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CREES Lecture - "Fear and Loathing in Moscow: Covering 11 Time Zones and 15 Republics during Times of Great Change, 1989–1995"

Wednesday, January 14, 2009
5:00 AM
1636 II/SSWB, 1080 S. University

Stephanie DeGroote (BA REES '85), producer, Sky News, London, and 2008–09 Knight-Wallace Fellow, U-M. Sponsored by the Center for Russian and East European Studies.

When I was studying at U-M, Ten Days That Shook the World was the work that motivated me to become a reporter. Working for ABC News as a producer during the collapse of the Soviet Union meant I was witness to a once-in-a-generation event that shook the world as much in 1991 as it did in 1917. Covering the width and breadth of the Soviet Union during and after the collapse was a wild ride across cultures, mind-sets and time zones. If I'd signed on for Aeroflot frequent flyer miles, I'm sure I'd have earned a ride to the Mir Space Station.

Discussion Summary

Stephanie DeGroote told a compelling tale of her six years covering the USSR and Russian Republic, 1989-1995—from mining strikes to coups and attempted coups, and including war zones in the Caucasus and Russia, culminating in Chechnya. The Q&A session ranged widely, with faculty and students asking Ms. DeGroote to discuss such topics as Russian views of Mikhail Gorbachev, the development of cynicism following moments of revolutionary euphoria, the changing role of international media coverage, and how she would look back now on the stories she produced then. The stakes of journalistic work emerged clearly, along with the opportunities and risks students might encounter in pursuing such a career.

Summary prepared by Douglas Northrop, CREES Director