Topics include immigration, gun violence, Flint water crisis, college campus safe spaces

Social justice – from immigration rights to gun violence – has dominated the nation’s conversation over the past year. This year’s Poynter Kent State Media Ethics Workshop, “Social Justice?” will examine ethics issues journalists and professional communicators encounter and perceive while covering these topics and more.

The workshop will be held on Thursday, Sept. 22, from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. in the in Franklin Hall FirstEnergy Auditorium, Room 340 (550 Hilltop Dr., Kent), on the Kent Campus. Parking is available in the R-1 Lincoln and R-1 Rockwell parking lots (see Kent Campus map). A livestream of several sessions can be viewed on event day. Archives of all sessions also will be available online.

All students can attend for free, but registration is required. Professionals and educators can register online for a nominal fee; walk-ins are welcome.  The cost to attend is $25 for media and other professionals and $20 for educators.


Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas will deliver the keynote address on ethics and immigration. Vargas became the “face” of immigration when he wrote an essay about his journey as an undocumented immigrant for the New York Times Magazine in 2011 and was featured on the cover of TIME magazine a year later. Vargas was sent to the U.S. from the Philippines at the age of 12, but did not discover his status until he tried to get a driver’s license four years later. He now is an immigration rights activist and the founder of Define American, a nonprofit media and culture organization that seeks to elevate the conversation around immigration and citizenship in America, and #EmergingUS, a digital platform that examines issues of race, immigration and identity.

The workshop will also feature a panel on the Flint, Michigan water crisis. Lindsey Smith of Michigan Radio, the state’s leading public radio service, and others will discuss the events and outbreaks that unfolded over a course of two years. Michigan Radio and its reporters earned recognition from the Associated Press, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Edward R. Murrow Awards for coverage of the crisis.

Other sessions will include:

  • A panel on the June 12 attack at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando and the July 7 police shooting in Dallas (featuring local reporters and gun violence experts)
  • Social Movements on Social Media
  • Safe Spaces on College Campuses

The Poynter Kent State Media Ethics Workshop is a one-day training program for professionals, educators and students that examines critical issues and perspectives in media ethics. Moderated by distinguished ethics faculty from The Poynter Institute, the Media Ethics Workshop provides a unique forum for professionals and students alike to confront and discuss significant issues crucial to understanding media ethics and its effect on our world. Previous workshops have addressed online ethics, sports media ethics, political media ethics, entertainment media ethics and the ethics of data mining. Established in 2004, the Poynter Kent State Media Ethics Workshop continues its mission to strengthen media credibility and bolster citizens’ faith in media integrity.

POSTED: Monday, September 12, 2016 01:29 PM
Updated: Saturday, December 3, 2022 01:02 AM