ISSUED: 1 May 2017
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens
SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — A panel discussion at Shepherd University will explore how social media is changing the nature of public discourse and perceptions of reality. The Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education and the George Washington Institute of Living Ethics are hosting “Ethics, Power, and the Public Sphere in the Age of Twitter” on Wednesday, May 3, at 6:30 p.m. in the Byrd Center auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.
The panel will feature Dr. Keith Alexander, assistant professor of history, who will focus on the public sphere and its transformation as described by Jürgen Habermas and will ask how Twitter, Facebook, and other social media relate to this change; Dr. Matthew Kushin, associate professor of communications, who will address what he terms the “Spiral of Silence,” a theory developed to explore why people sometimes do not speak out on controversial issues; Dr. Ray Smock, director of the Byrd Center, will offer a brief historical look at how intellectuals viewed the impact of television on society before the dawn of the internet and the explosion of social media; and Dr. Julia Sandy, associate professor of history, will moderate.
The Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education advances representative democracy by promoting a better understanding of the United States Congress and the Constitution through programs and research that engage citizens. The George Washington Institute of Living Ethics is a uniquely American center for ethics where decision-makers, academics, business leaders, and government officials from the global community at large can identify and address the many ethical challenges facing the world today.
For more information, contact Alexander at 304-876-5335
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