For the first session of this Spring's colloquium, American Broadcast Journalist Ted Koppel joined Public Policy graduate students for a discussion about the future of media. He shared his experiences in journalism as it shifted from a small group of networks that didn't turn a profit to a million competing news outlets with varying degrees of profitability. We discussed the benefits and drawbacks of giving everyone the ability to create a news outlet online. Koppel asked us how do we find objective news today, and people shared their personal ways of navigating the modern media landscape.
Koppel came in with a message to spread about the ideological divide in this country. In his words, we, students at Stanford, may have specific knowledge that allows us to be here, but how many of us know how to fix a car engine? How many of us could put tile on a roof, or handle farming equipment? He reminded us that the knowledge we came here to learn is only one type of knowledge, and an impractical kind when living in the middle of America. Koppel expressed his desire for a country-wide service requirement for young adult Americans. It would allow recent high school graduates the opportunity to meet people from completely different backgrounds before they go off to the rest of their lives. He wants the country to bridge across the cultural gaps we have built, and the way to do that would be through exposure.
As the discussion closed, the class thanked Koppel for his time and thoughts. The discussion exposed our group to ideas and stories that most of us had never come across before.
Submitted by Coterminal MA Student Albert Gehami.