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Oct. 12, 2012
CONTACT: K. E. Schwab

SRU's UPB plans 'The Great Debate'

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - In an effort to build awareness and inform the Slippery Rock University community about the upcoming presidential election, the University Program Board will sponsor "The Great Election Debate" at 7 p.m., Oct. 22.

The free discussion session in the Smith Student Center will feature media critics Steve Rendall, senior analyst with Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, and Cliff Kincaid, director of the Accuracy in Media Center for Investigative Journalism and former CNN "Crossfire" guest co-host.

The pair will discuss issues of media bias and how news outlets shape the public's opinion of candidates.

"The event will provide students the opportunity to learn more about our presidential candidates, the different political topics that are relevant to the current election, and how each individual can make a difference in the election," said Matan Cohen, UPB vice president for speakers.

Among the topics to be covered will be, "How is the campaign covered by media outlets and how it has changed with the different outlets available?" The speakers will also discuss how the Internet, You Tube, Comedy Central and social media in general can affect the election.

"We just don't realize how these outlets are influencing our opinions and judgments. Rendall will focus on how the owners of media outlets are able to control what is and is not reported to the public. Kincaid will argue that the media provides its own bias, prejudice opinions, which can vary from each reporter featured in the media. The main catch to the debate is the media decides on what is relevant, which in turn opens new gateways to discussion," he said.

"The objective is to make students more aware of the current buzz around the election, our generation of the student body was reared around growing media and technology; we need to realize how these media outlets can affect us and society," he said.

UPB is part of SRU's Center for Student Involvement and Leadership.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.