The Conversation Continues

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Is media coverage biased in favour of universities over colleges?

July 9, 2013

By Léo Charbonneau
University Affairs

The media are biased in their coverage of higher education in Canada, favouring universities over colleges. That was the contention of Anne Sado, president of George Brown College in Toronto, speaking at the Worldviews 2013 conference on media and higher education held at the University of Toronto near the end of June. “I’m not here to challenge whether university or college education is better,” said Ms. Sado. However, “I do feel there is bias around coverage between universities and colleges.”

Ms. Sado was speaking as part of a panel discussion, alongside University of Toronto President David Naylor and journalists Simona Chiose, education editor at the Globe and Mail, and Louise Brown, education reporter at the Toronto Star.

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Why Do We Have More Female Scholars, But Few Public Intellectuals?

July 8, 2013

By Evette Dione
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When I think of Dr. Brittney Cooper, Joan Morgan, Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry, Dr. Tanisha Ford, Dr. Treva Lindsey and Dr. Kaila Story, I imagine the intellectual ancestors smiling down on them. These women scholars are progressing public discourse through their academic work. Their scholarship ranges from hip-hop feminismto fashion as political resistance, but their influence within and outside of the confines of the academy makes their research accessible to those without advance-level degrees.

Though the ladies listed are members of a growing chorus of women intellectuals, a three-year study conducted in Canada found male professors outnumber female professors in media coverage and overall reach. Shari Graydon, former president of Media Action—a non-profit organization that encourages gender equity in media—presented her findings at the Worldviews conference in Toronto.

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Intervention versus the open market

July 6, 2013

By Grace Karram
University World News

In the Anglo university model, it is never quite clear how involved the government is allowed to be in university affairs. Although the strong emphasis on institutional autonomy stresses the power of universities to set programming priorities and policies, governments often play a regulating role that has serious implications for university operations.

The recent provincial government intervention in Ontario’s teacher education programming is one example of government action that will dramatically change the sector.

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Media coverage of higher education – From propaganda to watchdog

July 6, 2013

By Qiang Zha and Xiaoyang Wang
University World News

In many senses, the media is still state controlled in China and does not enjoy genuine freedom of speech. Yet the relationship between the media and higher education is multi-faceted, highlighting changing roles, focuses and approaches.

Roughly, three stages can be discerned.

In the first stage, from the 1950s through to the early 1980s, media coverage of higher education basically served the state propaganda agenda, showcasing government directives and opinions and how success was achieved by following government policy. 

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Risk, responsibility, and public academics

July 3, 2013

By Melonie Fullick
University Affairs

As my last academic event of the season, I attended Worldviews 2013: Global Trends in Media and Higher Education in Toronto on June 20th and 21st. I’m not going to write about the panel in which I participated (“Who are the MOOC users?”, with Joe Wilson, Aron Solomon, and Andrew Ng), since I’ve already spent enough time thinking and writing about that issue of late. But there was another very interesting theme that I noticed coming up throughout the conference. In a number of the sessions I attended, I heard emphasis being placed on the need for researchers and academics to communicate more with publics beyond the specialist audiences that have, until recently, been the norm.

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Journalism schools proliferate, jobs disappear

June 29, 2013

By Katherine Forestier
University World News

The proliferation of journalism programmes around the world came under scathing attack at the Worldviews conference for unscrupulously recruiting too many students for the limited jobs available, and for being ossified in their curricula. 

The attack was made by Adrian Monck, former dean of City University of London’s journalism school and now managing director and head of communications and media for the World Economic Forum.

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Speaking out – Women academics (not) in the media

June 29, 2013

By Karen MacGregor
University World News

Research in Canada has revealed that although women make up a growing proportion of the academy, including in senior positions, men’s voices still outnumber women’s in the media by four to one. Women scholars are being trained to raise their public presence in a project that has wider implications for higher education and the media. 

Shari Graydon told the Worldviews 2013 conference held at the University of Toronto from 19-21 June that the mandate of the non-profit social enterprise Informed Opinions, which she founded in Canada, was to help bridge the gender gap in discourse.

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