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Presidential Lecture Series

Technology and Social Media

How Place Influences Popular Culture:  Finding Meaning in Creative Media

Dr. Huston Gibson, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture and Regional & Community Planning

This lecture discusses how popular culture portrays the built and natural environment. To explore the influence of environmental, social, and economic development on creative media, this lecture offers an exploratory educational adventure of place through song and other cultural media. Creative media shape society’s perception of place, and perception of place shapes creative media. The implications help explain popular discourse about the relationship between society and place.

Technology in Animal Agriculture: Frankenfoods or Solution to Hunger?

Dr. Barry Bradford, Associate Professor of Animal Sciences and Industry

A wide range of technologies, including pharmaceuticals, recombinant proteins, assisted reproductive techniques, modern genetics, and probiotics are used to improve production efficiencies in animal agriculture.  A number of these technologies raise concerns among consumers, yet few understand the issues involved.  This presentation will discuss the logical framework that is used to evaluate technologies for use in animal agriculture, the regulatory process by which new technologies are evaluated and the tradeoffs between very broad or very limited use of such technologies.

Smart Storytelling using Social Media - Oh, the places you'll go

Dr. Tom Hallaq, Assistant Professor

This presentation will discuss some of the concerns with information passed through social media including information verification and confirmation. We will also spend time looking in to a variety of social media mobile apps that are useful for journalism. 

Saving Local Media in the Face of Today’s Technical Revelation

Dr. Steven Smethers, Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies

Communities are essentially places where groups of people share a common bond--a feeling of cohesiveness and shared values. Communities may be composed of several assets that greatly affect the quality of life for its residents, such as local government, schools, businesses and churches. But one of the main assets of any community is local media, because any cohesive group of people needs a central source of communication that carries information vital to informing citizens and maintaining the community’s infrastructure. This role is most commonly performed by newspapers, although radio and television stations also play a role in performing this all-important function. Today, legacy media companies are threatened by a major technological paradigm shift, as printed newspapers are morphing into digital platforms, and radio and television stations are more and more taking a backseat to streaming technologies. As this technological shift continues, we are also seeing a shift in advertising strategies among retailers, who find that digital advertising messaging is in many ways superior to older media platforms.

As the media industry adjusts to these realities, communities also adjust to the growing problem that media companies that once provided a comprehensive account of local events are often no longer able to meet that expectation if they are able to operate at all in the face of declining audiences and revenues. Media scholars label this phenomenon “news deserts,” defined as any situation where declining audience and advertiser support of legacy media (newspaper, radio and television) have caused a decrease in local news coverage or total cessation of operations. In sum, local residents are left in the position of having little or no access to vital community information from a commonly accessed source, the role traditionally—and most commonly--filled by newspapers. Moreover, these news deserts also suffer from an inability for businesses to reach local consumers, an important aspect of a community’s economic development and sustainability. 

This presentation will discuss the growing threat of news deserts in Kansas and how research at K-State’s Huck Boyd National Center for Community Media and the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications is seeking to help communities explore alternative news delivery platforms.

The Critical Role of Journalism in Democracy

Mr. Andrew Smith, Multi-media News Director KKSU-TV, Professor of Practice

In this lecture, Andrew Smith shows how the Founding Fathers of the United States knew that a free press was critical to the effective running of this new democracy. Today it is more important than ever. The “fourth estate” is an essential part of the checks and balances of the United States and recent attacks on the free press from the highest positions in the country are undermining democracy itself.