"Crisis," wrote the Italian philosopher Antonio Gramsci, "consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear." Are the media in crisis? There certainly are a number of morbid symptoms in the air. Just this month, for example, one of mainstream television's most visible journalists, Dan Rather, called on US President Obama to form a commission to investigate "the perilous state of America's news media."
Update: A recording of the talk is now available.
Early in the morning of New Year’s Day 2009, Oscar Grant, age 22, was fatally shot by a transit police officer as he stood on a railroad platform in Oakland, California. Protests followed, and persist, in the wake of the incident described this way by The Justice for Oscar Grant Committee:
“Oscar Grant was a young Black man returning home by way of the Fruitvale BART station after celebrating the New Year. This was the only excuse the cop needed to end Grant’s life execution-style. Maybe Oscar was too loud, too proud, too Black. Maybe he was too calm during the taunts of the police. Or maybe it was for nothing at all.”
Coming only days before the inauguration of Barack Obama – as the world’s media was proclaiming the dawn of a new “post-racial America” – the case of Oscar Grant demonstrated the depth and complexity of the relationship between media, race and power.
Renowned human rights activist Angela Davis will reflect on this issue in a Media@McGill / Beaverbrook public lecture entitled “Media, Race and Power: The Case of Oscar Grant”.
Angela Davis is an American political activist and university professor who was associated with the Black Panther Party for Self Defense and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Today, Davis continues to work for racial and gender equality, gay rights, and prison abolition and is a popular public speaker, nationally and internationally.
Thursday, October 1, 2009 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM Room 132, Leacock Building, 855 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, Quebec (map)
See this interview with Angela Davis, speaking about the case of Oscar Grant.
Media@McGill is pleased to host Mimi Sheller who is Beaverbrook visiting scholar this fall. On 15 October, she will give a public talk, Infrastructures of the Imagined Island: Media, Mobility and Tourism, in collaboration with the AHCS Speaker Series and the department of geography, at 5h30pm, in Lecture Arts, W215 (map).
Sheller is the Director of the Mobilities Research and Policy Center Professor of Sociology, in the Department of Culture and Communication at Drexel University in Philadelphia.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is considering an application to distribute Al Jazeera English (AJE), the Qatar-based, 24-hour international news network, in Canada. As reporting on international news raises increasingly complex political and ethical challenges, what would the presence of AJE mean for the diversity and quality of the news available to Canadians?
17-18 April, 2009
University of Montreal
Room 1035, J-Armand Bombardier Pavillion
5155 Decelles Ave., behind the main building (map)
Friday 8:30 am – 7:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am – 4:30 pm
This event is a collaboration of Media@McGill and the Centre de recherche en éthique de l'Université de Montréal. Two members of Media@McGill - Dr. Marc Raboy and Dr. Darin Barney – will take part in the colloquium.
“This is a timely collaboration between Media@McGill and the CREUM,” says Prof. Raboy, “With all the upheaval we are witnessing in the media environment, it is the right moment to be looking at the way media practices are affected by the economics of the media industries and the impact that this has on our democracy.”