Skip to main content

"I am excited about the stories to be told by this year’s class of speakers. Molly, in particular, is an inspiration – despite the challenges she faced early in life, she saw no limitations to what she could accomplish. Jim, Quil and Neda are on the front lines delivering news every day at a time when their chosen profession is continually under attack."

Andrew Conte, M.S., director, Center for Media Innovation

CNN’s Jim Acosta, YouTuber and disability rights activist Molly Burke, as well as National Public Radio reporters Quil Lawrence and Neda Ulaby, headline the 2019-20 Media Innovators Speaker Series at Point Park University.

The series is presented by Point Park's Center for Media Innovation and the Pittsburgh Playhouse, in collaboration with 90.5 WESA.

“I am excited about the stories to be told by this year’s class of speakers. Molly, in particular, is an inspiration – despite the challenges she faced early in life, she saw no limitations to what she could accomplish,” said Andrew Conte, M.S., director of the Center for Media Innovation. “Jim, Quil and Neda are on the front lines delivering news every day at a time when their chosen profession is continually under attack.”

WESA General Manager John Sutton said the series is a great opportunity to learn more about the news and have a better understanding of the world.

“All of these journalists have so much more to share than what gets on the air or online,” said Sutton. “We’re particularly excited to bring NPR’s Quil Lawrence to Pittsburgh for deeper conversations about veterans’ issues and Neda Ulaby to explore the intersection of arts, culture and politics.”


2019-20 Media Innovation Speaker Series

All shows start at 7 p.m. at the Pittsburgh Playhouse.

Molly Burke, Sept. 12, 2019

At just four years old, Burke was diagnosed with a rare retinal disease that caused a loss of vision. By age five, she was an ambassador for the foundation Fighting Blindness Canada. Today, she is a highly sought after motivational speaker and her weekly YouTube videos reach a worldwide subscriber base of more than 1.8 million.

Quil Lawrence, Oct. 17, 2019

Lawrence, a New York-based correspondent for NPR News, covers veterans’ issues nationwide. He won a Robert F. Kennedy Award for his coverage of American veterans and Gracie Award for coverage of female combat veterans. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan for 12 years, serving as NPR’s bureau chief in Baghdad and Kabul.

Jim Acosta, Feb. 6, 2020

Acosta, a chief White House correspondent for CNN, regularly covers presidential press conferences, visits by heads of state and issues impacting the executive branch. His new book, “The Enemy of the People,” is an explosive, first-hand account of the dangers he has faced reporting on the current White House.

Neda Ulaby, May 7, 2020

Ulaby, a reporter on arts, entertainment and cultural trends for NPR’s arts desk, scours the worlds of art, music, TV, film, new media and literature for stories reflective of political and economic realities, culture issues, obsessions and transitions, as well as artistic adventurousness.

Ticket Information

Season ticket packages go on sale July 22. Four-show ticket packages are available at www.PittsburghPlayhouse.com.

Tickets for individual shows go on sale Aug. 5. Get more information/order tickets by calling 412-392-8000 or visit the Box Office. 


More About: Downtown Pittsburgh, veterans, journalism, Center for Media Innovation, Pittsburgh Playhouse, Pittsburgh Playhouse