Symposium to examine news coverage of social movements
How social movements are shaped by the news coverage they receive will be the central question addressed during the 2012 Schuneman Symposium, “impact: Words and Pictures That Matter,” scheduled for April 10-11, 2012.
“We want to look at how news coverage has shaped important social movements such as the Civil Rights movement, Arab Spring, and the Occupy movement,” according to Robert Stewart, director of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, host of the event.
Speakers at this year’s program include noted Ohio University alumni, photographer Paul Fusco (BFA ’57) and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Clarence Page (BSJ ’69), as well as gritTV founder and host Laura Flanders and noted Civil Rights leader and founder of Rainbow PUSH Coalition Rev. Jesse Jackson.
All events will take place in Baker Center and are free and open to the public.
The idea for this year’s program started with a conversation between School of Media Arts and Studies Professor George Korn and Robert Stewart, director of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, host of the symposium. Korn proposed to Stewart that a future program feature Rev. Jesse Jackson, for whom Korn works as a media adviser.
“When George suggested the possibility of Rev. Jackson coming to speak, we realized we had a unique opportunity to look not just at media performance, but also hear from a major figure who was the subject of much news coverage while participating in an historical movement,” according to Stewart.
Fusco’s photography has documented many such important events since he graduated from Ohio University and joined Look magazine. Photos he took of people who lined the railroad tracks to pay their last respects to Robert Kennedy were featured in an HBO documentary, “One Thousand Pictures: RFK’s Last Journey.” The film will be shown Tuesday, April 10, at 3:10 in the Baker Center Theater, followed by comments from Fusco.
The Wednesday, April 11, program will begin with a 9:30 a.m. presentation in the Baker Center Theater of the photographic work of Fusco, “Reflecting on Pictures: A Conversation,” with comments by Fusco, as well as by symposium benefactor Smith Schuneman and world-famous magazine redesigner and Fusco associate, Will Hopkins.
Page, long-time columnist for the Chicago Tribune and author of “Showing My Color: Impolite Essays on Race and Identity,” will speak at 2:15 p.m. on the impact news photographs have on politics. gritTV’s Flanders will speak at 3:45 p.m. about the impact social media has had on how movements like Occupy can shape coverage by mainstream media. Flanders has written several books, including the recent release, “At the Tea Party,” and the New York Times bestseller,“Bushwomen: Tales of a Cynical Species.” Page and Flanders will speak in the Baker Center Theater.
Rev. Jackson will conclude the day with his address, “From the Other Side of the Lens,” at 5:15 in the Baker Center Ballroom. Following his address will be a 6:30-7:00 p.m. reception.
The annual Schuneman Symposium is made possible by OU alumni Smith and Pat Schuneman. The symposium series, which started in 2009, reflects their keen desire to be active learners, and to foster ongoing discussion about the importance of words and pictures.
“It is wonderful to have alumni who care about our current students so much that they donate their time and their resources to exposing our students to the most prestigious talent in the communications industry,” said Tom Hodson, director and general manager of WOUB and one of the symposium organizers. “That’s what Smitty and Pat (Schuneman) do each and every year. They give a living legacy for the benefit of today’s students.”