Journalism and Strategic Media Faculty Member Invited to Speak at the Newseum

Thomas J. Hrach, associate professor in the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media, will participate in a panel discussion Thursday, March 1, at the Newseum in Washington D.C. 

The panel discussion, titled "Fifty Years Later: The Kerner Report: How the Kerner Commission Changed Media Coverage of Black America," marks the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Kerner Commission Report. The panel will focus on diversity in today's news media and how it covers communities of color.

The Kerner Commission — officially the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders — reported to the nation that it had found "a press that repeatedly, if unconsciously, reflects the biases, the paternalism, the indifference of white America." The panel will focus on what has changed since the report was published, and what change is still needed.

Hrach has been with the UofM since 2008, and he currently the graduate coordinator in the department. He is the author of "The Riot Report and the News," a journalism history book about the media critique in the Kerner Report.

Also on the panel is Lynne Adrine, director of the Washington Program for Broadcast and Digital Journalism for the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University; and Francisco Vara-Orta, writer for Education Week, a vice president of the Education Writers Association and former president of the San Antonio Association of Hispanic Journalists.

The session will be moderated by Richard Prince, journalist and author of "Journal-isms," the nation's premier online journal about media and diversity; and Gene Policinski, president of the Newseum Institute and co-author of the nationally published column "Inside the First Amendment.

For more information about the event, read the Newseum release online or call Tom Hrach at 901.678.4779.