Pitts Evolving the Image Summit Delves Into Media’s Portrayal of Black Males

Issue Date: 
November 21, 2011

The University of Pittsburgh’s Office of Public Affairs sponsored a one-day summit to assess the coverage of young Black males in the American news media. The Nov. 1 by-invitation event at the University Club was organized by Robert Hill, Pitt’s vice chancellor for public affairs, and supported by a generous grant from the Heinz Endowments. The conference presented perspectives from journalism scholars, major media news executives, Black-owned media news executives, and young Black men.

1. Lorraine Branham, dean of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, moderated a panel, “A Conversation Among the News Decision Makers.”

2. Members of that panel, from left, were Shirley Carswell, deputy managing editor of The Washington Post; James N. Crutchfield, associate professor of journalism and multimedia arts at Duquesne University and former president and publisher of the Akron Beacon Journal; Rick Henry, retired president and general manager of WTAE-TV; and David Shribman, executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

3. Pitt Vice Chancellor Hill made opening remarks and introduced the keynote speaker.

4. Larry E. Davis, dean of the School of Social Work, Donald M. Henderson Professor, and director of the Center on Race and Social Problems at Pitt, addressed the psychological impact on Black men of negative stereotypes promulgated by the media.

5. Paula Poindexter, vice president of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and associate professor of journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, moderated the “Imagery in the News” panel and also served as a consultant to the summit.

6. Marc Lamont Hill delivered the day’s keynote address. He is an associate professor of English education at Teachers College of Columbia University and host of the nationally syndicated TV show Our World With Black Enterprise.

7. George E. Curry, president and CEO of George Curry Media, moderated the panel titled “A Conversation Among Black Media Executives.”

8. The panel “A Conversation Among Black Media Executives” comprised, from left, John B. Smith Sr., publisher and chief executive officer of The Atlanta Inquirer; Tené Croom, president of Tene Croom Communications and a former news director for the American Urban Radio Networks; and Rod Doss, editor and publisher of the New Pittsburgh Courier.

9. Panelists for “A Conversation Among Young African American Males” were, from left, Antoine Allen, freshman journalism major at Syracuse; Amani Davis, senior at Winchester Thurston School; Jasiri X, Pittsburgh-based word artist and community activist; Ashton Gibbs, senior communication major at Pitt and member of Pitt’s varsity basketball team; Raymont Hopkins, a Pittsburgh youth who attended Pittsburgh Carrick High School; Jay Oriola, senior psychology major at Pitt; and Tosen Nwadei, sophomore business administration major at Pitt.