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Widener Helps Commemorate Internet Milestone

August 5, 2014
Drew photo

Widener sophomore Drew Phillipes (right) takes a selfie with panelist Jeff Jarvis, founder of BuzzMachine. (Photo by Emma Litwiller ’15.)

By Maria Klecko ’15

Members of the Widener community recently gathered with leading national journalists in New York to commemorate and evaluate a quarter century of the Internet and online news.

The university co-sponsored the event “Journalism and the Web@25: Lessons in Disruption, Evolution and Endurance” hosted by the Poynter Institute at the Ford Foundation. Industry professionals from advertising, technology, and communication fields attended, interacting with one another and hearing about the impact of the Web on journalism.

A select group of Widener students were invited to help facilitate the event, registering guests and ushering them to the venue. Faculty members from the university also attended.

Dr. Amy Franzini, chairperson and associate professor of communication studies, gave opening remarks expressing Widener’s support of Poynter’s mission to connect journalists across the globe and gratitude for the opportunity to be involved in the discussion.

Poynter Institute President Tim Franklin moderated while a panel of journalists and media executives participated in a lively discussion, reflecting on how journalism has changed since the invention of the Web and speculating the future of digital media. They also shared personal experiences and lessons learned from digital journalism.

Panelists included Rob King, senior vice president of ESPN; Brian Stelter, senior media correspondent for CNN Worldwide and host of the network’s “Reliable Sources”; Melissa Bell, co-founder and executive editor of Vox.com; Kathleen Carroll, executive editor and senior vice president of the Associated Press; and Jeff Jarvis, founder of BuzzMachine.com and professor and director of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism.

Prior to the event, several Widener faculty members wrote opinion pieces for the Poynter website Press Room page on the impact of the web on several fields including privacy, mental health, and the gathering and dissemination of news. Authors included Franzini, Angie Corbo, assistant professor of communication studies; Dwight DeWerth-Pallmeyer, associate professor of communication studies; Sanjay Nath, director of the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology; and Robert Power, professor of law.

To learn more about the event, read an article from Poynter highlighting its key discussion points.

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