Media at the Movies "A Fragile Trust: Plagiarism, Power and Jayson Blair at the New York Times."

Join us for a screening of the 2014 documentary "A Fragile Trust: Power, Plagiarism and Jayson Blair at the New York Times" on March 10, at 6:30 p.m. in the Franklin Hall First Energy Auditorium (Room 340). 

A FRAGILE TRUST tells the story of Jayson Blair, the  serial plagiarist of our time, and how he unleashed the massive scandal that rocked the New York Times and the entire world of journalism. The story of “The Blair Affair” is both a compelling, character-driven narrative about an important chapter in the history of journalism, and a complex story about power, ethics, race, and accountability in the media. Featuring exclusive interviews, including Blair himself, A FRAGILE TRUST is the first film to tell the whole sordid story of the scandal while exploring these deeper themes. 

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion of ethics issues. Panelists include Jim Crutchfield, former publisher of Akron Beacon Journal and current member of the board of the Knight Foundation; Dr. Brian Welsh, board-certified psychiatrist and chief medical officer at Coleman Professional Services;  Dr. Deborah Barnhaum, chair of the Department of Philosophy and ethics expert at KSU; and Thor Wasbotten, director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. 

  • Doors open at 6 p.m. Admission is free and refreshments will be served. 
  • Movie begins at 6:30 p.m.
  • Panel discussion and Q&A at 7:45 p.m. 

The movie screening is sponsored by the Media Law Center for Ethics and Access (MLC)  and funded by the Akron Community Foundation



About the Panelists

Dr. Deborah Barnbaum

Deborah Barnbaum, PhD, is Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Kent State University.  She came to Kent State in 1997 after receiving her doctorate at the University of Massachusetts.  She is the author of numerous articles and book chapters in bioethics. She is the author of the book The Ethics of Autism (Indiana University Press, 2008) and co-author, with Michael Byron, of Research Ethics: Text and Readings (Prentice Hall, 2001).  She is the past Chair of the Kent State Institutional Review Board (IRB); member of the Summa Health System IRB; member of the Data Safety Monitoring Committee for the Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network; and a member of the Observational Safety Monitoring Board for the Approaches and Decisions for Pediatric TBI (ADAPT) Trial

James N. Crutchfield
Jim started his career as a reporter at The Pittsburgh Press in 1968. At The Press until 1971, he was a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter from 1971 to 1976.

He worked at the Detroit Free Press between 1976  and 1979 and 1981 and 1989. He was a reporter, state capital bureau chief and worked in a series of editing positions before becoming deputy managing editor for news. From 1979 to 1981, he was press secretary to former U.S. Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan.

In 1989, he became the Beacon Journal's managing editor and was the supervising editor at the launch of its Pulitzer Prize winning “A Question of Color” race relations project. After four years in Akron, he was the Long Beach, Calif., Press-Telegram senior vice president and executive editor for five years. In 1998 and 1999, he worked as assistant to the publisher and then single copy sales director for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News.
He was named the Beacon Journal general manager in 2000 and was the publisher from 2001 to 2006. He was called one of Northeast Ohio’s Power 100 leaders by Cleveland’s Inside Business magazine in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

Jim served four times as a Pulitzer Prize juror. He taught journalism ethics and was student media director at Arizona State University in 2007 and 2008, and between 2008 and 2012, he was a Distinguished Visiting Professor and then an associate professor in Duquesne University’s Department of Journalism and Multimedia Arts. He is a Duquesne graduate.

In 2008, he delivered the Howard University J-Faculty Distinguished Lecture marking the 40th Anniversary of Kerner Commission Report.

Dr. Brian Welsh

Dr. Brian Welsh is a board-certified psychiatrist who currently serves as the Chief Medical Officer at Coleman Professional Services based in Kent, Ohio.  Dr. Welsh received his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from the University of Toledo and his Doctor of Medicine degree from the Medical College of Ohio.  He finished his psychiatric residency training at the Indiana University Medical Center and completed a Fellowship in the subspecialty of Forensic Psychiatry from the University of Michigan.  

For the past 12 years, he has been employed at Coleman Professional Services, a nationally recognized, non-profit organization focusing on the treatment and recovery for individuals diagnosed with mental and physically disabilities with presence in seven Ohio counties.  In addition to his roles as a treating psychiatrist and medical director, Dr. Welsh also serves as the psychiatrist at the Portage County Justice Center and at the Northeast Ohio Community Alternative Program, a community-based corrections facility that focuses on substance abuse treatment. Utilizing his forensic training, Dr. Welsh provides forensic psychiatry consultation services for Mahoning County Common Pleas Courts in Youngstown, Ohio. Dr. Welsh has presented on psychiatric and substance abuse topics for various organizations including Robinson Memorial Hospital, local law enforcement, and the Portage County Mental Health and Recovery Board.     

In 2014, Dr. Welsh was honored be one of 23 psychiatrists nationwide to be recognized by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) with the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award.  

Thor Wasbotten

Thor Wasbotten has served as director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication since July 2012. Prior to arriving at Kent State, Wasbotten served as the assistant dean for student media and online operations at The Pennsylvania State University, where he also was a senior lecturer of journalism.  

Wasbotten's former academic appointments include time as a visiting professor at the Shanghai International Studies University; participation in the Broadcasters-in-Residence Program at the University of Oklahoma; teaching as an instructor at Pacific University; and, as a graduate fellow at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Ore.  

His extensive professional experience includes: partner and managing director of compliance for Blue Heron Research Partners, LLC, in New York City (January 2006 - July 2012); president of Real Media Strategies, LLC, in State College, Pa., (March 2007 - July 2012); news director of KGUN 9-TV, ABC affiliate, Tucson, Ariz., (July 2001 - July 2004); station manager of KTRV-TV, Fox affiliate, Boise, Idaho, (October 2000 - July 2001); news director of KTRV-TV, Fox affiliate, Boise, Idaho, (December 1998 - October 2000); managing editor of KTVB-TV, NBC affiliate, Boise, Idaho, (July 1996 - December 1998); and weekend assignments editor of KOIN-TV, CBS affiliate, Portland, Ore., (February 1994 - July 1996).

Wasbotten holds a Master of Science degree in journalism and communication with a secondary focus in counseling from the University of Oregon; a certificate from the Teaching Fellows Workshop at Indiana University; a micro-MBA certificate from the Center for Management Development at Boise State University; and a Bachelor of Arts degree in broadcast journalism with a secondary focus in counseling from the University of Southern California.

A notable leader in electronic news, Wasbotten is a member of the Radio Television Digital News Association, the Association for Education in Journalism and Communication and the Broadcast Education Association. He has served as a site visit team member for the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication since 2001, as an editorial board member for Electronic News: A Journal of Applied Research and Ideas and as an advisory board member for PSNtv at Penn State from 2004-2012. He was the director for The Pennsylvania State University Institute for High School Broadcast Journalists (2006-2008); a host for the Hearst Visitor Program at Penn State (2008); and a moderator or panelist at numerous professional and academic conferences and workshops (2004-present). He was the chairperson of the Fox News Advisory Committee (1999-2000) and the Northwest/Mountain Region representative (1999-2001).

POSTED: Friday, February 13, 2015 10:46 AM
UPDATED: Tuesday, June 18, 2024 11:54 AM