Jeff Cohen Lecture

The Demise and Rebirth of American Media… and Democracy

Jeff Cohen was the founding director of Ithaca College’s Center for Independent Media and an associate professor of journalism. After launching the media watch group FAIR in 1986, he became a paid pundit at all three cable news channels. He was also senior producer at MSNBC's Phil Donahue show, until it was terminated for political reasons weeks before the invasion of Iraq. In raucous detail, he described his years inside TV news in his acclaimed book, Cable News Confidential: My Misadventures in Corporate Media.

But Cohen is not just a media critic. In this era of new communications technologies and the Internet, he’s become an evangelist for independent media and the new clout of maverick journalists and entrepreneurs. “Today, independents are breaking stories, making news, provoking Congressional hearings on topics that big corporate media have censored or ignored,” he says. ”Independent outlets online and off are reshaping journalism and politics.”

In just a few years, news/politics blogs have attracted huge audiences, and bloggers have won prestigious journalism awards. Says Cohen: “Millions of independent-minded people—exiles from corporate media and its jingoism, tabloidism, irrelevance—have found alternative sources of information. Independent media are rejuvenating democracy by providing news and diverse views to the most engaged sectors of our public, including young people.”

Jeff Cohen has lectured at hundreds of college campuses. He is a columnist whose pieces have been published on independent websites (HuffingtonPost, CommonDreams, Alternet, etc) and in dozens of leading dailies, including USA Today, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times. He is the author or co-author of five books, including Wizards of Media Oz: Behind the Curtain of Mainstream News and The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error.

For more information, contact:

Cable News Confidential
My Misadventures in Corporate Media

Wizards of Media Oz
Behind the Curtain of Mainstream News
w/Norman Solomon
Common Courage Press

The Way Things Aren't
Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error
w/Steve Rendall et al, New Press

Through the Media Looking Glass
Decoding Bias and Blather in the News
w/Norman Solomon
Common Courage Press

Adventures in Medialand
Behind the News, Beyond the Pundits
w/Norman Solomon
Common Courage Press