Friday, May 16, 2008


Broadside Interviews Mason Alumna at CNN
By Absalan Jafree, Broadside Staff Writer
BROADSIDE, 10 April 2006
She is a journalist based in Atlanta, Ga. The authoritative face of a global news channel, she has been labeled "stern on-air, charming off-air" by one newspaper.But if Hala Gorani were to pass through the Fairfax campus, would students or faculty give her a second glance?
Hala who, you ask?
As an anchor on CNN International, Gorani can be seen by over 180 million people around the world including Fairfax County on channel 251 (Cox Digital Cable). Above all, she is a George Mason University graduate. Broadside caught up with Hala for a special question and answer session.

Broadside: Professors, students and even the alumni office at Mason did not recognize your name. What’s going on?
Hala Gorani: Gee, thanks for the ego boost! Part of the reason may be that I was enrolled under the name Hala Basha while at GMU. The other reason may be that I appear mainly on CNN International, not widely seen in the U.S. But starting Monday, April 3, I'll be the regular co-host of Your World Today, which will also air on CNN USA every weekday at noon.

B: When did you attend Mason and what was your experience like?
HG: I attended Mason from 1988 to 1992. I graduated with a BS in Economics. The education I received at Mason in my chosen field of economics was top notch. The professors and the curriculum in that department gave me an excellent academic grounding that has served me well in my subsequent studies and later, in my job. I lived on campus only for the first semester, then moved closer to D.C. until graduation. I wasn't all that involved in campus activities apart from a staff job at Broadside.

B: You studied in Paris after earning an economics degree. What did you do there?
HG: I attended Sciences Po in Paris and studied political science. I was raised in France and always wanted my education to be both American and French.

B: Now that we have answers to some very essential questions, with your current job in mind, introduce yourself to the university; who is Hala Gorani and what does she do?
HG: I am an anchor on CNN International and I host a show called Inside the Middle East. I travel to the region almost every month from Atlanta. I also do some reporting from the Middle East and France. I have more air miles than my entire family could use in a lifetime.

B: Tell us about your background, where did you grow up?
HG: I was born in Seattle to Syrian parents, then moved to Algeria for a few years. I was mainly raised in Paris, France. That is still the city I consider my home. I root for the French team in World Cup soccer competitions. Allez les Bleus!

B: How did you get into the journalism field?
HG: I got into journalism by writing for Broadside!My first piece was an opinion column on the advantages of an ethnically diverse learning environment. I still have the clipping. I then worked for years in print before getting my first real TV job at Bloomberg in London. I then started working for CNN in London ... almost nine years ago.

B: What have been the biggest accomplishments in your career?
HG: Writing long form international stories that put a human face on news events. Fortunately, there is room for that type of journalism on CNN International. It's a shame many other networks have dropped out of that game completely.

B: Where do you see yourself in the next five to ten years?HG: Hopefully, doing what I am doing now, only better.B: What do you consider to be the worlds biggest problem?
HG: Intolerance and intransigence.

B: Mason is finally on the national map courtesy of the basketball team. What do you make of the schools new found success?
HG: I'm in awe of the basketball team. I'm not an expert, but that game against [the University of Connecticut] had me jumping up and down like I was on a spring.
And now people won't ask me "You mean George Washington?" when I say I went to Mason. They'll say "Oh the school with the powerhouse basketball team!" GO PATRIOTS!

Currently, the Braodside Archives at George Mason University is under construction. When it is up again, I will remove this posting and add the article to the "Interviews" section with the proper link.

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