For release: March 17, 2009
For press information, contact: Joseph Hayden (901) 678-4784
How do Memphis journalists cover race in their stories? What kind of images, perceptions and stereotypes abound? Are local race relations really so black and white? The University of Memphis’ 27th annual Freedom of Information (FOI) Congress will address these issues in a panel discussion entitled “Black and White in Memphis Media” on Tuesday, March 24, at 7 p.m. in the Michael D. Rose Theatre.
Panelists include Memphis Mayor W.W. Herenton, Joe Birch, WMC-TV news anchor; Donna Davis, former WMC-TV news anchor; Otis Sanford, editor for opinion and editorials at for The Commercial Appeal and the newspaper’s editorial board director; news directors Bruce Moore of WREG, Ken Jobe of WHBQ, and Jim Turpin of WPTY-TV; Dr. Karanja Ajanaku, executive editor of the Tri-State Defender; and Johnnie Turner, executive director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
The Freedom of Information Congress is an annual event that focuses on the importance of free speech and journalistic excellence through speakers such as CNN anchor Anderson Cooper or international affairs correspondent Robin Wright of the Los Angeles Times. “The focus of this year’s panel is not a single prominent journalist but a critical issue of public policy and media practice—that is media and race in Memphis,” says David Arant, chair of the University of Memphis Department of Journalism. “We have the major players, politicians and journalists, all on the same stage. It should be quite an evening.” This year’s forum will be followed by a question and answer session during which audience members have an opportunity to interact with the panel.
The Freedom of Information Congress is sponsored by The Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Black Journalists, Common Ground, and the University of Memphis Department of Journalism. For more information, visit Black and White in Memphis Media