When Arianna Huffington spoke Tuesday evening to a packed room of students in Emerson Suites, she said journalism may change but will never die.
â€śThe future of journalism is not the same as the future of journalists,â€ť Huffington said. â€śOur [goal] is not just to save journalism but to strengthen journalism.â€ť
As part of the Park Distinguished Visitor Series, Huffington â€” co-founder and editor in chief of The Huffington Post â€” gave the lecture â€śThe Modern Journalism Paradox: The Best of Times Amidst the Worst of Times.â€ť Each year, an individual representing one or more of the significant professions associated with the communications industry speaks as the Park Distinguished Visitor.
Jeff Cohen, associate professor of journalism and director of the Park Center for Independent Media, said Huffington is one of the most notable speakers the college has seen and is also a major force for change within the media.
â€śThereâ€™s no more a compelling and successful mover and shaker than Arianna Huffington,â€ť he said.
Cohen said about 800 people attended the event, while additional people were directed to overflow seating in IC Square to watch her presentation on television.
The event was sponsored by both the Park Center for Independent Media and the Park Distinguished Visitor Series.
During her lecture, Huffington addressed four points about the versatility of journalism: its obligations to the larger community, the mediaâ€™s responsibility to seek truth and report it accurately, the global rise of citizen journalism and independent media, and her belief that the core of journalism will never die â€” even if â€śprintâ€ť articles no longer appear on paper.
Senior journalism major Lu Ann Fong said Huffingtonâ€™s lecture impressed her.
â€śItâ€™s fantastic that [the sponsors] could bring someone of this much importance to the independent media world to the college,â€ť Fong said. â€śIt was an incredibly well-developed speech.â€ť
Claire Perez, a graduate student in the communications program, said she found the speech optimistic.
â€śShe was hopeful about journalism to the extent that she was really focused on the truth and not having other powers control the truth,â€ť Perez said.
Matt Mogekwu, associate professor and chair of the journalism department, said he found Huffingtonâ€™s lecture inspiring and thought it would give students a broader perspective about their future.
â€ś[Loss of jobs] is the fear that journalism students have today about their future,â€ť Mogekwu said. â€śIt was very upbeat to hear her talk about the fact that journalism is not dead. In fact, this is the beginning.â€ť
Huffington remained optimistic about young people entering the profession, emphasizing that this is a â€śgolden ageâ€ť for journalism.
â€śWe must make a distinction between saving journalists and saving newspapers,â€ť Huffington said. â€śThere are a lot of innovative ways to support journalists. The fact that newspapers are dying doesnâ€™t mean that thereâ€™s no place for journalists.â€ť
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