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Massachusetts School Of Law Holds Conference March 7-8 To Examine Serious Problems Facing The News Media
Wednesday, 14 January 2009 23:18
by Sherwood Ross
Massachusetts School of Law (MSLAW) Dean Lawrence Velvel is hosting a conference March 7-8 to discuss the serious problems facing the news media, as well as possible corrective actions. One goal of the conference will be to determine the feasibility of establishing organizations to promote particular solutions and, if this is feasible, to subsequently seek the creation of these organizations. The conference is open to the public. The topics to be covered include:

* Print News Media Decline in Competence
* Inadequacy of Broadcast, Cable TV, and Radio News
* Newspaper Ownership – family v. corporate
* Ideology and government financing of media
* Media gullibility regarding the War in Iraq and the War on Terror
* Are the news media reluctant to admit their mistakes?
* Satire and News Reporting
* Has the Decline in Media Competence (Especially Print) Reduced Their Role of the Voice of the Poor and Disenfranchised?
* Should Journalism Schools Change Teaching and Learning?
* Can the Internet Be a Corrective for News Media Ills?
* Universities and Philanthropies and Media Owners

The conference begins on Saturday, March 7 at 8 a.m., and concludes on Sunday, March 8, at 4:30 p.m. Breakfast and lunch are included for both days, and the law school has reserved rooms at a discounted rate at the Wyndham Boston Andover hotel, a five-minute drive from the school.

Attendance is open to the public by reservation only. The admission fee is $36, which includes all sessions and meals. Students will be able to attend at a 50% discount. Those who wish to be in the audience should reserve their place by phoning/e-mailing MSLAW Assistant to the Dean Rosa Figueiredo at (978) 681-0800, ext. 113 or rosa@mslaw.edu.

The Massachusetts School of Law (MSLAW) is located in Andover , Massachusetts . Its mission is to make practical, affordable, high quality legal education, and resulting social and economic mobility, available to capable but less privileged persons who have been traditionally excluded from the legal profession.

Conference participants include:

*Karen Dunlap – president of The Poynter Institute

*Tyler Marshall – Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign correspondent who co-wrote the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism study – “The Changing Newsroom.”

*Lou Ureneck – chair of the Boston University Department of Journalism and former deputy managing editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer

*Chris Hedges – is a journalist and author, specializing in American and Middle Eastern politics and society. He was part of The New York Times team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for the paper's coverage of global terrorism. In 2002, he received the Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism

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*Robert Rosenthal – executive director of the Center for Investigative Reporting and an award-winning journalist with nearly 40 years of experience. He has worked for some of the most respected newspapers in the country, including the New York Times, Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer, and the San Francisco Chronicle.

*Bob Giles – curator of the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University, who worked for nearly 40 years as a newspaper reporter and editor, most recently as editor and publisher of The Detroit News, which he joined in 1986 as executive editor.

*Rick Edmonds – Poynter Institute media business analyst who tracks the latest industry developments. Worked as a reporter and editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, and was an editor and publisher for the St. Petersburg Times organization, 1982-1993.

*Bill Densmore - career journalist, publisher, entrepreneur and director of the Media Giraffe Project at UMass Amherst New England News Forum, and a collaborator on Journalism That Matters.

*Art Howe – chief executive of Verve Wireless and Pulitzer Prize-winning former reporter and former owner of 50 local newspapers.

*Kristina Borjesson – is the editor of Into the Buzzsaw, the highly-acclaimed expose of American investigative journalism and winner of the National Press Club’s Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism.

*June Cross – assistant professor of journalism at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism – Emmy Award and DuPont-Columbia Award winner – “I've watched with sadness as the television news industry has buckled beneath the forces of corporatization. I came to the Journalism School because I wanted to train a guerilla army of journalists who would undermine celebrity-driven and shallow news stories. “

*Michael Levine – host of “Expert Witness Radio Show,” which primarily centers around issues of government ineptitude and media complacency - with a particular focus on politics and the intelligence community.

*Robert Ferrante -- brings a wealth of experience in broadcast journalism to his post as executive producer of “The World.” A one-hour daily radio newsmagazine offering a mix of international news, in-depth features, and music from around the globe, The World is heard by more than two million listeners each week on public radio stations nationwide. Ferrante joined The World in 1998, returning to WGBH after a nine-year tenure as executive producer of National Public Radio's “Morning Edition” and seven years with CBS.

