Worldviews Conference Looks at Media and Education

Universities and colleges do a lot of research and sometimes their findings can make a large difference on the world around us. Unfortunately, it can be hard to get the media to represent what the research actually means and how the media can best work with academics to ensure that the coverage is accurate. At the same time, individuals who perform the research need help explaining quite complex ideas in rather simple ways.

The Worldviews Conference is focused on this very topic and their second conference is happening next month in Toronto. If you’re interested in media and academics than you’re going to want to check this conference out!

How do media cover higher education issues – locally and around the globe? How does coverage shape public perceptions? Does the academy look in media’s mirror to see itself? Can the academy help the press translate complex issues into accessible stories?

Let’s talk about it.
Given the crucial role of higher education and its explosive growth in some parts of the world, the stakes are high for the academy and ultimately the societies we serve.
In both higher education and media, much is in flux and many global trends are at play.

Let’s assemble thinkers – academics, editors, students, journalists, communications professionals and others – to chart where we are and forge new paths in a fast-changing landscape.

Find out more at the conference’s website.

Worldviews Conference on Media and Higher Education

The Worldviews Conference on Media and Higher Education is happening this June in Toronto and they want people who are interested in discussing the relationship between academia and media to attend. I was invited to a pre-conference brainstorming session recently and I have to say that I’m looking forward to this event.

There are a lot of really good people speaking at the conference so if you’re interested in how the media represents academic findings and how academic institutions relate to media organizations you should conference out.

Higher education affects every aspect of our lives – from the economy and the environment, to culture and communications. While the media play a critical role in shaping public understanding of this institution, little discussion has taken place about how that influence is manifested – or about how, in turn, higher education uses the media to mould how the public perceives it.

But that’s about to change.

Introducing Worldviews: Media Coverage of Higher Education in the 21st Century. This innovative conference, scheduled for June 2011 in Toronto, Canada, will not only examine these issues, but explore why it’s important to do so.

The 2011 inaugural conference will consider a range of important issues, including:

How media coverage of higher education has changed over the past two decades and where it is headed
The impact of social media and how it is changing what is covered and how higher education is understood
The role the media play in influencing public policy debates on public education
How higher education engages with the media to inform public opinion
The different realities of the developing and developed worlds

Visit the conference’s website.

56 Newspapers in 45 Countries and 20 Languages

Just one last post about Copenhagen (probably.) Yesterday, 56 newspapers in 45 countries and 20 languages published a shared editorial, urging the citizens and policymakers of the world to take Copenhagen as a serious call-to-action. If they can work together, maybe the rest of us can?

Given that newspapers are inherently rivalrous, proud and disputatious, viewing the world through very different national and political prisms, the prospect of getting a sizeable cross-section of them to sign up to a single text on such a momentous and divisive issue seemed like a long shot. But an early, enthusiastic, conversation with the editor of one of India’s biggest dailies offered encouragement. Then in Beijing in September, I met a senior editor from an influential business weekly, the Economic Observer.

Notwithstanding the shifting boundaries of press freedom in China, he was sure his paper would participate (and another major Chinese daily would subsequently, too). If we could reach a common position with papers from the two developing world giants most commonly identified as obstacles to a global deal, then surely we could crack the rest.

Read the editorial here (The Guardian)

Read the behind-the-scenes story here (The Guardian)

What’s Missing in the Media?

If you live in Toronto or area then you should come out to the event Missing in the Media on media democracy day. Come learn about and share what is missing in the mainstream media. The complete schedule is now online. And yes, I’m involved with this 🙂

What is missing in the media? Who is left out from mainstream news coverage in Canada today? A large coalition of independent media organizations, advocacy groups and media activists will ask these questions and more at “Missing in the Media: Media Democracy Day Toronto 2008,” taking place all day on October 23.

What: A series of thematic and skills-building panels and workshops on media democracy followed by a relaunch party with guest speakers Maude Barlow and Linda McQuaig, and musical guests LAL, KoboTown and Maryam Tollar.

When: Thursday, October 23, 2008, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (workshops and panels); 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. ( relaunch party).

Where: Free workshops and panels at International Student Centre (33 St. George Street), University of Toronto; Pay-what-you-can relaunch party (suggested $10 to $25 donation to at the Steam Whistle Roundhouse (255 Bremner Blvd.)

For program details and a list of participating organizations please visit:

No More Junk on TV

I couldn’t resist that headline, but it’s close enough. The UK has decided to ban ads that sell junk food to young teens and children.

A total ban on adverts for unhealthy food and drink products around TV programmes for under-16s has come into force.

It extends similar restrictions already in place for shows aimed at children under 10 years old.

The new curbs affect commercials for food and drink products high in fat, salt and sugar.

Adverts around youth-oriented and adult programmes which attract a significantly higher than average proportion of viewers under-16 will also be affected, Ofcom said.

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