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John Yemma

Editor in Chief, The Christian Science Monitor; Veteran Journalist of International News, Digital Pioneer

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Fee Range:
$10,000 - $15,000


A thoughtful international voice as a journalist and news analyst, John Yemma is the Editor in Chief of TheChristian Science Monitor. Over the years, the Monitor has won seven Pulitzer prizes and has built a vibrantteam of news correspondents stationed in cities around the world. As a digital pioneer to the news industry, John Yemma led theMonitor-- and the newspaper world -- in 2009 into Web-first journalism, resulting in an eight-fold audience increase and apath to financial sustainability that all news organizations are urgently seeking. He writes a weekly column in the news magazine and a daily news perspective piece. In his four-decade career, Yemma has covered wars in the Middle East, economic change in Europe, politics in the United States, and innovations in science, technology, and public policy.

Whether in writing, public speaking, or overseeing a team of writers and editors, Yemma's goal is to connect the dots in global events and peer over the horizon at what is likely to happen next. He speaks authoritatively on subjects such as what will follow the wave of revolutions in the Middle East; the threat and hype of cyber warfare; the impact of a new "reverse brain-drain" around the world. With a wealth of real-world examples -- both from his own reporting and from the correspondents he manages -- John Yemma's journalistic perspective helps audiences unpack difficult issues. His accessible presentation style often leaves audiences feeling both better informed and more hopeful about where news is heading.

Speech Topics

Politics and media are codependent. Politicians need the media for exposure; the media needs politics for the viewership that confrontation and controversy bring them. It’s a cycle that has intensified with the rise of 24/7 media. What can be done to reestablish a common purpose without enforced conformity? Can civility exist alongside the unbridled competition of ideas?The Christian Science Monitor was started more than a century ago to provide thoughtful people news that helps them understand the world. Its mission today is to try to help thinking — not red-faced rhetoric — flourish.

Not every news organization can make the kind of dramatic leap that John Yemma piloted The Christian Science Monitor though in 2009 when it became the first national newspaper to go Web-first. But eventually all media will follow this path. There are many reasons — technology, economics — but behind the creative destruction of old media is this fundamental fact: young people don’t trust authoritative-sounding media voices and don’t feel they should have to pay to support media they like. So what are the implications for society — for democracy, commerce, education?

The Internet is an irresistible force, plowing through every segment of the economy, media, politics, and personal life. We’ve seen the power of social media in places like Tunisia and Egypt;?we’ve?seen the reaction in places like China and Iran. But even as repressive governments spend billions to counter peer-to-peer organizing, they lose the Internet’s huge economic benefits, so they are constantly caught between tightening and loosening. From his position, leading a globally-connected news organization, John Yemma can explore where the digital tsunami will hit next and what the impact will be.

A veteran Middle East correspondent and newspaper editor surveys the volatile region. When thinking about the Middle East in the midst of its latest crisis, it is important to know that its future is not determined by its past. Every group — Sunni, Shiite, Coptic, Kurd, Israeli, Alawite, and others– has claim on the past, a stake in the present, and ambition for the future. So while it is crucial to know the history of the Middle East to understand it, peacemaking requires breaking out of the past. The reality is that disparate people have always lived side by side there — and always will.

Wondering about the effect of a new crisis involving Iran? Is the Chinese model going to survive the economic slowdown? What happens when the U.S. is no longer a magnet for bright émigrés? Using the global network built during 100 years of award-winning journalism, John Yemma’s editorial team can patch your audience in with news analysts around the world, giving you insight into what is likely to happen next, and making you part of the global conversation.

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