The University Record, January 21, 1998

Top journalists will take part in public debate on 'Diversity and the News'

By Bernie DeGroat
News and Information Services

Network news journalists Mike Wallace and Charles Gibson and film maker Michael Moore will join more than two dozen top media professionals from around the country in a public debate on "Diversity and the News" on Feb. 2.

Co-sponsored by the Michigan Journalism Fellows (MJF) and the Committee of Concerned Journalists, the day-long event will be held 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Michigan League Ballroom.

The morning session, moderated by MJF director Charles Eisendrath, will focus on "Status Reports from the Newsroom" and "Do Diverse Newsrooms Necessarily Make Great Newsrooms?" and will feature NBC News correspondent John Hockenberry, NPR host Ray Suarez and Walt Swanston, executive director of UNITY '99, an umbrella organization for minority journalists.

The afternoon session, moderated by Gibson, host of ABC's "Good Morning America," will center on "Newsroom Minorities of Conscience: Hiring Targets for the Devout? Conservatives? and Unionists?" and "Sensitivity and the Journalistic Mission," and will feature "60 Minutes" correspondent Wallace, Moore of Roger and Me fame, P.J. O'Rourke of Rolling Stone, ABC News correspondent Peggy Wehmeyer, and columnists Donna Britt and Clarence Page.

In addition, reporters and editors from the Chicago Tribune,Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, New York Times and Washington Post,among others, will participate.

"Diversity and the News" is the third in a nationwide series of forums sponsored by the Committee of Concerned Journalists, a national group of media professionals formed to examine the state of American journalism and its future. The committee is chaired by William Kovach, director of the Nieman Fellowships at Harvard University, and funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

For more information, call the Michigan Journalism Fellows, 998-7666.