Talk at Boston University on Dec. 6: Journalists as Public Intellectuals in the Climate Change Debate
For readers in the Boston area, I will be giving a talk at Boston University's College of Communication on Thursday, December 6 The talk is a preview of the research I have been conducting while on sabbatical this semester as a visiting Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. A paper based on the research will be available in early 2013.
Details are below.
Journalists as Public Intellectuals in the Climate Change Debate
Thursday, Dec. 6 @ 4:00 in COM 209, Dr. Matthew Nisbet (Associate Professor of Communication and Co-Director of the Center for Social Media at American University) will present the December colloquium.
In this talk, Dr. Nisbet examines the role of prominent journalists as public intellectuals in society today. In the tradition of Walter Lippmann, these best-selling authors, essayists, columnists, and bloggers specialize in the analysis and translation of complex subjects, often also championing specific policy positions. In doing so, they influence how we think and talk, infusing the abstract with meaning, and turning the complex into a common vocabulary. Dr. Nisbet focuses specifically on journalists writing about climate change, sustainability, and economic growth, evaluating the careers and work of prolific essayist-turned-activist Bill McKibben (author of The End of Nature, Deep Economy), New York Times columnist Tom Friedman (Hot, Flat, and Crowded), and New York Times environmental writer Andrew Revkin (the Dot Earth blog).
Political activism may get people invested in politics, and affect urgently needed change, but it comes at the expense of tolerance and healthy democratic norms.