are invited to participate in a seminar on public perceptions
of the role of the mass media in rural Appalachia that will
be held on Friday, November 8, at the Perkins Conference Center
at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky, from
10 a.m. – 3 p.m., including lunch. There is no cost
for the seminar, and lunch will be provided.
The meeting is sponsored by the organizing committee for the
proposed Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues
and will bring together a selected group of print and broadcast
journalists from the area and community leaders to discuss
media coverage of public issues in rural Appalachia.
The organizing committee is assisted by the Wendell H. Ford
Research Center and Public Policy Archives at the University
of Kentucky. This seminar is one of several sessions organized
and funded with research grants from the Society of Professional
Journalists and the Appalachian Regional Commission. The grants
were obtained by University of Kentucky President Lee Todd
to gather data on news organizations serving central Appalachia
and to solicit perspectives on issues and the quality of coverage
of them from journalists in the field, academics, and citizens.
The meeting is sponsored by Eastern Kentucky University, the
University of Kentucky and the Bluegrass Chapter of the Society
of Professional Journalists.
The information and insights will be used in a report and
proposal to the Ford Foundation to establish a permanent Institute
for Rural Journalism and Community Issues. The Institute would
be part of a university consortium working to help rural and
community news organizations address regional issues more
You, or possibly someone you might recommend in your place,
are being invited to the seminar. The purpose of this session
will be to begin a dialogue between citizens and members of
the news media on coverage of public issues in rural Appalachia.
facilitator will be Dr. Lori Garkovich, professor of rural
sociology in the Department of Community and Leadership Development
at the University of Kentucky. Our keynote speaker will be
Ferrel Guillory, director of the Program on Southern Politics,
Media and Public Life at the University of North Carolina
at Chapel Hill, which recently released a widely publicized
report on the economic gap between rural and urban areas in
Members of the organizing committee fear that the rural United
States is being left behind. How can intellectual resources
at state universities and colleges be focused to help smaller
media organizations better inform the grassroots communities
on the problems vital to their growth or, indeed, their survival?
The Institute we propose would work on these questions as
a facilitator for more in-depth reporting, the kind conscientious
reporters have always wanted to do; in giving this help, we
would hope most of all to benefit the citizens at the grassroots.
Appalachia is the focus, but we see that many of the region’s
problems confront all of rural America. What we learn in this
research may be helpful to other parts of the country.
We hope that you will be able to join us in Richmond, Kentucky,
on November 8. There is no fee for the sessions and lunch
will be provided. It would be much appreciated if you would
confirm your attendance by calling me at (859) 622-1488 or
by sending me an e-mail at Liz.Hansen@eku.edu. Please respond
no later than Monday, October 28, 2002.
If you are unable to attend but have a colleague you feel
would contribute to and benefit from this program, please
tell us. We are inviting only about 25 participants.
Elizabeth Hansen, Ph.D.
Professor of Journalism, Eastern Kentucky University