MIC Launch

Our society faces a critical juncture. On one hand, we are in a moment of rapid technological advancement that creates greater communication, information sharing, and numerous democratic possibilities. On the other hand, we see a collapsing commercial model for journalism, monopolistic platforms that spread misinformation with little accountability, more economic insecurity, and a debased political process.

Recognizing these potentials and perils, MIC is launching with a two day, multidisciplinary conference that gathers scholars, practitioners, policymakers, and activists focused on understanding this conjuncture from structural and historical perspectives, while also offering viable strategies for social change.

April 11: Annenberg School for Communication, Room 110

5:30-5:45 Welcome Address: 

Jonathan Potter, Dean, School of Communication and Information, Rutgers University-New Brunswick, Victor Pickard, MIC Co-Director, Annenberg School for Communication &Todd Wolfson, MIC Co-Director, School of Communication and Information, Rutgers University-New Brunswick

6:00-7:00 Keynote: From Super Brands to Surveillance Capitalism 

Naomi Klein, Author and Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair in Media, Culture, and Feminist Studies at Rutgers University-New Brunswick in conversation with Annenberg School for Communication Dean John L. Jackson, Jr.

*The keynote will also be livestreamed: www.asc.upenn.edu/live

7:00-8:30 Reception in the forum

April 12 Annenberg School for Communication, Room 110

8:30-9:00 Breakfast in the forum

9:00-9:30 Opening Remarks

John L. Jackson Jr., Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication

Jonathan Potter, Dean of the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University-New Brunswick

9:30-11:00 Confronting the Journalism Crisis: Threats and Policy Approaches

This panel will lay out some of the major structural challenges facing journalism, what is at stake, and what policy interventions and activist projects are needed to reinvent our news media. Panelists will provide big picture analyses of the journalism crisis and propose policy recommendations for creating new models.

Moderator: Barbie Zelizer, Professor, Annenberg School for Communication

  • Des Freedman, Professor of Media and Communication Studies, Goldsmiths University of London
  • Michael Copps, Special Advisor, Common Cause
  • Caitlin Petre, Assistant Professor of Journalism & Media Studies, School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University-New Brunswick
  • Matt Stoller, Fellow, Open Markets

11:00-11:15 Break

11:15-12:30 Perspectives on the Future of Local Journalism

This panel will consider what a truly public media system might look like. Practitioners and scholars will discuss issues related to local journalism such as organizing newsrooms, democratizing communication infrastructure, and creating media institutions that are owned and controlled by journalists and local communities.

Moderator: Bryan Mercer, Executive Director of the Media Mobilizing Project

12:30-1:30 Lunch upstairs in the Plaza

1:30- 3:00 Technology and the Future of Work and Workers

This panel will explore the changing conditions of work that emerged over the last few decades. We will also explore the possibilities of building worker power and creating social change in this new economic system.

Moderator: Khadijah Costley White, Assistant Professor of Journalism and Media Studies, School of Communication and Information, Rutgers University-New Brunswick

  • Jamie Woodcock, Researcher, Oxford Internet Institute
  • Ben Tarnoff, Co-Founder and Co-Editor, Logic Magazine
  • Alexandrea Ravenelle, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Mercy College & Visiting Scholar, Institute for Public Knowledge at NYU
  • Stephen Lerner, Fellow, Georgetown University’s Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor

3:00-3:15 Break

3:15-4:30 Local Perspectives on the Future of Work and Workers

Building on the previous panel, this panel will explore ways that local communities and organizations have fought for justice within the transforming economy.

Moderator: amalia deloney, Program Director, Media Democracy Fund

  • Biju Mathew, Professor, Rider University & Organizing Committee of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance
  • Jason Moyer-Lee, General Secretary, Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB)
  • Michelle Miller, Co-founder, Coworker.org
  • Mackenzie Baris, Deputy Director of Program and Base-Building, Jobs With Justice
4:30-5:30 The Road Ahead 

This culminating panel will reflect on contemporary challenges and consider the potentials and perils for social change. Panelists will discuss directions for future action and collaborative opportunities for scholars and activists in the years ahead.

Moderator: Chenjerai Kumanyika, Assistant Professor of Journalism and Media Studies, School of Communication and Information, Rutgers University-New Brunswick

  • Helen Gym, Councilmember, City of Philadelphia
  • Juan González, Professor, School of Communication and Information, Rutgers University-New Brunswick & Co-Host of Democracy Now!
  • Marc Lamont Hill, Professor, Temple University

 6:00-8:00 Evening Gathering, City Tap House, 3925 Walnut St.

Open to the public. Please register here.

For more information, email briar.smith@asc.upenn.edu