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Special Faculty Forum at LIU Presents Solutions to Contemporary Issues

Updated: Dec 13, 2019

By: Catreen Abouelsaad, Staff Writer

On Wednesday, November 13, Dr. Ryan Buck, Dean of the Conolly College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, held a special faculty forum featuring:

Dr. Alexander More, Director of LIU Honors College, and Educational Programming and Communications Director at Blue Ocean Watch

Dr. Yafeng Xia, Professor of History and author of “Negotiating with the Enemy: U.S.-China Talks during the Cold War”

Dr. Jennifer Rauch, Chair of the Journalism and Communication Studies Department and author of “Slow Media”

There were many different ideas brought to the discussion during the faculty forum, with the overarching goal of understanding our past, evaluating our present and then setting goals for the future.

Dr. Alexander More’s talk focused on why climate change is not publicized in an accurate scope.

He pointed out climate change is not contemporary nor does it generate as many views as celebrity news. He noted, “When pictures of cats are searched more than climate change, it demonstrates where American priorities lie.”

Dr. More believes this is partially the fault of scientists like himself, who do not communicate the research they conduct because of the demand and time commitments dedicated towards getting accurate research done in the first place.

Dr. More points out a solution to ensure climate change does not become sensationalistic news, and that is to equip scientists with the necessary tools to communicate their research to the public rather than allowing fake news sites like Natural News or other political outlets to paint a cloudy picture of the real, harmful effects of climate change.

Dr. Jennifer Rauch presented on the concept of slow media, and focused on shedding a positive light on journalism rather than just looking at journalism in a skeptical manner.

Dr. Rauch introduced the seven layers of slow media with an emphasis on criticizing news, investigating, being more selective in topics and choosing a narrative to relay the news.

There were also many reasons discussed on why fast news is a big problem in today’s society.

One reason why is because it is free, which comes at a cost. Dr. Rauch notes, “There is less time dedicated to proofreading and fact-checking the news.” She also adds the ubiquity of low-quality news consequently causes more competition with higher quality legacy news which embody slow media. Despite the negative connotation usually associated with the term “slow,” slow media means to be more deliberate and intentional when it comes to looking at news.

However, slow media does not sell because it is at a cost and one has to be willing to sacrifice a few dollars from his or her pocket to ensure the news is accurate and authentic. Dr. Rauch ended her talk with a metaphor: we should not consume news like we consume lettuce; news should be not taken at face value but should take time to interpret, investigate and value.

Dr. Yafeng Xia outlined American relations with China before, during and after the Cold War. He specifically brought up how after the Cold War, there was a spread of free markets and democracy as well as merging of a liberal international order, limiting the power of illiberal powers during the Cold War such as Nazism, Fascism, etc.

Dr. Xia also brought up the influence of illiberal powers decades after the Cold War, and discussed how the effects of the 9/11 terrorist attacks allowed for an illiberal power like China to rise on the economic ladder and gain world power at the time.

Dr. Xia also noted that to prevent illiberal powers from coming on top as China did in 2001, there should be peace talks and meetings with liberal world powers to ensure global economic and social stability.

The event was moderated by Seawanhaka’s very-own Allan Nosoff.

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