How responsible has the media been for the success of Donald Trump’s candidacy? Is the “rigged media” now being unfair to him as the candidate suggests? Was the press unfairly critical of Hillary Clinton at the start of the race only to be supportive of her candidacy now?
These questions, and many others, will be addressed this Saturday, October 29, as members of the press provide an honest assessment of how well the media has covered the election. Members of the press from Democracy Now!, Fox News, Huffington Post, The Hill and the National Review will participate in a panel discussion on The Press and the 2016 Presidential Election at the New York Press Club Foundation’s 24th Annual Conference on Journalism. The conference takes place at NYU’s Kimmel Center, beginning at 8:30 a.m.
In addition to the panel about the press and the election, several breakout sessions throughout the morning will cover many topics that are important to journalists and those interested in how media work to bring us the news.
Millennials and the Media will look at how millennials get their news. Jon Stewart was once the main source of news for the next generation. With Stewart’s retirement, news outlets like mic.com, Vice, even Snapchat for News have arisen to fill the void. How serious and accurate are these media outlets? Is this the end of “mainstream media”? Come to the panel and find out.
Keynote speaker Elizabeth Vargas
A recent article in the Boston Globe suggests that Americans are not getting accurate information about what is happening in Syria. The Globe blames media outlets for drastically reducing the number of foreign correspondents. However, some incredibly brave journalists do put their lives at risk to find the truth and enlighten the world about what goes on in war torn countries like Syria and Afghanistan. Reporters who cover conflict areas on the ground will be at the conference on Saturday to participate in the War and Conflict Reporting panel. Come find out how these astonishing reporters cut through the fog of war, keep safe, and uncover the facts in this not to be missed panel discussion.
If food is your thing, a more light-hearted panel on Food Journalism will be of interest. New York Magazine food writer, Adam Platt, will moderate a panel of food experts and writers, including the former New York Times’ food critic, Mimi Sheraton.
Other panels will include Sports Reporting, Digital Media-Keeping it Legal, and The Podcast Boom, all staffed by experts in their fields of journalism.
Lunch will be served during the Keynote address by Elizabeth Vargas of ABC’s 20/20, who will participate in a Q and A with Press Club President, Steve Scott. Vargas, who has chronicled her career and struggle with alcoholism in a recent book, will answer questions about the election, her career and how she is dealing with her addiction.
For more information about the New York Press Club Foundation’s Conference on Journalism and to buy tickets, visit the website.
A June 1 article in the Boston Globe caught my eye: parents are hiring other people to teach their children how to ride a bike. What was once considered a bonding experience for a parent and a child (think of that scene in Kramer vs. Kramer when the dad played by Dustin Hoffman teaches his son how to ride a two-wheeler), has now been assigned to a “professional.” The story offered reasons why parents are dodging this job: no time, little patience, and the fact that many parents don’t know how to ride a bike themselves.
Biking along the Potomac, with the Washington Monument (left) and the Jefferson Memorial (right) in the distance.
For some reason, the story made me sad, not only because many parents are missing the opportunity to teach their children how to ride a bike, but also that these adults themselves are missing out on such a fun sport. The previous week I had taken advantage of a beautiful sunny day in Alexandria to enjoy a roundtrip 12-mile ride into Washington. The bike path takes riders and runners through Old Town’s waterfront, past the Dangerfield Sailing Club, Reagan National Airport (watching planes land and take off is still a thrill), and alongside the Potomac River where the monuments can be seen across the water. Even in this urban oasis, the wildlife is abundant. Once a bald eagle swooped down in front of me before landing in a tree. I was so excited I nearly toppled off my bike. There have been other “moments.” Riding alongside participants in the Avon Breast Cancer walk, most outfitted in over-the-top pink outfits, I stopped to take a photo and hear their stories. Before Memorial Day, there were many military groups either running or riding bikes. Occasionally, low-flying helicopters serve as notice that security has been ramped up because POTUS is on the move.
I have been riding a bike since, well, I can’t recall a time when I didn’t ride a bike. And yes, my mom and dad got involved in teaching me. I know my first bike was a small one, definitely pink, maybe 16 or 18 inches high. As I became taller, so did my bike. Growing up in the fifties, bikes were our major mode of transportation. We rode them everywhere, often miles and miles from our homes. We rode in the parks, on city streets, even on highways. It was also great exercise, one reason why childhood obesity was never an issue. I had plastic streamers flowing from my handlebars. I also used clothes pins (remember those?) to attach playing cards on the spokes to create that tick-tick-tick sound that made my bike sound like a motorcycle (albeit a very low-powered one). We didn’t wear helmets, a safety precaution that was far in the future. I can’t remember ever sustaining any more than a scraped elbow or knee from a fall. What I do remember is how much fun we had riding our bikes.
Hello summer! Lasker Rink being transformed into a swimming pool.
Gretchen Rubin, author of the bestselling The Happiness Project, has said that one key to happiness is to think back to what made us happy when we were ten years-old. So no surprise that I get that happy feeling every time I hop back on a bike. A week after that Boston Globe article appeared, I was in New York, riding the six-mile loop in Central Park. It was a beautiful day and the park was teeming with people and there’s no better way to take in the action than by biking through the park.
Being greeted by the “Cat” atop Central Park’s hill.
On the park’s northern end, I watched parents with strollers walking around the Harlem Meer and saw workers transforming Lasker Rink into a swimming pool. On the park’s west side, I glimpsed tourists and others struggling with oars on the boat pond. On the east side, after agonizing up “Cat Hill,” I was able to see the latest exhibit atop the roof at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Spying Cornelia Parker’s “Transitional Object” on the Met’s roof.
Unlike the bike path that goes from Alexandria into Washington, Central Park’s roads are jam packed. Along the way it’s necessary to dodge everyone else on the loop – other bike riders, roller-bladers, pedicabs, horse carriages, runners, and walkers. I have seen many accidents and have been grateful that helmets are now a necessary safety element. But despite the risks, I wouldn’t give up my ride.
The Boston Globe article cited a 2015 survey by YouGov which found that only 5 percent of people 55 and older can’t ride a bike, while 13 percent of 18 to 34 year-olds can’t ride. My advice: it’s never to late to learn what truly is an activity you can enjoy all your life. Millennials may want to think about taking some lessons themselves now so they can eventually teach their children to ride. I’m available and my rates are very low.
Photos by Charlene Giannetti