Steve Macek, North Central College associate professor of speech communication and coordinator of urban and suburban studies, and Brian Failing ’14, double major in history and urban and suburban studies, presented a paper at the conference titled The Point is to Change It: Media Democracy and Democratic Media in Action. Cosponsored by the Union for Democratic Communications and Project Censored, the conference was hosted by the University of San Francisco Nov. 1-3.
Their paper, titled “City Hall and the Silver Screen: Film Censorship in Chicago and the Politics of Urban Imagery,” was based on research the two conducted during summer 2013 when Failing served as a summer research assistant using the Film Censor Board Papers on deposit at the Illinois Regional Archive Depository. The paper was part of a panel Macek organized on the media and the state apparatus. Failing, one of only seven undergraduate students who presented at the conference, was commended for his presentation and speaking skills.
A keynote speaker at the conference was Daniel Ellsberg, the legendary whistleblower in 1971 who leaked the Pentagon Papers (known as the McNamara study of U.S. Decision-making in Vietnam, 1945-1968) to the New York Times and Washington Post. Ellsberg spoke about the importance of whistleblowing to democracy and to journalism.