Press Room

Media, Memory, and the March on Washington: A Public Program of the National Communication Association in Partnership with the Newseum Institute

July 18, 2013
NCA News, Race/Class/Gender, Social Justice

Communication scholars and journalists join together to discuss how we teach and whatwe have learned about the speech that changed America  

Washington, DC  -  Fifty years have passed since Martin Luther King, Jr., presented his famous “I Have a Dream” speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.  Since that hot August day in 1963, Americans from all walks of life have pondered, criticized, praised, and appreciated the power of King’s words.

Rather than simply adding to the array of encomiums that will undoubtedly emerge for the golden anniversary of King’s oratory, this program brings together academic scholars and journalists who covered the March on Washington to provide a different perspective. 

How have we remembered King’s speech? How have the speech and March been portrayed, represented, and understood in the media, by journalists, in popular culture? How do we teach this speech and what do we learn about this oration that changed America? What does it mean to Americans and America, fifty years later?


WHEN:            Discussion to be held at The Newseum in Washington, DC
                        Knight Television Studio, 6th Street entrance (6th & Penn)
                        Monday, July 29th, 2013
                        Doors open at 1:30pm; Program begins promptly at 2:00pm




Gene Policinski, the chief operating officer of the Newseum Institute and a veteran journalist, co-writes the weekly, nationally distributed column, “Inside the First Amendment.” A long-time proponent of diversity in journalism and First Amendment education, Policinski came to the Freedom Forum in 1996 from USA Today, where he was one of its founding editors. 


Carole Blair is a professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on rhetoric’s crucial role in understanding visual and material phenomena. She studies the rhetorics of commemorative places and artworks of the 20th Century United States.   

Frank Bond, a veteran broadcast journalist, is the Freedom Forum and Newseum’s correspondent for its broadcast programming, and has been instrumental in the creation of the Newseum’s Civil Rights Movement library. He began his career at WBAL TV in Baltimore, worked for Gannett News Service/TV in the mid-1980s, and then for WUSA TV in DC as a general assignment reporter. 

Richard Prince, a veteran journalist, writes “Richard’s Prince’s Journal-isms,” a news column on diversity issues for the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. Prince chairs the Diversity Committee of the Association of Opinion Journalists, and previously chaired the Media Monitoring Committee of the National Association of Black Journalists.  He spent 18 years at the Washington Post, 15 years at the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, NY, and from its founding in 2002 until 2007, he edited the Black College Wire. 

Catherine Squires, an associate professor in the Department of Communications Studies at the University of Minnesota, explores when and how racial identities emerge in mass media; what culture and history producers and audiences draw on in racial discourse; and how people see other identities.  She has written a number of books, including Dispatches from the Color Line, and African Americans and the Media. Her next book, The Post-racial Mystique, will be published in early 2014. 

Kirt Wilson is an associate professor in the Communication Arts and Sciences Department at The Pennsylvania State University. He has expertise in U.S. political communication, Reconstruction Era Politics, African American public discourse, the Civil Rights Movement, and rhetorical theory and criticism. His books include Making the Case: Advocacy and Judgment in Public Argument and Reconstruction’s Desegregation Debate: The Politics of Equality and the Rhetoric of Place.     

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