Karen Elliott House joins us to discuss her career as a diplomatic correspondent in the Middle East for the Wall Street Journal and a number of important changes that are occurring in what many consider to be one of the most stable countries in that turbulent region. After discussing the life of a female reporter covering a male-dominated culture, which has a few surprising benefits, we review Saudi Arabia’s socio-economic landscape and internal tensions that are generating support for reform.
You can listen to the podcast at the Research on Religion website ("Karen Elliott House on Journalism and Saudi Arabia") where you can also find a more in-depth recap of the interview. You can also download it from iTunes. It is an hour well spent.

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