The Second Annual Symposium on Democracy
MEDIA, PROFIT AND POLITICS: Competing Priorities in an Open Society
April 11 and 12, 2001
Kent Student Center, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio
If the events that unfolded at Kent State on May 4, 1970, teach us anything, it is that communication of divergent points of view has to take place in an atmosphere of inquiry and trust if difficult social issues are to be resolved in a peaceful manner. The need for reflection encounters fundamental difficulties in the face of economic forces, technological changes and an often apathetic body politic. This symposium will look at questions arising from the clash of those societal forces in an attempt to learn from the past some important lessons for the future.
Keynote addresses by three national media figures—Hodding Carter III, former White House official in the Carter administration and currently President and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; Oscar Gandy, Jr., media scholar at the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania; and Nancy Hicks Maynard, former co-owner and publisher of The Oakland Tribune and currently president of Maynard Partners, Inc.—will set the tone for the Symposium.
In addition the conference will present papers covering four themes: the merits of “civic” journalism in fostering a more engaged body politic; the role of the mass media—and particularly political campaign coverage—in discouraging voter turnout; possible roles for new communications technologies to reverse those tendencies toward disengagement; and the socio-political effects of the increasing concentration of ownership of mass media outlets.
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