Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Out and About at Medill with Newton Minow and Rick Tulsky

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

We were honored to attend the April 29 celebration of the 50th anniversary of Newton Minow’s monumental “Vast Wasteland” speech. The event was hosted by John Lavine, dean of the Medill School of Journalism. Minow, who delivered the 1961 stem-winder as a young director of the Federal Communications Commission, implored industry leaders to provide high quality content. “Broadcasting cannot continue to live by the numbers,” he said. “Ratings ought to be the slave of the broadcaster, not his master.” A text of the speech can be found here. Minow, now a highly respected Chicago attorney, has updated his philosophy on broadcasting and technology in the April edition of Atlantic magazine. The April Atlantic issue also includes a commentary by James Fallows on the impact of Minow.

At Medill, we also met with one of our new grantees, Rick Tulsky. The former investigations editor of the San Jose Mercury News has been hired as director of Medill’s new watchdog/accountability initiative. We expect big things from Tulsky and his team of student journalism sleuths as they identify “systemic flaws in government and public institutions and empowering citizens with the kind of knowledge that leads to change.”

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