Emerson College to Host Public Panel on Gun Violence in Media and Video Games

March 11, 2013

BOSTON,MA—On Monday, March 18, Emerson College will host the second panel discussion in its four-part series with media partner WGBH. Titled “Who’s to Blame? Gun Violence in Media and Electronic Games,” the panel will explore what impact, if any, media and video games have on gun violence in the United States. The panel will take place at the Semel Theater, 10 Boylston Place (a pedestrian walkway located off Boylston Street, halfway between Charles Street and Tremont Street) from 6:30 to 8:00 pm. The event is free and open to the public and is first come, first served. For more information, visit www.emerson.edu.

Moderated by WGBH radio and television host Callie Crossley, the panel will include Lesley University Professor Emerita and author of Taking Back Childhood Nancy Carlsson-Paige; child and adolescent psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and faculty member at Harvard University T. Atilla Ceranoglu, MD; Director of the Parents Television Council (a nonprofit advocating for responsible entertainment) Dan Isett; and Executive Director of the Media Coalition (an association that defends the American public's First Amendment right to have access to the broadest possible range of opinion and entertainment) David Horowitz.

Emerson College President Lee Pelton, who announced the creation of the College Presidents’ Gun Violence Resource Center and the panel series last month, remarked on the importance of keeping a spotlight on gun violence. “Gun violence is a health crisis for our nation—one that is having a devastating effect on the lives of our young people in particular,” he said. “I hope these initiatives, aimed at engaging the academic community in thoughtful debates and discussions, will help bring about positive action on this critical social issue.”

Two additional panels will be held on campus next month. The topic of an April 2 panel will be “The Second Amendment: What is it? What is it not?” and on April 25, panelists will discuss “The Cultural, Social, and Economic Underpinnings of American Violence.”

Biographies of panel participants:

Dan Isett, director of Public Policy, Parents Television Council (PTC), is responsible for advancing the mission of the PTC, which advocates for responsible entertainment, to federal, state, and local elected and appointed officials, as well as the Federal Communications Commission. In addition, Isett is responsible for promoting PTC’s goals with allied organizations including family and parent organizations, media reform groups, entertainment industry representatives, and trade groups involved in media and indecency issues in Washington, D.C. and around the country. He is an expert on children’s education and has extensive government relations experience, having served as director of external affairs for The Center for Education Reform and executive director of the Texas Home School Coalition. Prior to joining the PTC, he was chairman of the Lubbock County Republican Party in Texas.

Nancy Carlsson-Paige, professor Emerita at Lesley University, is founder of the University's Center for Peaceable Schools. Carlsson-Paige has written and spoken extensively about the impact of media on children's lives and social development, and how children learn the skills for positive relationships. She is the author of five books and numerous articles and op eds on media and technology, conflict resolution, peaceable classrooms, and education reform. Her most recent book is called Taking Back Childhood: A Proven Roadmap for Raising Confident, Creative, Compassionate Kids. Carlsson-Paige has received many awards for her leadership and advocacy in early childhood and peace education. She is an advocate for education policies and practices that promote social justice and the well being of all children.

David Horowitz, executive director of Media Coalition, leads this trade association that is dedicated to defending the First Amendment rights of publishers, booksellers, and librarians; recording, motion picture, and video game producers; and recording, video, and video game retailers in the United States. Horowitz is an expert on First Amendment law with a focus on content-based restrictions on speech. He has submitted written and oral testimony to Congress and many state legislatures across the country and comments to the Federal Communications Commission on regulatory matters. Under his leadership, Media Coalition has brought successful lawsuits to challenge more than a dozen state laws that banned or censored speech, including laws in Ohio and Tennessee that barred the dissemination to minors of speech with violent themes or images. Media Coalition's members are: American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, Association of American Publishers, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Entertainment Merchants Association, Entertainment Software Association, Freedom to Read Foundation, Motion Picture Association of America, and the Recording Industry Association of America.

T. Atilla Ceranoglu, MD, child and adolescent psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital, Shriners Hospital for Children, and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, specializes in psychiatric care of people of all ages, and provides ongoing psychotherapy for children, teenagers, and adults. Dr. Ceranoglu pursues several lines of research including mood and anxiety disorders in child victims of major trauma and the clinical effects of video games on youth and how media can help inform the public. He is a member of the Media Committee at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Callie Crossley, WGBH radio and TV host/moderator, will soon be hosting the Sunday evening program Under the Radar with Callie Crossley. Crossley has hosted two other radio programs during the last three years. She was both host/moderator of Boston Public Radio and the host/executive producer of The Callie Crossley Show. She has conducted interviews with the likes of current Secretary of State John Kerry, musician Livingston Taylor, filmmaker Errol Morris, authors Junot Diaz and Louise Erdrich, Governor Deval Patrick, architect Maya Lin, journalists Jonathan Alter and Michele Norris, and actors Anna Deavere Smith and Rachel Dratch. Crossley is also a television and radio commentator for national and local programs. Crossley appears weekly on WGBH-TV’s Beat the Press, a show that looks at how the media, new and old, covers and analyzes the big issues of the week, and Basic Black, a public affairs show focusing on current events and cultural issues concerning communities of color. She is a regular contributor on National Public Radio’s The Takeaway and Fox 25 Boston TV’s Morning Show, and a frequent guest on CNN’s Reliable Sources and PBS News Hour. Crossley was nominated for an Academy Award for her work on Eyes On the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, the critically acclaimed documentary series. She has also earned major film and journalism awards, including a National Emmy; a Peabody; an Edward R. Murrow award; a Christopher; and an Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia Award (Gold Baton), considered the Pulitzer Prize of broadcast journalism. A former producer for ABC News 20/20, Crossley also is program manager for the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. Crossley is the recipient of two Harvard Fellowships: a Nieman Fellowship and a Fellowship at the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.

More information about Emerson’s pledge to America on gun violence: In a message to more than 1,700 college presidents, Emerson President Lee Pelton announced the establishment of the College Presidents’ Gun Violence Resource Center and to date, nearly 300 presidents have joined him to make a pledge to President Obama to lead discussions about America’s culture of gun violence.

About Emerson College                                                                                                                    
Located in Boston, Massachusetts, opposite historic Boston Common and in the heart of the city’s Theatre District, Emerson is the only four-year private college in the United States devoted to teaching communication and the arts in a liberal arts context. The College has 3,453 undergraduates and 837 graduate students from across the United States and 50 countries. Supported by state-of-the-art facilities and a renowned faculty, students participate in more than 60 student organizations and performance groups, 14 NCAA teams, student publications, honor societies, television stations including the Emerson Channel, and WERS-FM, the nation’s highest rated student-run radio station. Emerson is internationally known for its study and internship programs in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., the Netherlands, China, and the Czech Republic. For more information, visit www.emerson.edu.

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Communication Studies Professor Phillip Glenn

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