Independent Media Speakers

PCIM regularly brings the leading lights in independent media and journalism to Ithaca for public presentations and small group meetings with students and faculty.

In Fall 2022, the Park Center for Independent Media hosted a discussion with dissident writers who were forced from their homelands and found sanctuary through a City of Asylum in Ithaca, Pittsburgh, or Detroit. The event, which was attended by nearly 70 Ithaca College students, faculty and community members, provided an opportunity for these writers to read from and discuss their work, and explain why their writings put them in danger in their respective countries of origin.

Other Previous Speakers

In 2021, award winning journalist and author Todd Miller spoke about his latest book, "Build Bridges, Not Walls: a Journey to a World Without Borders" where he asks the question: “Is it possible to create a borderless world?”

Todd Miller is an independent journalist and writer. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Nation, San Francisco Chronicle, Guernica, and Al Jazeera English, among others. He was the recipient of the 2018 Izzy Award for his outstanding contribution to independent media.

In 2020, PCIM hosted a webinar on the media environment amid the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing protests against racial injustice. The discussion explored how the pandemic was affecting independent media outlets and what to expect in the future.

Speakers included Andrew BuncombeChief US correspondent, The Independent; Tara Conley, Ed.D., Assistant Professor, Montclair State University; D.D. Guttenplan, Editor, The Nation; Amanda Silverman, Editorial Director, Mother Jones

2019 featured investigative journalist, Shane Bauer spoke about his book “American Prison: A Reporter’s Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment”.

Bauer is an award-winning journalist who is currently a senior reporter with Mother Jones magazine. He was the recipient of an Izzy Award in 2017 for his outstanding contribution to independent media.

In 2016, media critic Janine Jackson of FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting) presented a lecture: “Can You Trust Mainstream News Media? Racial and Other Biases.” Jackson, host of the weekly “CounterSpin” radio show, gave pointers on how to be a critical news consumer – conscious of language, sourcing, and possible advertiser or owner influence on what’s being reported or not reported.

2015 featured Jim Hightower, the progressive populist from Texas who is also an author, humorist, radio commentator and pamphleteer (Hightower Lowdown). His presentation – “Against the Current: How Indy Media & Activists Can Challenge Corporate Control” – offered historic and contemporary wisdom.

In December 2014, Truthout editor Maya Schenwar discussed her book, Locked Down, Locked Out: Why Prison Doesn’t Work and How We Can Do Better. Based partly on her family’s experiences, Schenwar argued passionately for a transformation of our broken penal system. And she discussed the important work of independent outlets like Truthout.

In fall 2014 Betty Medsger, journalist and author of the fascinating new book The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover's Secret FBI, spoke about the "ordinary" citizens who broke into an FBI office in 1971, revealing the bureau's surveillance, harassment, and intimidation of peaceful civil rights, women's rights, and antiwar activists and political dissidents.

Other recent speakers have included

  • author/professor Robert W. McChesney, discussing "Corporate Dominance of Internet, Media, and Politics";

  • author, journalist, and Democracy Now! cohost Juan Gonzalez, who spoke on "The Epic Story of Race & U.S. Media";

  • journalist and immigrant rights activist José Antonio Vargas of;

  • feminist author Susan Faludi, who spoke on "9/11: Myth, Media and Gender" on the 10th anniversary of 9/11/01;