NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge invites you to join for the launch of Trump and the Media, edited by Pablo J. Boczkowski and Zizi Papacharissi. Contributing authors Rodney Benson, Andrew Mendelson and Julia Sonnvend will be present in conversation with Geneva Overholser.
Donald Trump’s election as the 45th President of the United States came as something of a surprise—to many analysts, journalists, and voters. The New York Times’s The Upshot gave Hillary Clinton an 85 percent chance of winning the White House even as the returns began to come in. What happened? And what role did the news and social media play in the election? In Trump and the Media, journalism and technology experts grapple with these questions in a series of short, thought-provoking essays. Considering the disruption of the media landscape, the disconnect between many voters and the established news outlets, the emergence of fake news and “alternative facts,” and Trump’s own use of social media, these essays provide a window onto broader transformations in the relationship between information and politics in the twenty-first century.
The contributors find historical roots to current events in Cold War notions of “us” versus “them,” trace the genealogy of the assault on facts, and chart the collapse of traditional news gatekeepers. They consider such topics as Trump’s tweets (diagnosed by one writer as “Twitterosis”) and the constant media exposure given to Trump during the campaign. They propose photojournalists as visual fact checkers (“lessons of the paparazzi”) and debate whether Trump’s administration is authoritarian or just authoritarian-like. Finally, they consider future strategies for the news and social media to improve the quality of democratic life.
Rodney Benson is Department Chair and Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University. He is the author of Shaping Immigration News: A French-American Comparison (Cambridge, 2013). He is currently working on a new book, How Media Ownership Matters. Drawing on interviews and organizational data from Sweden, France, and the United States, the book goes beyond the standard media concentration debate to explore how different forms of media ownership (commercial, civil society, and public) facilitate different types of journalism.
Andrew Mendelson is the associate dean and a professor at the CUNY School of Journalism. His research focuses on the myriad ways news photographs shape society. He has published more than 30 journal articles and book chapters. Mendelson has developed and taught classes in photojournalism and documentary photography, visual literacy, journalism and society, news literacy and social science research methods.
Julia Sonnevend is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Communications at the New School for Social Research in New York. Her scholarship lies at the intersection of media studies, the sociology of culture, and international relations, and focuses on the “re-enchantment” of society, on the magical moments, qualities, technologies and artifacts of contemporary social life worldwide.
Geneva Overholser is a journalism consultant and adviser. A former editor of the Des Moines Register now living in New York City, Overholser speaks and writes about the future of journalism. She advises numerous organizations, including the Trust Project, Report for America, SciLine, the Democracy Fund and the Public Face of Science project at the Academy of American Arts and Sciences. She serves on the boards of the Rita Allen Foundation, Northwestern University in Qatar and the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism Foundation.