reporters of and participants in public debates about democracy,
civil liberties, and foreign policy, the media become increasingly
important in times of national crisis and potential international
conflict. In this special Forum, veteran newspaper reporter
Helen Thomas, a member of the White House press corps for more
than six decades, explores the media's role during times of
intense national debate. Questions to be discussed include what
responsibility and accountability do the media have to the citizens
they serve? And what is their responsibility to the individuals,
organizations and institutions they cover?
Thomas served for 57 years as a correspondent and White
House bureau chief for United Press International. She began
her long career as a copy girl on the now-defunct Washington
Daily News, and, in 1943, joined United Press International
writing radio news. In November, 1960, Thomas began covering
President-elect John F. Kennedy, following him to the White
House in January, 1961, as a member of the UPI team (then headed
by the late Merriman Smith). Thomas was the only woman print
journalist traveling with President Richard Nixon during his
trip to China in 1972, and has since traveled around the world
several times covering Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan,
is a professor of literature at MIT and director of the MIT
Communications Forum. He is the author of Conrad's Romanticism
and many essays and reviews on literary, cultural and media
Stewart is a professor in MITs Department of Political Science
where he specializes in American politics and behavior, political
institutions, and research methodology. He is currently working
on a five-volume compilation of the history of congressional
committees for the Congressional Quarterly Press, and has recently
published Analyzing Congress (2001), a study of congressional
politics from the perspective of rational choice theory. Since
arriving at MIT in 1985, Stewart has been honored with the Everett
Moore Baker Memorial Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching,
a MacVicar Faculty Fellowship, the Class of 1960 Innovation
in Education Award, and the Franklin L. Burdette Pi Sigma Alpha
from Tech Talk.
at War? A Conversation with Helen Thomas is now available.
In order to listen to the archived audiocast, you can install
RealOne Player. A free download is available at http://www.real.com/realone/index.html.
of America at War? is available.