*Peter Phillips – director of Project Censored - a media research program working in cooperation with numerous independent media groups in the US . Project Censored’s principle objective is training of students in media research and First Amendment issues and the advocacy for, and protection of, free press rights in the United States. Project Censored has trained over 1,500 students in investigative research in the past three decades. Through a partnership of faculty, students, and the community, Project Censored conducts research on important national news stories that are underreported, ignored, misrepresented, or censored by the US corporate media.

*Jon Sawyer – director of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, who had a 31-year career with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, including 12 years as Washington bureau chief.

*Bill Katovsky - author of the oral history, Patriots Act: Voices of Dissent and the Risk of Speaking Out (2006), and co-author of Embedded: The Media at War in Iraq (2003), which won Harvard's Goldsmith Book Prize.

*John Walcott – Washington Bureau Chief of McClatchy Newspapers and part of a team that won a National Headliners Award for ``How the Bush Administration Went to War in Iraq .''

*Zoriah Miller – freelance photographer, whose New York Times photo of a dead Marine (July 2008) caused Miller to be barred from covering the Marines after he posted the picture and other graphic pictures of dead Americans and Iraqis on his Web site.

*David Cay Johnston -- is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist and author. Until April 2008, he was a senior reporter with The New York Times but now works as an independent author and reporter. He is the author of best-selling books on tax and economic policy, the most recently published of which is Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense and Stick You With The Bill.

*Paul Hitlin – is the content supervisor for the Pew Research Center ’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. He co-wrote the study “Journalism, Satire or Just Laughs? ‘The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,’ Examined.”

*Charlotte Dennett – is an author and attorney, who, throughout her career, has been tough on powerful corporations and irresponsible government entities. She spent over a decade documenting the role of Big Oil in destroying the Amazon rain forest and its peoples Thy Will be Done: The Conquest of the Amazon HarperCollins (1995) and has continued to expose the role of Big Oil in shaping and misshaping American policy in the U.S., Middle East, and Latin America.

*Scott Lewis – is executive editor of voiceofsandiego.org, a nonprofit, independent and insightful online newspaper focused on issues impacting the San Diego region.

*Dean Nelson – is the founder and director of the journalism program at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego . “VoiceofSanDiego.org is doing really significant work, driving the agenda on redevelopment and some other areas, putting local politicians and businesses on the hot seat. I have them come into my classes, and I introduce them as, ‘This is the future of journalism.’”

*Margaret Wolf Freivogel – is editor of The St. Louis Beacon, a nonprofit, online publication dedicated to news that matters for people in the St. Louis region. Founded by veteran journalists, the Beacon aims to serve and engage citizens by creating a distinctive new news medium.

*Jonathan V. Last - online editor of The Weekly Standard and a weekly commentator for The Philadelphia Inquirer. He wrote a Wall Street Journal Taste Commentary – “Schools for Scribblers - Newspapers dwindle, but journalism graduates keep coming.

*Louis Freedberg is director of the California Media Collaborative, a nonprofit initiative devising new strategies for improved coverage. He was an editorial writer at the San Francisco Chronicle where his major areas of coverage included immigration, education and children’s issues. He worked at the Chronicle as a staff writer covering education and higher education; as a correspondent in the Chronicle’s Washington D.C. bureau during most of the Clinton presidency; and as a senior writer for the Chronicle's Sunday Insight section.

*Michael Parks is a journalist and educator whose assignments have taken him around the globe, and whose "balanced and comprehensive" coverage of the struggle against apartheid in South Africa earned him the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting. From 1997-2000, Parks served as editor of the Los Angeles Times, a period during which the Times garnered four additional Pulitzer Prizes. Parks joined the University of Southern California Annenberg School of Communication faculty in Fall 2000. In Fall 2001, he became interim director of the School of Journalism . He was named director of the school in March 2002 and finished his term June 30, 2008.
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Comments (2)add comment

Project Humanbeingsfirst.org said:

Belated but not too late
A challenge to the aspiring reformers of the Journalism Profession


As for respected high-end 'whores' of truth promulgation, no amount of training in virtuousness can be useful:

Letter to Editor: Chris Hedges omits key truths in 'It’s Not Going to Be OK' February 04, 2009


Until that reality-space is come-to-grips with, journalim reform, like monetary-reform, will remain a utopian dream - i.e., stillborn.

Why does such a critical discussion that has unpeeled matters down to the core axiomal issues upon which the entire edifice of journalism is constructed, not take place among the would be reformers?

If such a discussion took place at this conference, please do point me to the analysis papers.

If not, perhaps someone can make examination of fundamental axioms the key agenda in the next one?

Thank you.

Zahir Ebrahim,
Project Humanbeingsfirst.org

November 06, 2009 | url
Votes: +0

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