Coverage of Opioid Epidemic the Focus of Media Ethics Workshop

‘Seven Days of Heroin’ Pulitzer Prize Winners to Headline Annual Kent State, Poynter Institute Workshop

The 14th annual Poynter KSU Media Ethics Workshop will prepare media professionals, including student journalists, to report responsibly on the causes and consequences of opioid abuse, addiction, treatment and death.


The daylong program titled “Opioids: Ethics Emergency?” will center on media ethics and take place Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, at Kent State University. It is hosted by the Kent State School of Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC) and the Media Law Center for Ethics and Access.


The team of Cincinnati Enquirer journalists who produced the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Seven Days of Heroin” will deliver the workshop’s keynote. “Seven Days of Heroin,” which ran in print and online in 2017, chronicled a week on the front lines of Ohio’s opioid epidemic. Lead writers Terry DeMio (Kent State alumna, 1986) and Dan Horn, and lead photographer Liz Dufour will talk about telling the story of heroin.

Other workshop sessions include:

  • Addiction Right Here – with local law enforcement and a former heroin user
  • Treating Opioid Addiction – with experts from NEOMED and Akron Children’s Hospital
  • Best Practices: What to know, what to do when covering the opioid epidemic
  • Big Pharma and PR

In conjunction with the workshop, JMC and the Media Law Center for Access and Ethics will partner with Project DAWN Portage County to host a Naloxone training program on Wednesday, Sept. 26, at 5:30 p.m. in Franklin Hall. Registration is required, and will be available beginning the day of the workshop. Students in the College of Communication and Information at Kent State will have first access to registration, but Kent State students in other disciplines may register at a later date if space is available. Project DAWN is a community-based drug overdose education and Naloxone distribution program. 


On the day of the workshop, local agencies and institutions that provide addiction and recovery services will have materials and representatives on-hand from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The Media Ethics Workshop is a one-day training program for professionals, educators and students that examines critical issues and perspectives in media ethics. This year’s panel will be moderated by distinguished Poynter Institute faculty Kelly McBride and Al Tompkins who will facilitate a unique forum for professionals and students alike to confront and discuss significant issues crucial to understanding journalism and media ethics and their effects.


The workshop, which takes place from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., is $25 for professionals, $20 for educators and free for students. Registration is available now for professionals and educators. The workshop will take place in FirstEnergy Auditorium (Room 340) of Franklin Hall. A live stream and overflow seating will be available. Kent State University is a smoke-free campus. 

POSTED: Wednesday, September 5, 2018 - 1:00pm
UPDATED: Thursday, July 9, 2020 - 2:55pm