DOES MEDIA BIAS INFLUENCE ELECTIONS? COME JOIN THE DISCUSSION

For Immediate Release
Contact: Meaghan Mackin
(860) 246-1553, ext. 116
meaghan.mackin@cga.ct.gov

Does Media Bias Impact Elections? Join the Discussion on September 15th

Join the discussion at Connecticut’s Old State House as we explore bias in the media, past and present, and its effects on elections on Wednesday September 15th. This free lecture and panel discussion, moderated by media personality and Connecticut Network’s Elections Coordinator Diane Smith, will be held from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. This is the final lecture in the summer series, Taking Sides: The Role of Partisanship in Politics and Policy.

There is much discussion today about bias in the media and its impact on voters but is it anything new? Was our democracy built on sensational and biased reporting? “Objective Reporting” hasn’t always been the goal according to Quinnipiac Professor and former newspaper reporter and editor, Paul Janensch. He will examine the history of bias in journalism and its reemergence in today’s media in his lunchtime lecture. Following Prof. Janensch’s talk, the panel will discuss the role of new media in reporting, the decline of traditional newspapers and the blurring lines between reporting and commentary. Prof. Janensch will be joined by Patrick Scully, the former Director of Communications and Media for the Senate Democrats in the Connecticut General Assembly, and Professor Richard Hanley from Quinnipiac University.

Lectures begin promptly at noon, last no more than an hour, and visitors are invited to bring their lunches. Advanced registration is encouraged, please visit www.ctoldstatehouse.org or call 860-522-6766 to do so.

The Old State House, located in downtown Hartford, is air conditioned and easy to get to with nearby parking garages. More information on parking and parking discounts can be found on the website, www.ctoldstatehouse.org.

This lecture was made possible by a grant through the Connecticut Humanities Council.

An Emmy award winning TV journalist, Diane Smith is currently managing election coverage as Elections Coordinator for the Connecticut Network. Her other recent projects include a weekly magazine series for Connecticut Public TV called “All Things Connecticut”, and a documentary about historic preservation called “Living Modern in Connecticut.” Her newest book “Seasons in Connecticut” is now available.

Paul Janensch was a newspaper reporter and editor for more than 30 years. He taught as an associate professor of journalism at Quinnipiac University for 14 years until his retirement in 2009, although he continues to teach a senior seminar on international news media coverage. Janensch is credited with designing the graduate journalism program at Quinnipiac. His career highlights include: top editor of the Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky., the Rockland Journal News in Nyack, N.Y., and the Telegram & Gazette in Worcester, Mass.

Richard Hanley has taught at Quinnipiac University’s School of Communications since 2001 after a 23-year career as a journalist. Presently, he is an assistant professor of journalism and the director for the graduate journalism program. Hanley is a frequent contributor of opinion pieces in national and global media and has appeared on national news programs on MSNBC and Fox News, including the O’Reilly Factor. He is a panelist on the weekly WNPR political discussion program Politics, Burgers & Beer.

Patrick Scully has worked in Communications for over 24 years. Currently, he is a communications consultant for Scully Communications. His career highlights include working for Sullivan & LeShane Public Relations, Inc. as a Public Relations Associate, Director of Communications and Media for Senate Democrats in Connecticut’s General Assembly, Director of Communications for Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, and Director of Public Affairs Programming for Yale University.

Located in Hartford, Connecticut’s Old State House invites visitors of all ages to reawaken their own civic engagement and awareness through authentic, educational and inspiring visitor experiences. The building served as the Constitution State’s original seat of government from 1796 to 1878. It serves today as a physical and virtual classroom, teaching lessons of citizenship past and present and enriching Connecticut’s communities as a laboratory where people of all ages can interact and discover that their voices matter, and that words, ideas, persuasion and debate really can change minds – and quite possibly, the world.

Educational and community programming for Connecticut’s Old State House is managed for the Connecticut General Assembly by the Connecticut Public Affairs Network, Inc., a nonprofit company founded to provide comprehensive and unbiased educational programming and outreach on state government, civics and citizenship. For more information, visit Connecticut’s Old State House online at www.ctoldstatehouse.org.