U-Idaho Event to Focus on Media’s Coverage of Political Campaigns

Wednesday, October 17 2012

BOISE, Idaho – One of the nation’s best-known media critics will dissect election season journalism at this year’s University of Idaho Oppenheimer Ethics Symposium, Oct. 19 in Boise.

Kelly McBride, lead ethicist at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, will deliver the symposium keynote titled “Politicians vs. the Press: A Social Media Cage Fight.” She will examine ethical challenges facing traditional and non-traditional media organizations during the fall election campaigns.

Following McBride’s talk, a panel of area journalists and political leaders will discuss “Media Bias in Election Coverage: How to Spot It and What to Do About It."

Both events will be held in the Statehouse Auditorium, beginning at 8 a.m., and are free and open to the public.

McBride has been on the Poynter faculty since 2002.  She directs Poynter departments on ethics and reporting, and writing and editing. Additionally, she leads Poynter’s Sense-Making Project, a Ford Foundation initiative examining, among other things, the transformation of journalism from a profession for a few to a civic obligation of many. McBride also is the lead writer on ESPN’s Poynter Review Project.

 “The topic is timely – the symposium comes less than three weeks before the general election, so the public’s attention will be focused on the presidential campaign and the media’s coverage of it,” said Kenton Bird, director of the University of Idaho School of Journalism and Mass Media, which coordinates the symposium.

Bird said the symposium is an example of the university’s outreach efforts.

“As Idaho’s land-grant institution, the University of Idaho has a statewide mission,” Bird said. “Outreach means more than agricultural research and extension – it means connecting with Idahoans where they live on issues important to them. The Oppenheimer Symposium is a way for the School of Journalism and Mass Media to share its expertise with media professionals in the Boise area, as well as with the public at large.”

The Oppenheimer Ethics Symposium, entering its second year, is underwritten by a gift from University of Idaho alumni Douglas F. Oppenheimer, president of Oppenheimer Companies, and Arthur F. (Skip) Oppenheimer, chairman of the board. Boise-based Oppenheimer Companies is a group of seven companies involved with food processing, food marketing, and commercial real estate.

“Once again, the University of Idaho is indebted to Skip and Doug Oppenheimer for their generosity in supporting this event,” said Katherine Aiken, dean of the College of Letter, Arts and Social Sciences. “The symposium reflects their commitment to civic education and the highest standards of practice by journalists.”

Co-sponsors include the Idaho Statesman, Idaho Public Television, the Idaho Press Club, the University of Idaho Boise Center and the University of Idaho College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences. 
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About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho inspires students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. Through the university’s $225 million Inspiring Futures capital campaign, private giving will enhance student learning, faculty research and innovation, and a spirit of enterprise. Learn more: www.uidaho.edu.