W&L's fall, winter, and spring weekend seminars continue to be a popular feature of the Alumni College, for the programs offer participants a substantive weekend getaway in the beautiful environs of Lexington and Rockbridge County. Participants stay in local inns, with the program, receptions, dinner, and lunch on campus. The per-person cost of each of these programs is $195. Programs begin on Friday afternoon and conclude after lunch on Saturday.
Established in 2000 at Washington and Lee by a generous endowment from the Class of 1960, the Institute for Honor includes an array of initiatives and specific programs designed to promote the understanding and practice of honor as an indispensable element of society. Through an annual weekend seminar focusing on some of the key issues of our day, the Institute for Honor Symposium is dedicated to the advocacy of honor as the core value in personal, professional, business, and community relations.
This year's symposium will focus on our evolving news media and the question of how new developments in our proliferating news media may be re-shaping our social and political attitudes. Our Friday keynote will be presented by Ken Auletta, media observer for The New Yorker and best-selling author of 11 books, including Googled: The End of the World As We Know It (2009). Also serving as speaker and panelist will be Tom Mattesky '74, former deputy bureau chief for CBS News and Reynolds Distinguished Visiting Professor at W&L. Auletta and Mattesky will be joined by several members of the W&L faculty: Pam Luecke, Toni Locy; Claudette Artwick, and Brian Richardson '73 of the journalism department and Brian Murchison of the Law School.
This symposium will examine how the evolution of the news media from print journalism/network news to a proliferation of media outlets-24-hour broadcast news cycles, assertive blogospheres, and the social media-have influenced political trends and attitudes in recent elections. We'll assess the extraordinary expansion of news outlets in recent years and address the inevitable questions: do these various news media still hold truth-telling as the first principal of journalism, or have they suborned their honor and integrity to opinion and advocacy, sensation, or the ratings game? Further, has the First Amendment become a refuge for scoundrels seeking a license to assassinate reputations? More generally, how has the evolution of communications technology promoted or eroded democracy? Or is the situation today really that different? The more things change the more they remain the same . . . ?