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Press Release

News Literacy: Setting a National Agenda

Mar 2, 2009 - 9:14:10 AM

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Ted Koppel
STONY BROOK, NY – A select group of internationally respected journalists and media figures, including Ted Koppel, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., Andrew Heyward, Alexandra Wallace, and Vivian Schiller, will join university presidents, journalism school deans, and professors from some three dozen institutions across the country to examine, discuss and provide a strategy on how to teach News Literacy to undergraduate and high school students during the nation’s first-ever conference on the topic at Stony Brook University on Long Island, NY, March 11 to 13.

“This conference comes at a pivotal time when the world of news is changing,” said Dr. Shirley Strum Kenny, president of Stony Brook University, which is home to the nation’s first university-wide
Arthur Sulzberger, Jr.
News Literacy course and the only university-based Center on News Literacy in the U.S. “Now more than ever, it’s extremely important to educate and give students the necessary tools and critical thinking skills to judge the reliability and credibility of news reports and news sources, from print and broadcast to the Web.”

“News Literacy: Setting a National Agenda” is sponsored by the Ford Foundation, with additional support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and McCormick Foundation. Howard Schneider, former editor of Newsday who is dean of Stony Brook’s School of Journalism, and Marcy McGinnis, the former senior vice president of news coverage at CBS News who is the journalism school’s associate dean, are chairing the event. Stony Brook is the only public institution in New York State with an undergraduate school of journalism.

Highlighting the conference will be a News Media Panel focusing on what responsibilities journalists have to educate their own consumers, which will take place on Thursday, March 12, beginning at 1:30 p.m. Moderated by Mr. Heyward, former president of CBS News, the panel will feature Mr. Koppel, former anchor of ABC News and managing editor of the Discovery Channel, Ms. Wallace, senior vice president of NBC News, Ms. Schiller, president and CEO of NPR, Neil Budde, president and chief product officer of, and Bill Kovach, founding chairman of the Committee of Concerned Journalists.

Earlier that day, at 11:30 a.m., Dr. Kenny will moderate a Presidents’ Panel on how universities can incorporate news literacy into a curriculum for the 21st century. Participants include Nancy Cantor, president of Syracuse University, Brady Deaton, chancellor of the University of Missouri, John Lombardi, president of Louisiana State University, and Sanford J. Ungar, president of Goucher College.

Mr. Sulzberger, chairman and publisher of The New York Times, will deliver the keynote address at 7:45 pm on March 12.

Among the other distinguished individuals who will discuss and present News Literacy initiatives during the conference will be: Howard Finberg, director of NewsU at The Poynter Institute; Fabrice Florin, executive director and founder of; Evelyn Messinger, series producer and project director of LinkTV; Alan Miller, executive director of the News Literacy Project; David Mindich, author of Tuned Out: Why Americans Under 40 Don’t Follow the News; Susan Moeller, director of the International Center for Media and the Public Agenda, and Siok Sian Pek-Dorji, executive director of the Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy.

For more information and to make a conference reservation, call 1-800-549-3199.

© Stony Brook University 2013

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