Movies and Journalism Ethics

Fourth Annual Media at the Movies to Showcase 'Nightcrawler'

The Kent State School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Media Law Center for Ethics and Access will host the fourth annual Media at the Movies on Tuesday, March 6. Join us for a viewing of “Nightcrawler”, followed by a discussion of media ethics. The event will take place at 6 p.m. in Franklin Hall’s FirstEnergy Auditorium (Room 340).

“Nightcrawler” is a 2014 thriller film starring Jake Gyllenhaal as a freelance cameraman who records violent events in Los Angeles and sells the footage to a local news station.

This movie covers media ethics topics including sensationalized headlines, graphic news content, decision-making based on ratings and more.

The discussion following the film will include panelists Denise Polverine, director of digital strategy and content at WKYC 3 Cleveland; Andy Sugden, chief photographer/videographer at WEWS Channel 5 Cleveland; Chad Painter, assistant professor at the University of Dayton and chair of the media ethics division of AEJMC; Deborah Barnbaum, professor and chair of the Philosophy Department at Kent State; and Kim Garchar, associate professor of philosophy at Kent State. Associate Professor and Director of the Media Law Center Jan Leach will moderate the discussion.


  • Admission is free, and popcorn and bottled water will be served.
  • The film will begin promptly at 6 p.m. and run about two hours.
  • The panel discussion and Q&A session will begin immediately following the movie, by 8:15 p.m.


Denise Polverine is the director of digital strategy and content at WKYC TV 3 in Cleveland.  She oversees all strategy and content for all platforms and engagement with the WKYC audience. Polverine has been at WKYC for three years. Prior to that, she was the Editor-in-Chief and Director of Digital Operations of for 17 years. Polverine is on the boards of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland and The Press Club of Cleveland. Polverine has been a guest digital journalism instructor at Kent State University, Cleveland State University, John Carroll University and Case Western Reserve University. Polverine lives in North Royalton and is a mother of 2.

Andy Sugden is currently the chief photographer at WEWS-TV in Cleveland. Prior to that, he was the chief photographer at WZZM-13 in Grand Rapids, Mich., for nine years. Sugden also spent time as a photojournalist at KARE-11 in Minneapolis as part of its three-time NPPA Station of The Year staff. He has received various regional EMMYs in Michigan, Minnesota, and Ohio. Also, he is the recipient of 4 National Edward R. Murrow Awards for Sports Reporting.

Chad Painter is an assistant professor of communication at the University of Dayton, where he teaches courses in journalism and mass communication. He studies media ethics with emphases on the depiction of journalists in popular culture, the alternative press, and diversity studies. Currently, he serves as the head of the AEJMC Media Ethics Division and is co-authoring the next edition of Media Ethics: Issues and Cases. He has eight years of professional experience as a reporter, editor and public relations practitioner for print and online publications.

Deborah Barnbaum, Ph.D., is professor and chair of the philosophy department at Kent State University. She received her B.A. in philosophy and English from UCLA in 1990 and her M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1993 and 1996, respectively. She is a bioethicist specializing in the ethics of clinical research and the ethics of autism. She serves on numerous data safety monitoring boards for clinical trials. At Kent State she most often teaches Health Care Ethics and Medicine and Morality. Her current research is on ethical monitoring of clinical trials.

Kim Garchar, Ph.D., is an associate professor of philosophy at Kent State University. Dr. Garchar is a member of the Ethics Committee at Summa Health System Akron City Hospital and a member of the executive board of the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy. She is the author of articles in clinical ethics, American philosophy, death and dying; her current work integrates moral personhood, responses to suffering and the logical inconsistencies in health policy and law. Her current book project is a co-edited volume titled Philosophy for Girls: An Invitation to the Life of Thought. 

POSTED: Wednesday, February 14, 2018 - 11:27am
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 - 3:24pm