The Center for Business Ethics and the New Century Journalism Program hosted a full house today in the Frist Lecture Hall as a dialogue between respected journalists John L. Seigenthaler and his son John M. Seigenthaler attracted a standing room only crowd of students, faculty, staff and community members. Pictured (l-r) at right is New Century Journalism Director Dr. Sybril Bennett, John M. Seigenthaler, Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher and John L. Seigenthaler.
Dr. Fisher welcomed attendees and guests, noting that the younger Seigenthaler had long been his favorite broadcaster during his stints as an anchor for NBC and MSNBC. Fisher added, “Nashville’s a great community of people, but there’s nobody I respect more than John [L.] Seigenthaler. There are going to be more than 3,000 distinguished journalists on this campus soon but none are more distinguished than the two sitting here right now.”
Seigenthaler Sr., pictured at left with Director of the Center for Business Ethics Dr. Harry Hollis, opened the discussion with an analysis of the current election coverage. “Through primary debates and media coverage of those debates, we’ve come to know more about the two presidential candidates than ever before. The media has helped us know these candidates and what they’re about. On the other hand, there’s been an aggressiveness in this campaign [among the networks] that I think has not been helpful.”
Regarding the intense competition between FOX News, MSNBC and CNN, John M. Seigenthaler added, “For cable channels, opinion is king and not the news. There’s become a merging now of news content and commentary.”
Dr. Bennett has posted clips of the Seigenthalers’ conversation on her blog, which can be accessed by clicking here.