Meadows Professors to Speak at "Columns to Characters" Conference Tuesday, Feb. 17

Stellar roster of U.S. media leaders and scholars to examine how the evolving digital age affects the presidency

Four professors from SMU Meadows will be among a group of 16 top media scholars and commentators discussing the evolving nature of the presidency and the press in the digital age at the “Columns to Characters: The Presidency and the Press in the Digital Age” conference on Tuesday, Feb. 17. The conference will be a daylong event held in the SMU Mack Ballroom in the Umphrey Lee building on the SMU campus. Admission is free to the public, and reservations are required.

Sandra Duhé, chair of Meadows’ Division of Communication Studies, will welcome the group in the morning. Communication Studies Professor and Director of the Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility Rita Kirk will speak on the topic of “New Media, Interactivity and Rapid Response in Presidential Communication.” Journalism Professor and The Belo Foundation Endowed Distinguished Chair in Journalism Tony Pederson will speak on “From Ellsberg to Snowden: Is it Journalism or Treason?” and Communication Studies Assistant Professor Stephanie Martin will discuss “The State of the Union is Strong: How Presidents Shape Social and Economic Policy.”

They will be joined by other notable speakers and panelists, including John Meacham, executive editor and executive vice president of Random House; Peter Baker, chief White House correspondent for the New York Times; Stacia Philips-Deshishku, D.C. deputy bureau chief for ABC News; Todd J. Gillman, Washington bureau chief for The Dallas Morning News; and many other media standouts.

The “Columns to Characters” conference is produced by the SMU Center for Presidential History; Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility; and Meadows School of the Arts’ Divisions of Communication Studies and Journalism. “Columns to Characters” is sponsored by The Dallas Morning News.

Read more about the speakers and the conference agenda.