Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Honors class to hold discussion on news credibility

Town Hall, a seminar class sponsored by the Honors College, will host its first meeting of the semester titled “Cronkite to Colbert: What is News to You?” Monday, Oct. 21. Eric Alsobrook, a member of Town Hall, said this meeting will focus on the credibility of news sources today and how pop culture is gaining more news than international problems.

“If I watch a story on MSNBC and someone else watches it on FOX, they will get a completely different story,” Alsobrook said. “We talked about how pop culture is catching more headlines than actual news, like Obama talking about Syria. We don’t know if that’s because the demographic of 18- to 35-year-olds is changing.”

The meeting will host Jennifer Greer, interim dean for the College of Communication and Information Sciences; Rick Bragg, Cason professor of writing in the department of journalism; and Terri Brewer, award-winning journalist for WBRC FOX6 News Tuscaloosa.

Last fall, the Honors College started the seminar class with the goal of focusing on issues relevant to students on campus.

Fifteen students run Town Hall and are required to put on a certain number of events each semester. The course is an Honors College seminar course, but it is open to anyone in Honors College regardless of classification.

Alsobrook, a senior majoring in communication studies and political science, said he thinks this year’s topics are the most interesting yet. He said the panel of speakers are experts in their fields and will provide students with a platform to speak out.

“The majority of people get their news from nontraditional sources like Steven Colbert or Jimmy Kimmel,” Alsobrook said. “I thought it was kind of interesting that people are turning away from traditional news sources.”

Derek Carter, a sophomore majoring in economics and mathematics, has been a part of Town Hall from the beginning and is working with Robert McCurley, Town Hall’s coordinator, to take a meeting to the University of Alabama in Huntsville and University of Alabama at Birmingham.

“I am responsible for taking Town Hall on the road to our sister schools UAB and UAH,” Carter said. “We will be recreating our media Town Hall at those campuses. I have been in contact with the honors programs there and have been working to get them involved in the program.”

McCurley said he saw problems in the legal system and wanted to have a way for students to talk about them.

“I saw many issues that should be addressed but weren’t being addressed, and this class is addressing these issues that are being overlooked by our legal system,” McCurley said.

The next meetings will be Nov. 4 and Nov. 18 and will be “Student Debt” and “Where We Were and Where We Are: The University and Tuscaloosa, Always Moving Forward.”

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