Scripps Howard Foundation National Roundtable to explore roles of media businesses, journalism

Mon, February 05, 2001 by Patty Cottingham

CINCINNATI – The annual Scripps Howard Foundation National Roundtable will convene in Washington D.C. Feb. 17 to explore the increasingly complex relationship between the ethical practice of journalism and the media industry’s drive for stronger profits and sounder business principles. Titled “Collision Course? Business and Journalism,” the roundtable discussion will be held from 7-8:30 p.m. at the National Press Club in Washington. John Lansing, vice president of television station operations for The E. W. Scripps Company, will be this year’s moderator. Scripps Howard Foundation, the Scripps company’s philanthropic arm, began hosting the National Roundtable in 1998 to examine issues of ethics and integrity in journalism. Admission to the event is free and open to the public.Panelists at this year’s roundtable will discuss such as issues as: How the media, as a business, responds to external pressures from advertisers who seek to influence coverage of the news. What impact the profit motive may be having on the practice of journalism. The theory, including case studies, that good journalism is good business.“Faced with an explosion of competition, new technology and consolidation of ownership, the dynamic between the practice of journalism and the business of journalism has changed,” said Judith G. Clabes, president and CEO of the foundation. “The mission for this year’s roundtable will be to explore how this dynamic is effecting the current state of journalism.”Participating in the roundtable will be:Roberta Baskin, senior producer, consumer investigations, ABC News “20/20”; Nancy Cassutt, vice president, content, Internet Broadcasting Systems; Colleen C. Conant, editor and publisher, Daily Camera, Boulder, Colo.; Kevin Cosgrove, editor in chief,, Portland, Ore.; and Mike Devlin, vice president/news, KHOU-TV, Houston.Ric Harris, vice president and general manager, WEWS-TV, Cleveland; Jane E. Kirtley, Silha Professor of Media Ethics and Law, and director of The Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law, University of Minnesota; Pam Luecke, editor and senior vice president, Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader; Robert Rivard, senior vice president and editor, San Antonio (Texas) Express-News; and Al Tompkins, group leader, Broadcast and Online, The Poynter Institute, St. Petersburg, Fla. The roundtable can be viewed live on the Internet beginning at 7 p.m., (EST), at Videotape of the discussion and a study guide will be made available to college and university schools of journalism, libraries, and organizations interested in media issues. Videotape copies and study guides can be obtained by calling Vickie Martin of the Scripps Howard Foundation at 513-977-3034 or contacting her by email at to excellence in journalism, the Scripps Howard Foundation is a leader in industry efforts in journalism education, scholarships, internships, literacy, minority recruitment/development and First Amendment causes.