CEPL Public Ethics Conference 2014

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The Center for Ethics in Public Life Presents: The 2nd Annual Public Ethics Conference

When: November 14th, 2013 | 8:30 AM-5:00 PM
Where: UMSL North Campus, Millennium Student Center, Century Rooms A, B, C
Fee: FREE | Register Online

Students: Please contact Mattie Lewis at (314)516-5655, and she will assist you with your registration at the student rate of $35. Please advise Mattie of your school name when you register.

The Ethics of Politics and the Press

In a democracy the relationship between those who occupy the halls of power and the free press is both fundamentally symbiotic and deeply antagonistic. Neither can operate without the cooperation of the other, yet their aims and purposes often collide. Currently, new technologies and an explosion of ideologically biased media outlets are revolutionizing how citizens come to view the political situation and how politicians can run afoul of, manipulate, or side-step the traditional press entirely via their own social media channels. Additionally, recent events have called much-needed attention to the delicate balance of national security vs. the ideal of an open society. The Center for Ethics in Public Life’s 2nd Annual Public Ethics Conference  “The Ethics of Politics and the Press” is designed as an interdisciplinary event to bring together politicians and political actors from both sides of the aisle (staff, consultants, administrators, lobbyists), the media (print, broadcast and new media), academics, lawyers, and the public to foster a broad and inclusive discussion of the always contentious relationship between the media and politics.


8:30-9:00 AM | Registration & Breakfast

9:00-9:20 AM | Introductory Remarks

9:20-10:15 AM | Dr. Natalie Jomini Stroud will anchor our extended session on the subject of Media Biases. Dr. Stroud is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies and Assistant Director of the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Participation at the University of Texas at Austin. Her recent book, Niche News: The Politics of News Choice (Oxford University Press, 2011) explores the causes, consequences, and prevalence of partisan selective exposure, the preference for likeminded political information. Niche News received the International Communication Association's 2012 Outstanding Book Award.  Stroud's work on selective exposure has received several additional awards, including the Michael Pfau Outstanding Article Award from the National Communication Association and the K. Kyoon Hur Award from the International Communication Association. Dr. Stroud will be speaking on the most recent research into the nature, prevalence, and effect of a variety of media biases. 

10:15-11:25 AM | A panel of experts will debate the question of MEDIA BIASES in relation to their own experiences with Missouri­politics. Panelists include former Missouri Sen. Joan Bray, long-time Post-Dispatch Jefferson City correspondent Terry Ganey, former Ex. Dir. of the MO Republican party John Hancock, and Fox TV news reporter Charles Jaco.

11:25-11:40 AM | Break

11:40-12:40 PM | William Freivogel, JD, along with Joe Martineau, JD and Dr. Christina Wells will discuss the current debate surrounding a NATIONAL REPORTER’S SHIELD LAW. It is a common, yet false, belief that reporters are federally, or even constitutionally, shielded from having to reveal their sources. The truth about the reporter’s privilege is much more complicated. Currently the director of the Southern Illinois University Carbondale School of Journalism, Mr. Freivogel spent 34 award-winning years reporting and editing for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He is a graduate of Washington University Law School and a member of the Missouri Bar. Mr. Martineau is a nationally recognized media lawyer and partner at Lewis, Rice & Fingersh. Dr. Wells is the Enoch H. Crowder Professor of Law at the University of Missouri Law School.

12:40-01:35 PM | Lunch

01:35-02:40 PM | Keynote Speaker Jeremy Scahill will be speaking on THE ROLE OF THE PRESS IN THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR. Mr. Scahill is a nationally renowned journalist whose reporting on global U.S. military activities, both overt and covert, has earned him two George Polk awards, and a national reputation as a speaker of truth to power, no matter which party is currently in of‑ce. His most recent book, Dirty Wars (and the accompanying movie which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival), uncovers the global reach and consequences of clandestine anti-terrorist military activities that began under President Bush and have been expanded under President Obama. This reporting has earned him both admiration and ire from every end of the political spectrum.

02:40-02:55 PM | Break

02:55-03:50 PM | Dr. Lance Bennett will anchor our extended session on the subject of new media and politics. Dr. Bennett is currently Ruddick C. Lawrence Professor Communication and Professor of Political Science at University of Washington. He is also founder and director of the Center for Communication and Civic Engagement and author of numerous books, the most recent of which is When the Press Fails: Political Power and the News Media from Iraq to Katrina (Chicago, with Regina Lawrence and Steven Livingston). Dr. Entman will be discussing how new electronic media are transforming the landscape of political reporting, information dissemination and organizing.

03:50-05:00 PM | A panel of experts will debate the question of NEW MEDIA AND POLITICS in relation to their own experiences with Missouri­politics. Panelists include former director of communications for the MO House and Republican strategist Todd Abrajano, blogger and public affairs manager John Combest, and St. Louis Beacon reporter Jason Rosenbaum.

Hotel Options

Presented in cooperation with the University of Missouri-St. Louis Public Policy Administration Program and the Department of Political Science