Journalists and students engage in lively debate on media ethics
June 3, 2009
Towson’s University Union was the site of a town hall meeting April 28, 2009, when a panel of journalism professionals engaged a group of about 75 students on how to evaluate the current state of journalism.
The event, cosponsored by the Maryland professional chapter and Towson’s student chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, was part of a national SPJ effort to “restore the public’s faith in the press by equipping the public with tools to evaluate all forms of journalism.”
Towson’s event was one of a number of SPJ-sponsored town hall meetings held at the same time across the country to restore media credibility by increasing the dialogue between journalists and citizens.The panel, moderated by Lori Aritani, a Poynter Ethic Fellow and reporter for The Washington Post, was represented by:
- Andy Schotz, member of the SPJ Ethics Committee
- Paul Milton, Executive Editor with Patuxent Publishing
- Michelle Butt, News Director of WBAL-TV.
SPJ’s goal, as Schotz told the audience, is to engage the public so that citizens better understand why and how journalists practice their profession and, by doing so, the public will better understand the critical role the press plays in our democracy.
If judged by the turnout and lively exchanges, the event was considered very successful.“It was really an excellent evening, said Dr. Richard Vatz, a professor in the Mass Communication and Communication Studies department. “Great panelists who listened well and articulated their positions equally well. The time flew by.”