Putting a 'Spotlight' on Media Ethics

Media Law Center Presents Media at the Movies on March 7

The Kent State School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Media Law Center for Ethics and Access will host the third annual Media at the Movies on Tuesday, March 7. Join us for a viewing of “Spotlight”, followed by a discussion of media ethics. The event will take place at 6 p.m. in Franklin Hall’s FirstEnergy Auditorium (Room 340).

"Spotlight", an Academy Award winning film, is about a group of reporters at The Boston Globe who in 2002, uncovered the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church.

This movie brings up a number of media ethics questions:

  • How do reporters find balance between being sensitive while working with victims of trauma, but also ensuring they are getting all of the accurate facts of the story?
  • How can reporters’ personal biases and lives affect their professional work, and vice versa? At one point during the film, a couple of the reporters who were raised Catholic begin to question their faith.
  • And many more.

In 2015, "Spotlight" was named the “Ethics Film of the Year” .  

The discussion following the film will include panelists Jim Crutchfield, a retired president and publisher of the Akron Beacon Journal and trustee of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and Kim Garchar, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy at Kent State University. More panelists will be announced soon. Associate Professor and Director of the Media Law Center Jan Leach will moderate the discussion.


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).


  • Admission is free, and popcorn and bottled water will be served.
  • The film will begin promptly at 6 p.m. and run two hours and 10 minutes
  • The panel discussion and Q&A session will begin immediately following the movie, at approximately 8:15 p.m.
POSTED: Friday, February 10, 2017 03:53 PM
Updated: Thursday, December 8, 2022 08:49 PM
Keri Richmond, '17