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Katty Kay talks Netanyahu speech, women in journalism in Sarasota visit

BBC World News America anchor Katty Kay and author and activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali spoke in Sarasota Wednesday

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  • | 12:00 a.m. March 4, 2015
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BBC World News America lead anchor Katty Kay considers herself an optimist. 

But, during a roundtable discussion as part of the latest installment of the Ringling College Library Association Town Hall Lecture Series Wednesday, she said international crises are testing that optimism.

“It’s endless: problems and wars and conflicts with no clear resolutions,” Kay said.

Kay specifically discussed the self-declared Islamic State (ISIS), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress on a nuclear deal with Iran and — more personally — the state of women in journalism.

Kay wrote the Confidence Code with co-author Claire Shipman on how confidence and perceived achievement and self-worth vary between genders. 

Author and activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, with whom Kay is flanking during a lecture circuit, also discussed women, but in the context of ISIS recruitment. She said the narrative radical Islamists preach can be appealing even to confident young girls.

“Teenage girls just like teenage boys are individual human beings and can be attracted to a utopia,” Hirsi Ali said.

​Quotes from Katty Kay:

On Netanyahu’s speech: “I think President Obama must have been phenomenally jealous. He never gets that many standing ovations.”

On the Iran deal: "At the moment, there is some benefit to the White House in having Iran on board as it tries to take on the enemy that is ISIS.”

On encouraging more representation of women in journalism: “If you want to reflect your audiences you want the diversity that’s there in your audience… It makes simple business sense."


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