Naomi Klein Visited IC as the Park Center for Independent Media speaker
Naomi Klein, author of "No Logo" and "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster
Capitalism," visited Ithaca College on Wednesday, April 7, to give a lecture and to
participate in a Q & A session with Park Scholars and students in Jeff Cohen's
"Independent Media" class. The lecture and the Q & A were sponsored by the
Park Center for Independent Media, of which Cohen is the director.
"The Shock Doctrine" was the reading for this year's Park Scholar book review.
Scholars met to discuss the book and to view supplementary material twice - the
first half of the book was discussed in October, the second in February.
Klein argues in "The Shock Doctrine" that corporations and neo-conservatives
have been taking advantage of disasters - natural and man-made - to further
their free market agenda. Klein's controversial writings have earned her the ire
of some and the admiration of others. She is considered a major figure in the
"I have been an admirer of Naomi Klein for years now," said Jacquie Simone,
Junior Park Scholar journalism major. "I think that Naomi Klein is the epitome of
an advocacy journalist. She's very clear in that by writing about certain topics
she is trying to create social change. I think that's a really powerful message."
Klein's visit marks the first time scholars have had the opportunity to engage
with the author of the book selected for the book review. Klein was asked about
the state of independent and mainstream media, education, activism, Haiti relief
efforts and the current financial crisis.
After the book review, Klein delivered a speech in Emerson Suites to a full
house. Klein's focus was independent media, and she shared a number of
personal stories exemplifying the trials and tribulations of being an independent,
Left-leaning journalist in the postmodern, digital age - trials and tribulations
which included finding out she lost her laptop via twitter and winning a debate
against "The Economist" columnist Sameena Ahmad using statistics solely from
Klein's speech became more political, and as it did it also became more serious
in tone. She was in touch with the audience, however, and her calls for social
change drew spontaneous eruptions of applause.
Klein said that she hoped her books would be used as tools for all those
concerned with social change, insisting that the truths journalists uncover is key
to that change. "Sometimes," she said, "the most subversive thing you can tell
the people is that they sometimes win."
By Shaun Poust