america at war? a conversation with helen thomas
Monday, Nov. 4
5-7 p.m.

Bartos Theater
MIT Media Lab
20 Ames Street


As both 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?


Helen 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, and Bush.


David Thorburn 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 topics.

Charles 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 Award.


Article from Tech Talk.


A webcast of America at War? is available.