U.S. MEDIA ISSUES FOCUS OF FORUMS
This weekend, Saturday, May 21, and Sunday, May 22, local audiences will have a rich series of discussions about the American media landscape from which to pick up insights and information.
Also, the 5th Annual Arthur N. Rupe Great Debate, scheduled for May 25, has been cancelled. The debate between columnists Eric Alterman and Robert Novak was to discuss “The American News Media—Liberal or Conservative Bias?” Acting Provost Aaron Ettenberg announced that the cancellation was due to Novak’s “unexpected withdrawal.” No other details were available at press time.
Saturday’s free, one-day Rupe Conference on “Media Ownership: Research and Regulation” starts at 9 a.m. and runs to
5 p.m. in Victoria Hall, 33 W. Victoria St., in Santa Barbara. It will bring together scholars and government experts to address concerns about concentration of media ownership and the effects of conglomerates on creativity and access to different ideas.
Keynoting this event will be Columbia University media scholar Eli Noam, who will speak on “Media Concentration Trends in America: Facts & Fiction.” Among the participants will be Congresswoman Diane Watson (D.-Calif.); Anne Louise Bardach, journalist and author; and a number of UCSB scholars, including Ron Rice and Constance Penley, codirectors of the Center for Film, Television, and New Media (CFTNM).
On Sunday, veteran attorney Floyd Abrams tells about his battles on behalf of Americans’ First Amendment right to free speech. Abrams presents “Speaking Freely—Trials of the First Amendment” at
3 p.m., also at Victoria Hall. His stories about the fight for uncensored expression will be drawn from a career spanning more than 30 years and numerous landmark cases, mostly involving journalists.
He has represented major media, including The New York Times, various TV networks, and Time magazine as well as individual journalists. Nina Totenberg and National Public Radio were his clients in the 1992 “leak” investigation conducted by the United States Senate arising out of the confirmation hearing of Justice Clarence Thomas. He recently represented Judith Miller and Matthew Cooper in the Valerie Plame/CIA leak case.
Currently, Abrams is a partner in the New York law firm of Cahill Gordon & Reindel. Additionally, he is a visiting professor of First Amendment law at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.
General admission is $10; UCSB students pay $8. Call x3535 for tickets.