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Town and Gown series to examine media and politics

A Town and Gown series entitled
A Town and Gown series entitled "Media, Politics and Democracy" will run from Feb. 6-March 5.

JACKSON, Tenn.Feb. 6, 2012 – The media’s role in the modern political process will be the topic for the next Town and Gown series at Union University from Feb. 6-March 5.

The Town and Gown series is an opportunity for community members interested in various topics to attend lectures and participate in discussions in a classroom setting. The classes are free and open to the public.

The lecture in the “Media, Politics and Democracy” series will address such issues as managed news, spin and journalistic punditry in light of popular perceptions of bias in the array of media available to Americans today, according to Union journalism professor Michael Chute.

“The purpose of media really is to allow people to be self-governing in a democratic society,” Chute said. “This series will examine how well the media is giving good information to the American people so they can make decisions.”

All sessions will be held in Providence Hall room 162, from 6-9 p.m.

The schedule for the series is:

• Feb. 6: “Falling Apart: Observations on the Current State of Media, Culture and Politics,” by Hunter Baker, associate dean of arts and sciences at Union, and “Ezekiel Bulver and Modern Media and Politics,” by Micah Watson, assistant professor of political science at Union.

• Feb. 13: “Confessions of a Politician in Remission,” by Hal Poe, the Charles Colson Professor of Faith and Culture at Union; “How I Feel Since Clark Kent and Peter Park Lost Their Jobs,” by Gregory A. Thornbury, dean of the School of Theology and Missions at Union, and “Citizen Journalism: A Historic Tradition Meets Modern Technology,” by Gene Fant, vice president for academic administration at Union.

• Feb. 20: “Campaign 2012 – Boots on the Ground,” by Todd Starnes, host of “FOX News and Commentary,” heard daily on radio stations around the nation; “We Live in a Photoshopped World,” by Tom Bohs, editorial page editor at The Jackson Sun; and “All the News That’s Fit to Read and Watch: How to be an Active, Informed Consumer of the News,” by Sean Evans, associate professor of political science at Union.

• Feb. 27: Lectures from Garrett Hubbard, visual journalist at USA Today, and Aaron Hardin, photojournalist at The Jackson Sun.

• March 5: “Fast Media/Media Fast: Are the Media Democratic?” by Tom Cooper, professor of visual and media arts at Emerson College in Boston, and “The Local View: 800 Miles and a World Away from the Beltway,” by Steve Coffman, executive editor at The Jackson Sun.

For more information, call Chute at (731) 661-6594.

Media contact: Tim Ellsworth, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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