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Multicultural Affairs presents Jennifer L. Pozner,
journalist, author, and media critic
Oct. 20, 2008 --
Arkansas State University’s Office of Multicultural
Affairs will present journalist, author, and media critic Jennifer L.
Pozner in a multi-media lecture geared
for a college audience. Her lecture, “Gender, Race, and Media in
Election 2008,” will be held Tuesday, October 28, at 7 p.m. in
ASU's Student Union Auditorium, 101 North Caraway Road, Jonesboro. The
presentation is free and open to the public.
Jennifer L. Pozner is a journalist, a lecturer, and the founder and
executive director of Women In Media & News (WIMN), a national media
analysis, education, and advocacy group dedicated to increasing women’s
presence and power and power in public debate (www.wimnonline.org).
She is also the recipient of Soroptimist International of NYC's 2007
"Making A Difference for Women Award,” and was honored in 2006 as one of
“The Real Hot 100,” a Girls in Government project honoring young women
In November, millions of U.S. young people will vote in record numbers,
many for the first time. Jennifer L. Pozner believes that today’s
multicultural generation of young voters deserves better reporting to
help choose political leaders, and she exposes how sexist backlash and
racial prejudice have dominated and distorted media coverage of one of
the most important moments in U.S. history.
Pozner uses wit, insight, and damning footage to expose and challenge
the media’s irresponsible preference for regressive stereotypes over
substantive reporting. Pozner helps her student audiences unpack the
biases underlying this increasingly contentious election cycle, giving
them the media literacy tools they need to critically analyze journalism
and pop culture long after they leave her presentation. Students will
see campaign coverage – and possibly all of news media – as never
Chief among Pozner’s observations about the 2008 presidential campaign
is that for all the talk about race and gender, the media has focused
heavily on the ethnicity and biology of the candidates and has failed to
investigate Clinton’s, Obama’s, and McCain’s policy positions on crucial
race and gender issues.
For example, Pozner examines the Washington Post’s 746-word article on
the political significance of Hillary Clinton’s cleavage, and notes that
the New York Times has condemned Clinton’s “cackle.” Pundits also
questioned whether an “emotional” and “weepy” woman is fit to lead,
after Clinton displayed emotion on the campaign trail. MSNBC’s Chris
Matthews has said he “hates” the New York senator, branding her an
“uppity,” “witchy,” “scolding,” “anti-male” “she-devil” who can “grate
on some men” like “fingernails on a blackboard.” Meanwhile, early
campaign headlines like Time’s “Is Obama Black Enough?” were followed by
a constant refrain of “Is America ready for a Black president?” from the
mostly-white newsmen of CBS, ABC, NBC, MSNBC, CNN and Fox. ABC debate
moderator George Stephanapoulos wondered if Barack’s “cool style” is
“tied to [his] race,” while cable news commentators insinuated that
Obama may be a “secret Muslim,” has an “angry,” “un-American” minister,
and doesn’t wear a flag pin.
None of these comments, of course, has anything to do with how any
single candidate’s policy positions would affect health care, education,
war, the economy, reproductive rights, poverty, or any other issue
important to women, people of color, or the country as a whole.
Pozner is a noted political commentator who has advocated for
progressive ideas and for media justice on CNN, FOX, MSNBC, and PBS, and
“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” A widely published media critic, her
work has been published in Ms., Newsday, Chicago Tribune, Bitch:
Feminist Response to Pop Culture, and numerous publications and
anthologies. She manages the popular group blog, WIMNS’s Voices (/http://www.wimnonline.org/WIMNsVoicesBlog/).
For more information, call Kimberley Johnson, Office of Multicultural
Affairs, at (870) 972-2055.