Webster University Vienna Presents Media Trends 2015 Conference | Webster University

Webster University Vienna Presents Media Trends 2015 Conference

ST. LOUIS (SEPT. 9, 2015) – Media Trends 2015 will take place Sept.10-12 at the Webster University (WU) Vienna campus. It is the sixth time the annual conference will be held. This year's theme is "Power & Media: Sponsorship, Ownership, Censorship." The conference will feature notable speakers and distinguished scholars from universities and organizations around the world.

The conference will kick off with an Oxford-style debate; its motion: Public ownership of the media must be expanded in order to counter state, private and/or corporate interference. Dr. Bradley Wiggins, WU Vienna Media Communications department head will moderate.

Brooke Gladstone, host of National Public Radio’s (NPR) award-winning program, "On the Media" will give the keynote address. Other prominent speakers include Barbara Trionfi, Webster alumna and executive director of the International Press Institute; Juan Barata Mir, principal advisor to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE); and Andrea Rudas, executive vice president of RTL Group (RTL Group is major entertainment network in Europe).

A screening of “SECRET: the Josephine Baker FBI Files,” a documentary directed by Kathy Corley, professor of Film Studies in the School of Communications at Webster University, is among the events scheduled. Combining old and new images and sound, the film chronicles the life of Josephine Baker, a St. Louis native, as it uncovers her little known identity as a global human rights activist.

Rick Rockwell, WU School of Communications associate dean, will present, “Media Power in Central America.” He will discuss the ownership structures of six Spanish-speaking countries of Central America and the effects of informational screening in the region.

In her presentation, “How the Website "YouNow" Changes the Typical Media Power Structure,” Julie Smith, author and WU School of Communications adjunct faculty member, will discuss how the website contributes to the democratization of content production.

Professor Anthony Lowstedt of Webster University Vienna will present, “Postmodern Racism and the Media,” about the role of media in race relations.

From the Webster University Geneva campus, Dr. Rebekah Jorgensen will explore protecting digital privacy in, “Consumer Surveillance: Innovations in “Fighting Back.”

Adjunct professor Vicken Cheterian will examine the role volume of information plays in our ability to interact meaningfully with it as he presents, “Digital Technologies Are Generating Massive Amounts of Information but Are We Better Informed?” Adjunct professor Kristian Skeie will discuss preparation for documenting emotionally-charged topics such as “Life After Genocide.”

In addition to these and other Webster University faculty, the Media Trends 2015 conference will showcase the work of scholars and industry experts from five continents. Michael Freund, former head of the media communications department at Webster University Vienna, and Eric Rothenbuhler, dean of the School of Communications at Webster University, will provide closing remarks. They will also present awards for the top three papers presented.

The Media Trends 2015 organizing committee includes Webster University Vienna faculty and staff members:

  • Carina Engström
  • Michael Freund, PhD
  • Maria-Regina Kecht, PhD
  • Alison Langley
  • Anthony Löwstedt, PhD

Tammy Rosso, head of Media Communications at Webster University Geneva, is also an organizer of this event. Rosso initiated the Media Trends Conference series in 2010.

About the School of Communications
The School of Communications at Webster University prepares students to excel as skilled professionals in the global field of communications. We provide theory and practice in media courses framed within a liberal arts-based curriculum, augmented by personalized mentorship, and professional development opportunities. Fifteen distinct majors are available at the undergraduate level and master’s degrees in six diverse fields of communications. We offer BA and MA programs on the Webster campuses in Geneva, Vienna, London, Leiden, Thailand, and Ghana, as well as in Saint Louis and online.

About Webster University
With its home campus in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, Webster University (www.webster.edu) comprises an action-oriented global network of faculty, staff, students and alumni who forge powerful bonds with each other and with their communities around the globe. Founded in 1915, Webster is a private non-profit university with more than 17,000 students studying at campus locations in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa and in a robust learning environment online. The university is committed to delivering high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence.