Media at the Movies: March 8

Documentary Showing Followed by Ethics Discussion

Join the Kent State School of Journalism and Mass Communication for a movie screening and media ethics discussion at the second annual Media at the Movies, presented by the Media Law Center for Ethics & Access (MLC). The event will take place at 6:30 p.m. on March 8, 2016, in the Franklin Hall First Energy Auditorium (Room 340).

The event will feature a screening of “Merchants of Doubt,” a provocative, somewhat satiric documentary about people who “spin” scientific data in the media. The 2014 documentary explores how these pundits-for-hire have effectively spread confusion about well-studied public threats like tobacco smoke and global warming.

Following the movie, panelists from various backgrounds will lead a discussion about ethics issues the film brings to light. Panelists include: Jim Crutchfield, a retired president and publisher of the Akron Beacon Journal and trustee of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; Kim Garchar, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy at Kent State; Beth Hallisy, APR, president of Beth.LLC, a public relations and writing firm; and David Hertz, managing director of Dix & Eaton.

“The film raises fascinating ethics questions about the responsibilities of pundits, public relations professionals and journalists,” said Jan Leach, associate professor and director of the MLC.

  • Admission is free, and popcorn and bottled water will be served.
  • The film will begin promptly at 6:45 p.m.
  • The panel discussion and Q&A session will begin around 8:15 p.m.

PRSSA-Kent is co-sponsoring this event.

About the Panelists

Jim Crutchfield is a retired president and publisher of the Akron Beacon Journal and a trustee of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the nation's leading journalism foundation. Crutchfield became the Beacon Journal's managing editor in 1989 and was the supervising editor at the launch of its Pulitzer Prize winning “A Question of Color” race relations project. He spent four years in Akron during the early nineties, and then returned in 2000 to become the Beacon Journal’s general manager and then publisher (from 2001-2006). He was called one of Northeast Ohio’s Power 100 leaders by Cleveland’s Inside Business magazine in 2004, 2005 and 2006. Crutchfield served four times as a Pulitzer Prize juror. 


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 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 medical ethics and American philosophy, and her current work interrogates moral personhood, responses to suffering and the logical inconsistencies in health policy. Dr. Garchar came to Kent State in 2008 after receiving her doctorate at the University of Oregon in 2006 and spending two years as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Colorado Denver’s Health and Sciences Center (now known as the Anschutz Medical Campus). 


Beth Holzheimer Hallisy, APR, is president of Beth.LLC, a professional writing and public relations firm. She also is an adjunct professor of public relations at Kent State University and John Carroll University and serves as a part-time consultant to Cleveland-based Marcus Thomas LLC and Hennes Communications, a national crisis management firm.  Prior to founding Beth.LLC, Hallisy was a partner of Marcus Thomas. Some of the clients she has served throughout her career include ALLTEL Communications, American Greetings, BP and Diebold. A recipient of six Silver Anvil awards, Hallisy is a Fellow and accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America and 2011 winner of Cleveland PRSA’s Lighthouse Award for career achievement and community service.


David Hertz is managing director of Dix & Eaton, a Cleveland-based integrated communications and public relations firm. He draws upon 20 years of journalism experience when providing strategic communications, crisis communications and content marketing counsel to executives across the country. Since joining Dix & Eaton in 2006, Hertz has served clients in a variety of sectors, including manufacturing, financial, traditional energy and advanced energy, health care and nonprofits. Previously, Hertz helped lead the Akron Beacon Journal’s coverage of some of the most significant stories that arose during his 15 years at the paper. He also proposed and helped organize the newspaper’s Pulitzer-Prize winning investigation into race relations after the Rodney King-based riots of the 1990s. 

POSTED: Friday, February 12, 2016 - 9:03am
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2016 - 5:07pm