On October 16, 2017, Pulitzer grantee Malia Politzer delivered the keynote speech at Kent State University's Global Issues Forum, speaking with students about her reporting on the European refugee crisis as a part of her two-day visit to the school. During her speech, Politzer broached some of the obstacles she faces covering international events. In an article for KentWired, the digital version of the student newspaper, columnist Devon Parker writes that Politzer told her audience, "finding different angles to keep people engaged has been one of my biggest challenges as a reporter on this issue."
Politzer, whose reporting on immigration and economic issues in Europe has been featured in outlets like The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and Foreign Policy; found that angle in her piece "The 21st Century Gold Rush" for Huffington Post's Highline. Working with grantee Emily Kassie, Politzer exposes the "CEOs, criminal masterminds, pencil-pushers, and low-flying vultures who have figured out how to profit from global instability, also known as human suffering."
The interactive project, which covers stories about the business of the refugee crisis in Germany, Italy, Turkey, and Niger, won a 2017 Overseas Press Club Award. She has won multiple other awards for her reporting in Spain, India, China, Mexico, and South Korea.
Politzer's focus on global issues was applauded by Paul Haridakis, a professor of communications at Kent State:
"The point of the forum is for us is to recognize that we are in a global world … we need to be thinking about what issues globally are impacting us locally and vice versa."
"We want [university students] to be thinking about how the global issues connect them," says Rebecca Kaplan, Pulitzer's Mellon/ACLS Public Fellow."It's great if you can make that next leap of connection."
The Global Issues Forum is organized by Kent State University's School of Communication Studies, which is a member of the Pulitzer Center's Campus Consortium Network. The event, which often includes the Pulitzer Center, gives students an opportunity to interact directly with journalists and learn from their experience. Previous Pulitzer Center grantee speakers include Beenish Ahmed, Emily Feldman, and Dimiter Kenarov, among others.