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When Politics, Religion and Journalism Collide

4:00 PM to 5:30 PM

Please join us for roundtable discussion at Santa Clara University sponsored by Santa Clara Magazine, the SCU Communication Department, and the Markkula Center on Applied Ethics. Together we will focus on the ethical issues that arise for journalists when religion is so prominent in the current presidential election. Participants include expert journalists, a visiting group of masters? students from Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg in Germany, and SCU faculty.

According to the Society of Professional Journalists? Code of Ethics, American journalists ?believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues,? thus creating an informed public square.

Questions we will discuss:

?Should journalists incorporate cultural values in their coverage of the general election? Which values (and whose) should get prominence?

?Do journalists have a responsibility to reach beyond campaign platforms in order to provide the facts and perspectives that might stimulate broader discussion of issues such as contraception, same-sex marriage and immigration?

?What responsibility do journalists have, if any, to highlight ?truthfulness? or the lack thereof?  How should they define ?truth? in this context?

?What is journalists? responsibility to address stereotypes and fears regarding minority religions such as Islam, Mormonism, or Catholicism?



Gerardo Fernandez, Editor, Alianza Metropolitan News

Josh Richman, Political Reporter, Bay Area News Group

Shirin Sadeghi, independent international journalist, former producer for the BBC and Al Jazeera

Tyche Hendicks, Editor, The California Report, KQED-FM (invited)

Dr. Peter Erlenwein, sociopsychologist, journalist and author

Steven Saum, editor, Santa Clara magazine

Dr. Ingrid Stapf, assistant professor, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

Students from Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg interdisciplinary masters program

Sally Lehrman, Knight-Ridder Professor of Communication, Santa Clara University

Dr. Katharine Heintz, Media Analyst and Lecturer, Santa Clara University

Students from Santa Clara University, Introduction to Journalism and Media and Advocacy courses


Cost: Free


Bannan Hall
Room 142

Communication Department,Markkula Center for Applied Ethics
Sally Lehrman
Tel 408-551-3000 x4256