The Health of Democracy: The Role of Media

WED, JAN 28, 2015 (1:19:15)

A free press and public access to information and a broad range of ideas and opinions were considered so essential for a healthy democratic republic that the Founders included protection for freedom of the press in the First Amendment to the Constitution. Alex Jones, director of Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, and Charles Sennott, founder of Global Post and The GroundTruth Project, assess how today’s press–print and electronic–is carrying out its mission. Where do current threats to a free press come from? How can citizens inform themselves in today’s media environment?

+ BIO: Alex Jones

Alex Jones is Director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy and Laurence M. Lombard Lecturer in the Press and Public Policy. He covered the press for TheNew York Times from 1983 to 1992 and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1987. In 1992, he left the Times to work on The Trust: The Private and Powerful Family Behind the New York Times (also coauthored with Tifft), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award in biography. He has been a Nieman Fellow at Harvard, a host of National Public Radio's On the Media, and host and Executive Editor of PBS's Media Matters. He is on the boards of the Committee of Concerned Journalists, International Center for Journalists, Foundation of the Society of Professional Journalists, Harvard Magazine, Nieman Foundation, Black Mountain Institute, the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet, and other professional organizations.

+ BIO: Charles M. Sennott

Charles M. Sennott, the executive editor and vice president of GlobalPost, is an award winning journalist and author with a distinguished career in international reporting for both print and broadcast news organizations.

An experienced bureau chief, a hard hitting foreign correspondent and an energetic innovator in multimedia, Sennott is uniquely equipped to be a leader in the digital age of international journalism.

Through nearly 25 years as a reporter and on-air analyst, Sennott has been on the front lines of wars and insurgencies in 15 countries from the jungles of Colombia to the deserts of Iraq. He has covered a wide range of stories from the papal transition in Rome to the oil industry in Saudi Arabia.

A longtime foreign correspondent for The Boston Globe, Sennott served as the Globe's Middle East Bureau Chief based in Jerusalem from 1997 to 2001 and as Europe Bureau Chief based in London from 2001 to 2005.

In 2005, Sennott returned to his native New England when he was awarded a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University. In the fall of 2006, he returned to the Globe newsroom as a staff writer for Special Projects.

Since then, Sennott has been a leader on a multimedia team that combines writing with still photography as well as audio and video in an effort to produce groundbreaking coverage both online and in the newspaper.

Partner
Cambridge Forum