Image: UNL CoJMC
By Karynn Brown
Nov. 8, 2017
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications (CoJMC) will host a one-day series of talks by news media professionals this Friday in Andersen Hall.
Titled “Media & Politics: President Trump and Journalism,” the day will include one-hour talks by eight members of the media including reporters from ABC News, Politico and Huffpost.
Friday’s talks are a continuation of a program, the Media and Politics Series, started by Dean Maria Marron at CoJMC. The program premiered last year with “The Press and the Presidency in the Post-Truth Era,” which followed a similar format of hour-long speeches and Q&A session throughout the day.
Friday’s series offers an inside view into the news media and how its professionals are coping with the rapidly changing political landscape. As President Trump continuously challenges the media and its credibility, journalists are forced to find new ways of educating the public. The threats of fake news, the free-for-all publishing of social media and the constant pressure of a 24/7 news cycle forces journalists to change the way they do their jobs. The Media and Politics Series aims to turn focus onto the media industry itself by giving seasoned reporters and professors a chance to speak about their experiences and predictions for media.
The day is themed around “President Trump and Journalism” and is set to include talks such as “The First Amendment and Fake News: Can they coexists?” and “Building New Products in the Trump Era.” Many of the topics are posed as questions to be investigated rather than answered. This format in and of itself speaks to the media as an ongoing conversation of transparency and change. Each talk is set to be 45 minutes long, which may include time for a question and answer session. The eight speakers offer a variety of insights from different sectors of the industry. The perspectives of such editors, professors and reporters will allow audience members to see how the start-to-finish journalistic process has been affected by Trump’s presidency.
The talks begin at 9 a.m. with retired University of Nebraska-Lincoln History Professor Lloyd Ambrosius. He is the author of several pieces specializing in Woodrow Wilson’s life and politics, as well as broader American history from the Civil War through the World Wars. Ambrosius’s talk, “News Media and American Presidential History” sets the tone for the day by providing context into the relationship between the white house and the news room.
Space, Cyber, and Telecom Law Professor Gus Hurwitz J.D., is set to speak about “The Public Cost of Private Information Costs.” This talk is bound to scratch the complexities of regulated and unregulated information gathering. Particularly in light of recent email, hacking,and technological scandals, Hurwitz’s law-oriented expertise may speak to the legal consequences of the limited privacy internet world.
At 10 a.m., Emily Ingram of HuffPost, the only female speaker in the line-up, will begin her hour. Ingram is the senior product manager at HuffPost and helped launch an iOS app for her former employer, The Washington Post. This talk promises to bring insight into developing new technologies, the economics of online publishing, and how traditional news services are using multiple platforms to stay ahead of the curve. Ingram was recently involved in HuffPost’s “Listen to America Tour” which traveled around the country, including a stop in Lincoln, to gather stories from Americans. As a senior product manager rather an a reporter, Ingram offers unique insight into the ebb and flow of a newsroom. Managers need to be editors, which gives Ingram the ability to speak for the reader and how she makes product decision that best serve an audience.
Speaking at 3 p.m., Lyle Denniston of the SCOTUSblog brings over 58 years of political news experience to Friday’s lecture. Now writing for Constitution Daily, Deniston reports on military and supreme court stories. Constitution Daily is an online blog sponsored by the bipartisan, information-minded Nation Constitution Center. Through his work with SCOTUS, Denniston has observed and reported on one-fourth of all Supreme Court justices in history. Both the SCOTUSblog and Constitution Daily are meant to be objective, facts-only, bipartisan information outlets. Denniston’s talk is entitled, “The First Amendment and Fake News: Can the Coexist?” Denniston’s lasting experience as a political reporter is bound to allow him to give insight into the interplay between political fact and opinion. The fake news trend, born of easy access to self-publishing via the internet, has allowed the political narrative to be influenced by all sides. This requires journalists, politicians, and lawyers to navigate truth, right, and fact in way that have never before been applicable.
Also speaking to the challenge of navigating fake news, Dr. Deb Aikat of University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill speak to “All the President’s Media: Who’s a Journalist in the Digital Age?” Dr. Aikat is soon to premier a similarly titled book that analyzes free press as a democratic tool. Aikat has published research investigating global digital media in a variety of journals and as part of several industry and government grants. Aikat’s research generally centers on the community that digital media can create, in terms of both personal and global sectors. Dr. Aikat’s talk will be the midpoint of the afternoon session, beginning at 2:00 p.m.
Closing speaker Daniel Lippman is a contributor for the multi-platform service political news service, Politico. Focusing on across-the-board issues, Politico is known for their magazine and online work of reporting hard-hitting facts about the political state of the US. Lippman contributes to their daily newsletter, The Playbook. Lippman has worked with the Huffington Post and CNN, covering the civil war in Syria. His talk, entitled “Truth to Power: Journalism and Politics in Trump’s Washington” will take place from 4:00-4:45 p.m.
Friday’s event is sure to be engaging and informative as these speakers meet to discuss their important industry and its impact on our everyday life. Talks will begin every 45-minutes from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in Room 15 in the basement of Andersen Hall on UNL’s city campus. The schedule also includes a morning, afternoon, and lunch break. The Media and Politics series is free and open to the public and anyone is encouraged to attend. For more information about the topics, speakers, or series, visit COJMC on the web and the Facebook event page.
Karynn Brown is an intern with KZUM.