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Journalist Carl Schrag to Speak on Media Bias

Posted Mar. 8, 2010

 By Dawn Burngasser

Journalist Carl Schrag will visit Kent State on Tuesday, March 16 to speak about media bias in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The lecture, hosted by Hillel at Kent State in collaboration with JMC, will be presented in the Kiva at 7:30p.m.

Schrag’s program will focus on the newsgathering process and the flawed reports that can make it into final production. He will also provide expert tips on how to become a better consumer of Mideast reporting.

“The goal of the visit is to expose Kent State students to the very complex Middle East conflict from the perspective of a journalist who worked in the heart of the conflict,” said Michael Levinstein, Assistant Director of Hillel at Kent State.“Through this exposure, we aim to make Kent State students better consumers and interpreters of the news coming from Israel.”

The presentation is intended to enhance and provide an opportunity for dialogue on media bias in addition to providing tools to identify and interpret media bias. Schrag will give examples of the same story printed in several international newspapers, explaining how bias has affected the story each time.

“Through our partnership with JMC, we hope that future journalists understand the role that bias plays in the coverage of complex stories,” Levinstein said.

Levinstein hopes the lecture will provide students with a lens through which they can interpret the Arab-Israeli conflict.

“With a better understanding of this conflict, we hope that Jewish students feel more support on campus and that the campus is warmer to pro-Israel students,” he stated.

Schrag came recommended by other campuses as a source of knowledge and experience on recent issues. He moved to Israel in 1986, then returned to the United States in 2000 to share his experiences. Schrag has worked closely with student activists and supporters of Israel from many religious backgrounds.

It is important to bring speakers like Schrag to campus to provide authentic information based on personal knowledge, according to Levinstein. This lecture will provide a balance to other speakers who take an anti-Israel stance. 

“The students feel that the pro-Israel community (both Jewish and non-Jewish) needs a stronger, louder voice,” Levinstein said.

In his award-winning career as a reporter and editor, Schrag chronicled important political and social developments while living in Israel. He was editor of the Jerusalem Post, Israel’s largest and oldest English-language newspaper. His writing also appears in Slate.com, the Chicago Sun-Times, the New York Jewish Week, Moment Magazine and more.

Media Contact: Jennifer Kramer, 330-672-1960, jlkramer@kent.edu