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Clash: Presidents and the Press in Times of Crisis

September 18, 2022 @ 10:30 AM 12:00 PM

Jon Marshall, Master of Science in Journalism and Associate Professor at the Medill School of Journalism, will speak on the topic of his book, Clash: Presidents and the Press in Times of Crisis.  Donald Trump’s presidency was marked by angry attacks on journalists, an extraordinary ability to capture the media spotlight, a flood of disinformation from the White House, and bitter partisanship reflected in the media. Trump’s dysfunctional relationship with the press affected how the United States dealt with the crises of COVID-19, climate change, social unrest due to systemic racism, and efforts to overturn the 2020 election.  But Trump’s troubled relationship with the press didn’t happen by chance. Marshall’s talk will explore the political, economic, social, and technological forces that have shaped the relationship between U.S. presidents and the press during times of crisis. In addition to Trump’s presidency, this discourse examines those of John Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, George W. Bush, and others.  By examining what happened between presidents and the press during these pivotal times, Professor Marshall will help us understand how we arrived at our current troubled state of affairs. This talk concludes with recommendations for strengthening the role the press plays in keeping presidents accountable.

Professor Marshall teaches media history and reporting courses with a focus on social justice issues. He has written for The New York Times, WashingtonPost.com, TheAtlantic.com, Christian Science Monitor, CBS News’ Public Eye, Chicago Tribune, Crain’s Chicago Business, Family Circle, and many other publications. Previously, he reported for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago and The Tampa Tribune, covering government, business, transportation and public safety.  His former “News Gems” blog for the Society of Professional Journalists was named one of the top 10 Web Sites by the Center for Public Integrity and one of the best blogs by David Kaplan of U.S. News & World Report.  Marshall received an MSJ degree from Medill and a B.A. from Vassar College.

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