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Union Series Looks at Reality TV, Media, Culture

JACKSON, Tenn.May 30, 2003 – Union University’s Town & Gown Series will present a five week look at “Reality Television, the Media and the Culture” beginning June 5. Panel discussions with area media professionals and open dialogue will provide attendees the opportunity to consider whether various media simply reflect society or play a significant role in shaping society.

The series will examine the history of the reality television genre and the cultural impact of such shows as “Cops,” “Survivor” and “The Bachelor.” The class will also consider the ethical decisions which must be made during the course of daily news coverage. Sessions will look at the way media in Miami, Nashville, Minneapolis and other cities have handled life-threatening events such as serious auto accidents and drug raids, as well as socially-charged health concerns such as mental illness and teen depression.

Coverage of the war in Iraq will also be examined. Attendees will consider how the presentations of both traditional and imbedded journalists affected Americans’ interest and understanding of the conflict.

The class will meet in Union’s Hartley Hall at 6 p.m. each Thursday evening, June 5, 12, 19, 26 and July 9. The series is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Steve Beverly, assistant professor of communication arts, at (731) 661-5380.

Media contact: Chris Allen, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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