Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs 519 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

February 08, 2006

Inaugural President's Dialogue to Feature Media Leaders

Some of Canada’s leading journalists, authors and media executives, including Gwynne Dyer and Scott Griffin, will be at the University of Guelph Feb. 22 to take part in a public dialogue on the role of the media in a changing global community.

The forum, titled “The Media: Communicators, Conscience, Creators?,” begins at 2:30 p.m. in Rozanski Hall. It’s free and open to the public. The discussion may also be viewed live via the Internet.

The event is the first in what will become an annual “President’s Dialogue,” which will bring leading experts to U of G to discuss important contemporary issues. It’s also part of Guelph’s first-ever “thematic” convocation. All of the people receiving honorary degrees during winter convocation Feb. 20 to 23 are high-profile members of the Canadian media.

“It’s our belief that universities should be active participants in the discussion of pressing social issues and should help ensure ongoing free and open public debate,” said president Alastair Summerlee. “To that end, we created this new dimension to our convocation program that provides faculty, staff, students and the public with the opportunity to participate in a stimulating discussion with leading experts on a topic of great social importance.”

Summerlee will moderate the dialogue. In addition to Dyer, one of Canada’s most respected and prolific freelance journalists, broadcasters and lecturers; and Griffin, founder of the Griffin Prize for poetry and director of Anansi Press; there will be four other participants. They are: Arthur Carty, the National Science Advisor and the former president of the National Research Council of Canada; Michael MacMillan, executive chairman of Alliance Atlantis; John McMurtry, a philosopher and U of G professor emeritus; Marci McDonald, a freelance journalist and contributing editor to The Walrus magazine; and Stephen Strauss, former Globe and Mail reporter and science journalist.

During the dialogue, they will engage in discussions with each other and take questions from both the live and web audiences. “They each bring diverse expertise and a unique perspective to the dialogue,” Summerlee said. “It’s my hope that it will provide an opportunity for all of us to consider the challenges of this period of technological revolution and media conglomerates.”

More information

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, (519) 824- 4120, Ext. 53338, or Rebecca Kendall, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982.

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