University of Central Oklahoma Media Ethics and Fusion Conferences to launch virtually next week

Pictured: Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree Suzan Shown Harjo with U.S. Capitol in the background, from the National Museum of the American Indian. Harjo is the keynote speaker on journalism versus activism for an upcoming Oklahoma Central Univerisity Media Ethics and Fusion conference.(Photo: Lucy Fowler Williams)

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Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree Suzan Shown Harjo is a keynote speaker on journalism versus activism

News Release

University of Central Oklahoma 

The annual student-run Media Ethics and Fusion conferences at the University of Central Oklahoma are collaborating this year to present a two-day Facebook Live event with local, national and international speakers addressing social responsibility in difficult times.

“The annual Fusion Conference and Media Ethics conferences provide our students with important opportunities for professional growth,” said Dr. Mary Carver, chair of the University of Central Oklahoma Mass Communication Department. “Panelists and speakers at these events are not only extremely interesting but give insight into issues we do not always discuss in classes.”

Both conferences will carry the theme, “Social Responsibility: Your Role in 2020,” and will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, October 5-6 via Facebook Live. Speakers will be joining virtually via Zoom instead of in person this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Oklahoma Central University Media Ethics Conference poster.
Oklahoma Central University Media Ethics Conference poster.(Image: Oklahoma Central University)

The conferences are being organized by students in the Mass Communication Department’s Media Conference Leadership class and the student chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. Joe Hight, the journalism ethics chair, is the adviser for the leadership class.

“Considering the state of the world right now, the team and I felt that social responsibility was the obvious and most important topic to address at the conference,” said Amanda Siew, the conferences’ overall director. “We’ve been doing our best to adapt to the new normal and organize these virtual conferences so that students can still have the opportunity to learn from and network with professionals in communications.”

Oklahoma Central University Fusion Conference poster.
Oklahoma Central University Fusion Conference poster.(Image: Oklahoma Central University)

The Media Ethics Conference will kick off the two-day event with three panels and Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree Suzan Shown Harjo as the keynote. University of Central Oklahoma President Patti Neuhold-Ravikumar will provide the welcome.

The Media Ethics Conference will include a panel on the impact of social responsibility and the media on different communities, a panel on the conflict between science and politics in media coverage, a keynote from Native American activist Suzan Shown Harjo on journalism versus activism, and a panel addressing whether it’s the media’s ethical duty to be socially responsible.

From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, October 6, “Social Responsibility: Your Role in 2020” will also be the theme of the annual Fusion Conference via Facebook Live. This conference is being organized by the PRSSA chapter. Dr. Carver will launch it at 9 a.m.

The Fusion Conference will include a panel on practical applications of social responsibility on campus; a keynote from Ayanna Najuma, a marketing company owner and civil rights activist, on how one individual can impact social justice; a panel on social responsibility; a special Q&A with Jennifer Pearsall of New York City’s Emergency Management Department on leadership in crisis; and a panel on social responsibility and politics.

Student leaders of the conferences are Amanda Siew, Kellie Lewis, Ting-An Yen, and Yu Xiang.

For more information, go to https://mediafusioncon.wixsite.com/website.

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(Image: University of Central Oklahoma)
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