Quello Lecture and Panel on ‘Millennials, Public Media and The Future of Civil Discourse’ by Alexander Heffner

Alexander Heffner visited MSU and spoke on Millennials, Public Media and The Future of Civil Discourse which considered how to foster a more civic-minded journalism culture, non-adversarial broadcasting in the public interest and critical exploration of prosocial ideas. In particular, the emerging Millennial news consumer/voter, the space of public (old and new) media and the character of our political discourse were examined.

Alexander Heffner, a graduate of Andover and Harvard, is host of The Open Mind on PBS Channel THIRTEEN/WNET and CUNY TV. He was special correspondent for Need to Know, crisscrossing the nation to chronicle the Millennial vote in 2012. He founded and edited SCOOP08 and SCOOP44, the first-ever national student newspapers covering the 2008 campaign and the Obama administration, and taught a civic education/journalism seminar in New York City public school classrooms. His writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer, USA Today, Newsday, American Way Magazine and RealClearPolitics. He has been interviewed about politics, education and stories in the news by PBS, C-SPAN, CNN, and the BBC. He has given talks and moderated panels at major universities and colleges, including the University of California-Irvine, the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the School of Politics and Economics at Claremont Graduate University, the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, the Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University, Long Island University and Bryn Mawr College. He was political director and correspondent for WHRB 95.3 FM and the host and managing editor of The Political Arena, a Sunday afternoon public affairs broadcast. He is co-author of A Documentary History of the United States, an anthology employed in college and high school courses.

Pulitzer Prize-winner Eric Freedman is the Knight Chair in environmental journalism and director of Capital News Service at MSU’s School of Journalism. Before joining the faculty full-time in 1996, Freedman was a reporter for the Albany, N.Y., Knickerbocker News and then for the Lansing Bureau of the Detroit News, primarily covering state government, politics, public affairs and legal issues. He is a columnist for Domemagazine.com and Diverseeducation.com and a frequent contributor to Automotive News. Internationally, he has been a Fulbright Scholar at universities in Uzbekistan and Lithuania and served as associate dean of International Studies & Programs at MSU. His academic research focuses on press coverage of the environment and other public policy issues, professional journalism practices and international constraints on the press. He earned a bachelor’s degree in government at Cornell, a law degree at New York University and a master’s in resource development at MSU.

Gary Reid is the Director of Broadcasting and General Manager of WDBM-FM, WKAR-AM/FM/TV. He is a University Distinguished Senior Specialist in the Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media at Michigan State University. He is also an Associate Director of the Quello Center for Management and Law.

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