Learning Lab II: The Media's Effect on the Dissemination of Information

The Class of 2014 spent their fall break in Washington, D.C. analyzing the media’s impact on the dissemination of information in the United States. In light of events such as the WikiLeaks scandal and the national healthcare debate, the class was interested in exploring the responsibility assumed by the media in providing news to the American public.

The Class of 2014 on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol.

During conversations with individuals representing organizations and government branches such as the Center for Public Integrity, Investigative Reporting Workshop, PolitiFact, Public Education Center, U.S. House of Representatives, and U.S. Supreme Court, students gained a deeper understanding of how journalists can affect individuals’ understanding of current events, why certain stories are covered over others, and the fine line between commentating on the news and objectively reporting the news.

Ismail Kassim ‘14 with PolitiFact Editor Bill Adair.

“Our experience in Washington far exceeded the committee’s expectations,” said Jeb Fox ‘14, Learning Lab II committee co-chair. “I can confidently say that our class has a much better understanding of the media’s power and influence over our society after attending this trip.”

The class with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in a courtyard inside the Supreme Court.

Park Scholars are selected, in part, because of their potential as leaders, and thus should be aware of the important leadership challenges facing the nation. The Learning Lab II field experience allows students to develop a critical understanding of national and global issues by interacting with thought leaders immersed in these issues.

The timing of Learning Lab II was especially poignant given the effect that traditional and social media sources will have on the upcoming 2012 election.

Park Scholars with Quinn Gillespie & Associates Director of Communications Adam Belmar.

Learning Lab II Guest Speakers:
Bill Adair, Editor, PolitiFact; Washington Bureau Chief, St. Petersburg Times
Adam Belmar, Director of Communications, Quinn Gillespie & Associates
Bill Buzenberg, Executive Director, Center for Public Integrity
Sue Garman Kranias, Senior Communications Strategist, Quinn Gillespie & Associates
Dick Gordon, Host, WUNC’s The Story
Charles Lewis, Executive Editor, Investigative Reporting Workshop, American University
Jim Manley, Senior Director of Communications and Government Affairs, Quinn Gillespie & Associates
Representative David Price (D-NC), Member, United States House of Representatives
The Honorable Antonin Scalia, United States Supreme Court Justice
Joe Trento, President, Public Education Center

Learning Lab II Committee:
Lauren Caddick ‘14, Co-Chair
Jeb Fox ‘14, Co-Chair
Sophie Austin ‘14
Stuart Bumgarner ‘14
Joshua Chappell ‘14
Matt Farrell ‘14
Luke Perkins ‘14
Benton Riordan ‘14
Jim Martin, Park Faculty Scholar
Jocelyn Taliaferro, Park Faculty Scholar
Joy Tongsri, Associate Director, Park Scholarships