Networking with and learning from leading journalists was the order of the day for those Media & Communications students who attended The News Conference: Real and Powerful, an annual event of the Fair Media Council that brings the news media together with the public for a day of open dialogue, mutual understanding and relationship building. FMC's annual conference is the largest event of its kind in the nation.
During the conference, students Marvin Argueta '20, Sabornee Judge '20, Nikki Kallipozis '20 and Brianna Knibbs '22 attended sessions featuring local, regional and national journalists and editors discussing the state of the news media and how it's working to earn the public trust.
"Being at a news conference like the Fair Media Council's has made me learn so much more about the media industry," said Knibbs. "I even spoke with a production assistant from Fox 5 who had information about the internship and training program at Fox 5/My9NY. I was already thinking about doing an internship over the summer so I thought it was perfect timing."
Among the featured journalists were John Avlon, CNN anchor and commentator; Margaret Hoover, host of PBS' "Firing Line;" Sree Sreenivasan, Loeb Visiting Professor of Digital Innovation, Stony Brook University; and Richard Tofel, ProPublica president. Panel discussions throughout the day were focused around such themes as news issues, capacity building, and hypoerlocal news coverage.
"All the speakers who took time out of their busy schedules to be there, were extremely informative," said Kallipozis. "I learned a lot about how media is perceived and, as a soon-to-be media professional, what we can do to bridge the gap between the public and the media."
Widely regarded as one of the oldest, most successful media watchdog organizations in the country, the Fair Media Council seeks to influence the public conversation in two ways: It challenges the news media to improve its performance, and it educates the public to become media-savvy news consumers. This two-sided mission claims the Fair Media Council to make it unlike any organization in the country.
"The event was an absolutely amazing experience to learn and understand news and media," said Argueta.