by Nicole Vulcan

Two renowned journalists faced the “civilian” side of journalism when they fielded questions regarding international issues Monday night at the University Club in St. Paul.
About 75 people gathered to question Tom Gjelten and Martha Raddatz, a husband and wife team based in Washington, D.C. The couple focused the discussion on U.S. foreign policy. Sponsored by the Minnesota International Center, the event was one of a series of talks centered on understanding international issues.
Gjelten, a National Public Radio journalist, is a former employee of The Minnesota Daily and a University graduate. During his many years in Germany, Gjelten covered Germany’s reunification and the breakup of the Soviet Union. He has won several awards for his work, most notably for his coverage of the war in Bosnia.
Raddatz, a former National Public Radio journalist, now reports for ABC as a national security correspondent. In 1993, the Utah native was a winner of the Overseas Press Club award for her live coverage of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin.
The couple has worked together extensively in the past, as they affectionately recounted to the audience. Raddatz told of traveling alone through Bosnia while her husband, more knowledgeable of the country, gave her travel advice from back home. Raddatz found herself on a decrepit bus to Sarajevo, “wanting to live only so I could scream at Tom,” she said.
The couple recalled other interesting situations they found themselves in over the years. During the question and answer session that was to follow, members of the audience asked about everything from Israeli torture policies to how much information a journalist should gather before entering a country as a correspondent.
“I think when you go to a foreign country, do everything you can to learn about that country,” Raddatz responded.
The couple also discussed briefly the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal and its effect on U.S. foreign policy. According to Raddatz, because Congress has spent so much time on the matter, it has been up to the executive branch to make foreign policy decisions.