This November, the US will have the most significant presidential election in memory. The process and the outcome are creating the greatest challenge to the American experiment in representative democracy since the 19th century, if not since the country’s founding. The results will radically affect countless aspects of life for decades to come. What can we expect and what should we demand of journalism? This question is even more charged in a landscape dominated by social media, conspiracy theories gone viral, a global pandemic and an administration that disregards facts and science (complete with an abetting media complex supporting this mythmaking). With attacks on the press greater than ever, and the necessity of journalistic excellence at the heart of what is needed, what can be done?
This panel event brings together academics, editors, photojournalists, and advocates to address these questions on journalism and the election. There has never been a more important time to think critically about the media and its role in contemporary politics.
This panel features:
Karen Attiah, The Washington Post, Global Opinions Editor
Courtney Radsch, Committee to Protect Journalists, Advocacy Director
Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images, DC-based photojournalist
Moderated by Gallatin professor Lauren Walsh, director of the Photojournalism Lab and author of Conversations on Conflict Photography (2019).
Organized by Keith Miller, Curator of The Gallatin Galleries, and Lauren Walsh.
Karen Attiah is the Global Opinions editor at The Washington Post, where she commissions and edits commentary on global issues from a variety of international writers. Attiah often writes on issues relating to race, gender and international politics, with a special interest in Africa. She was the winner of the 2019 George Polk Award; was the 2019 Journalist of the Year from the National Association of Black Journalists; and won the 2019 Harriet Beecher Stowe Freedom Writer Award.
Courtney Radsch, PhD, is Advocacy Director at the Committee to Protect Journalists. She serves as chief spokesperson on global press freedom issues for the organization and oversees CPJ’s engagement with the United Nations, the Internet Governance Forum, and other multilateral institutions as well as CPJ’s campaigns on behalf of journalists killed and imprisoned for their work. As a veteran journalist, researcher, and free expression advocate, she frequently writes and speaks about the intersection of media, technology, and human rights. Her book Cyberactivism and Citizen Journalism in Egypt: Digital Dissidence and Political Change was published in 2016.
Chip Somodevilla is a senior staff photographer for Getty Images based in Washington, DC. The White House News Photographers Association awarded him Photographer of the Year in 2010 and Political Photo of the Year in 2006. Somodevilla was part of a team of Getty Images News photographers that were finalists for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography. He was also named the National Press Photographers Association’s 2019 Photographer of the Year. Somodevilla focuses on U.S. politics, extensively reporting on the presidential campaigns of John McCain, Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, Donald Trump and many other candidates.