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Panel to discuss media and city



Published: Mon, February 2, 2009 @ 12:52 a.m.

By Elise Franco

Discussion panelists were chosen because of their journalistic ties to the Valley.

YOUNGSTOWN — For months, the presidential election was in the forefront of many people’s minds and on the front page of newspapers across the country.

But the question looms: Was the media able to adequately cover issues most relevant to the working class, specifically in the Mahoning Valley?

Three journalists familiar with Youngstown will tackle that question during “Assignment Youngstown: A Panel Discussion on the 2008 Election Reporting on the Working Class and Youngstown.”

John Russo, co-director of Youngstown State University’s Center for Working Class Studies, said the discussion will begin at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 10 at YSU’s Kilcawley Center. It’s open to the public.

Before that, at 2 p.m. in room B0013 Fedor Hall, the panelists will participate in a press conference for YSU journalism students, Russo said.

He said the panel will focus on various aspects of working-class voting patterns and the impact of de-industrialized during the current economic crisis.

“We thought what we’d do is bring in reporters and talk about reporting on the working class in Youngstown,” Russo said.

He said the panelists, Connie Schultz, Plain Dealer columnist; Marilyn Geewax, National Public Radio national correspondent; and Jonathan Kaufman, Wall Street Journal political reporter; have all written about Youngstown and have knowledge about the issues surrounding the city.

Todd Franko, The Vindicator’s editor, will moderate.

Russo said the discussion, which is sponsored by the Center for Working-Class Studies, The Vindicator, the YSU journalism program, Ford Foundation and The New York Times, is open to the public to watch and listen, and he encourages those interested to attend.

“There’s been so much reporting on Youngstown over the last 25 years,” he said. “The major reason, I think, is because Youngstown’s story over the past 25 years has become America’s story in the 21st century.

“And that story is economic restructuring and the impact it’s had on these communities.”

efranco@vindy.com


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