The University Record, November 13, 1995

Media's lenses were focused on U last week

Editor's note: Most of the journalists mentioned below requested that details about their story topics not be released in advance of the story's appearance.

 Members of the news media frequently call or visit the University for expert sources and information for stories they are working on. But last week the steady stream became a torrent as an unusually large number of major media organizations came to campus for stories about U-M people and programs.

ABC News was on campus Monday through Wednesday interviewing Mary Hummel, director of the 21st Century Program; David Schoem, LS&A assistant dean for undergraduate education; and a number of students involved in the 21st Century Program. Hummel also was quoted in a recent Washington Post story on adjusting to college life, and the program is likely to be the focus of an upcoming Los Angeles Times story as well.

Betsy Wagner, a reporter with the Chicago bureau of U.S. News & World Report, spent the entire week on campus speaking with students, alumni, and department chairs in LS&A. She also interviewed Tom Butts, associate vice president for government relations, and Judith Harper, director of financial aid. Watch for two separate stories that include U-M sources in upcoming issues of the weekly news magazine.

Alcohol Awareness Week activities drew a good deal of media attention. While CBS's "48 Hours" canceled a planned visit to campus (they did do taping in the Ann Arbor community), CNN arrived on Wednesday for taping of the crashed car situated on the Diag as part of the week's activities, and also interviewed Alan Levy, Housing public affairs director, and several students for a feature on the University's substance-free housing. The story aired on CNN last Wednesday night and throughout the remainder of the week on "Headline News." The CNN story had snowballed from earlier features in the Christian Science Monitor and Baltimore Sun and on the "CBS Evening News."

Housing Director William Zeller also was interviewed by USA Today for a story about living-learning communities.

"Fast Forward," a half-hour Sunday program on the Fox Television Network aimed at children ages 8-15 and produced by the Fox affiliate in Grand Rapids, spent a day on campus Friday for a special program on college life. The program's 15-year-old hosts interviewed a wide range of University faculty, staff and students and did extensive taping in student services offices and in classrooms. An air date for the program has not yet been scheduled.

"The University of Michigan is seen as a leader in many areas, including undergraduate education and our residence hall system. The increased media attention we've been receiving reflects that stature," says Julie Peterson, director of News and Information Services.

"All of the faculty, staff and students we have worked with in scheduling interviews and taping sessions have been extremely supportive and have given generously of their time and energy to make possible this kind of positive attention to the University."

Visits are planned to campus this week by "Dateline NBC" and the BBC science program "Tomorrow's World," among others. ABC News plans a return visit to interview a number of U-M gerontology researchers.