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"Bradley W. Gorham" <[log in to unmask]>
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Bradley W. Gorham
Tue, 8 Jun 2010 13:11:43 -0400
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Hello all,

I would like to suggest that if MAC & CSM issue a statement or offer a resolution, that it follow the argument that Jason Reineke made on the AEJMC website (see the organization's statement just doesn't seem to adequately reflect the facts.  Although I don't particularly think this was the best statement the organization could have made, as I think the President's record on openness is better than the statement suggests, I guess I am not as outraged as others on this listserve.  I don't have a problem with AEJMC issuing statements - the membership voted at the general business meeting last year or the year before to allow the President of AEJMC in consultation with her advisors to issue such statements - and we as academics should be more involved in public debates about important communication issues.  While I agree with Dwight Brooks that there are indeed more important issues out there (although a number of the ones he cited in his message on this listserve, though appalling, are not communication issues per se), I think the argument can be made that the President's relationship with the press is nonetheless an important issue for a communication organization that values the free flow of information.  Yes, the free flow of information has been under assault for a long time, by the political Right, by the public relations industry, and by journalistic organizations and their parent media conglomerates that are too focused on profit.  But let us be honest, it has also been threatened by the political Left when convenient, and often by those in power regardless of their political affiliation, including Presidents we like and respect.  The call that "there are more important issues" has been used to challenge the free flow of information, or challenge those who call out a problem when they see it, for a long time.  Let's not use that particular line of reasoning to mark our concern with the statement.

There have been exactly five statements issued by AEJMC; I am not sure this ranks as the fifth most important topic about which our organization could have spoken up, but I also don't have a problem with an organization like ours calling for more openness in government.


Brad Gorham, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Chair, Communications
S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications
Syracuse University
Office phone: 315-443-1950
Cell phone:  315-935-0144