Dec. 3, 2011

University of Kansas Diversity Summit

The University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications will co-host a digital diversity summit with the Online News Association on December 3 as part of the J534 Diversity in Media class. The student-led summit will run from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CT in 100 Stauffer-Flint Hall and will focus on emerging issues in contemporary journalism including: net neutrality, media consolidation, broadband access in rural America, the role of citizen journalism in the Arab Spring, and comic journalism.

The diversity summit will open with introductory remarks from Associate Professor of Journalism Simran Sethi, who teaches the Diversity in Media class. Sethi, who regularly utilizes social media as a teaching tool in her classes, says one goal of the diversity summit is to highlight the different platforms and opportunities that exist for storytelling.

“Opportunities for storytelling are unprecedented,” says Sethi. ”We no longer need to rely on legacy media to share information or connection with one another. This evolution is particularly salient for diverse constituents who are marginalized or left out of mainstream discourse.” Jeanne Brooks, Community Engagement Manager for the Online News Association adds, “Access to information and an informed public are essential to a healthy democracy. We’re delighted to be part of the University of Kansas’ efforts to bridge the digital diversity divide, not only in the areas of ethnicity and gender, but across age, technology platforms and public policy.”

The diversity summit will be streamed live on the School of Journalism’s website at and will be live-blogged on Twitter through the hashtag #digdiv. Twitter participants will have the opportunity to ask questions directly to speakers. One Twitter participant will be picked at random to receive a complimentary annual membership to ONA. For detailed schedule information, visit the summit fan page on Facebook or contact Professor Sethi at or on Twitter @simransethi.

Schedule of presentations (all times CT):

11:00 – 11:05: Welcome from Simran Sethi, Associate Professor, KU William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications (@simransethi, @KUJournalism)

11:05 – 12:20: Net Neutrality and Media Consolidation

  • Openness and Access: The Two Pillars of Internet Policy, Timothy Karr – Campaign Director, Free Press (@TimKarr, @freepress)
  • Media Policy for Social Change and Movement Building, Amalia Deloney – Media Policy Field Director, Center for Media Justice (@guatemalia, @mediajustice)
  • Putting Toll Roads on the Information Superhighway, Michelle Janaye Nealy – Freelance Reporter and videographer (@michellejanaye)

12:25 – 1:40: Bridging the Digital Divide

  • Digital Divide(s): A Look at the Data, Kathryn Zickuhr – Research Specialist, Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project (@kzickuhr, @pewinternet)
  • Myths about the Digital Divide, Jessamyn West – Community Technologist, (@jessamyn)
  • Crossing Digital and Social Divides in Los Angeles, Kathleen Patton-Kimmel – CEO and President, Crossing the Digital Divide (@cddnp)

1:45 – 3:00: Grassroots Media on the Global Stage

  • The Revolution Will Be Tweeted: The Effective Use of Social Media in The Arab Spring, Dima Khatib – Latin America Bureau Chief, Al Jazeera (@Dima_Khatib)
  • Graphic Voices: Comics Journalism and the Power of Non-fiction Visual Storytelling, Dan Archer – Comics/ Graphic Journalist (@archcomix)
  • Mobilizing Friends and Followers: Effective Grassroots Activism and the Role of Social Media, Lisa Dougan – Director of Field Outreach, Resolve (@lisadougan)

3:05 – 4:20: Accessibility and Opportunity

  • The Best Day of My Life So Far, Benita Cooper– Founder and Executive Director, The Best Day of My Life (So Far) (@bestdaysofar)
  • Seeing Anew: iPads and Cortical Visual Impairment, Dr. Muriel D. Saunders – Assistant Research Professor, University of Kansas Life Span Institute
  • App 911: The Use of Technology in Disaster Communications, Daniel Schaefer – Doctoral Candidate in Communications, Journalism and Mass Communication Technology Coordinator, University of Colorado-Boulder
  • 4:20-4:30: Closing remarks from Jeanne Brooks, Community Engagement Manager, Online News Association (@jmfbrooks, @ONA)

Learn More

KU will host a summit on diversity in digital journalism, streamed live online.


Dec. 3, 2011