Campus & Community

Joan Shorenstein Center Announces Fellows for Spring 2000

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While spending a semester away from the daily grind, the Spring 2000 fellows at the Joan Shorenstein Center will focus on, among other things, the relevance of character in the 2000 U.S. presidential election, advances in East Asian press freedom since the 1997 financial and political crisis, and media legislation in Central Europe.

The Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy is a research center based at the Kennedy School of Government.

“We are pleased to welcome this exceptional group of fellows whose broad-ranging interests complement what we’ve been doing and plan to do at the Center,” said Tom Patterson, acting director and Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press at the Kennedy School.

Spring 2000 Fellows

Murray Fromson has had a career in journalism and journalism education for the past 50 years. This past June, after five years as director of the School of Journalism at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, he stepped down to take a year-long sabbatical leave to write a memoir about the Cold War. Both as a correspondent and producer, Fromson covered some of the major news events of the past half century, including the Korean and Vietnam wars; the Brezhnev years of the former U.S.S.R.; conflicts in Malaya, Indonesia, Burma, as well as developments in China. As a staff correspondent for The Associated Press, NBC News, and CBS News, Fromson was based in various Asian capitals, Moscow, Chicago, and Los Angeles from 1951 through 1978. In the United States, he reported presidential politics, civil rights, the anti-war movement, and the conspiracy trial in Chicago (the trial of the so-called “Chicago Seven”).

When the Nixon Justice Department threatened to subpoena journalists’ notes and television outtakes in the late 1960s, Fromson proposed the formation of the Reporters’ Committee for Freedom of the Press.

Fromson joined the USC faculty in 1982, where he conceived and directed the Center for International Journalism, a midcareer fellowship program for working journalists. A Shorenstein Fellow in the Washington, D.C., office, Fromson is analyzing U.S. news coverage of China during the Cold War.

Elisabeth Gidengil is an associate professor of political science at McGill University. She was educated at the London School of Economics, New York University, and McGill University. Her research centers on voting behavior and public opinion in Canada, with a particular interest in gender and representation. She has been a member of both the 1993 and 1997 Canadian Election Study teams and is co-author of

Making Representative Democracy Work, The Challenge of Direct Democracy, and Unsteady State: The 1997 Canadian Federal Election. Her current research focuses on the impact of gender on television news portrayals of political candidates. Her recent work includes studies of sex differences in the imagery used in reporting on male and female candidates and sex differences in sound-bite selection. Her research project will examine whether television journalists’ choice of language is conditioned by the sex of the candidate being reported.

Lynette Lithgow was born in Trinidad but has spent most of her life in the United Kingdom. Much of her career has been with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), for which she presented television news programs regionally, nationally, and internationally. Lithgow has also worked for Granada Television in Manchester and Tyne-Tees Television in Newcastle. Her overseas postings have been with Radio Television Brunei and with CNBC Asia, based in Singapore, where she has most recently been editorial training manager and senior anchor.

Some of the luminaries who have faced her nightly questioning include President Kim of South Korea, Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo, and Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Lithgow has just finished a book exploring the impact of culture and history on Asian management styles, to be published by John Wiley & Sons in February. Lithgow will examine advances in freedom in East Asian media as a result of the economic, political and social crisis of 1997-1999.

Susan Moeller is the director of the Journalism Program at Brandeis University and an assistant professor in the American Studies department. She has a Ph.D. in the history of American civilization and an M.A. in history from Harvard, and a B.A. from Yale. Previously she taught for three years at Princeton, for two years as a Fulbright professor in Asia, and for a year at Pacific Lutheran University in Washington state. She is the author of Compassion Fatigue: How the Media Sell Disease, Famine, War, and Death (1999), and Shooting War: Photography and the American Experience of Combat (1989). Prior to her academic career, Moeller was a photojournalist and writer, contributing to numerous publications including The Atlanta Journal/Constitution, The Boston Globe, Ms Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Times, The Washington Post, Washingtonian, and World Monitor. Most recently she was the media columnist for The Christian Science Monitor and is currently a consultant to several online news sites. Moeller’s research project will concentrate on images of children in the American media.

Peter Molnar graduated from the Faculty of Law (J.D.) at Lorand Eotvos University (ELTE) in Budapest in 1987, and in aesthetics (M.A.) from ELTE in 1994. In 1990-98, he worked as a member of the Hungarian Parliament on the committees on culture and press as well as on the committee on the constitution, and on the subcommittee that drafted media legislation for Hungary. Molnar has lectured on media law at Janus Pannonius University and on speech law and freedom of information law at ELTE. His publications include “Challenges of the Information Super Highways and Central European Experiences” (the Forward to the Hungarian edition of Monroe Price’s Television, the Public Sphere and National Identity, 1998) and “Transforming Hungarian Broadcasting” (Media Studies Journal, fall 1999), among other articles. Molnar will examine freedom of speech and expression regulation and its impact on journalism in the Central European context.

Stanley Renshon is professor of political science (Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania) at the City University of New York, coordinator of its program in political psychology, and a certified psychoanalyst. He was a postdoctoral fellow in psychology and politics at Yale. He did his graduate work in clinical psychology at Long Island University and completed his psychoanalytic training at the Training and Research Institute for Self Psychology, where he received certification in 1991. Renshon is the author of many papers and seven books, including High Hopes: The Clinton Presidency and the Politics of Ambition, which won The American Political Scientists Association’s Richard E. Neustadt Award for the best book on the presidency, and the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis’ Gradiva Award for the best biography. He is also the author of The Psychological Assessment of Presidential Candidates, an examination of the issue of psychological suitability in the presidency and how to judge it. His research topic is “Election 2000: Is Character still Relevant?”

The Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy will introduce its Spring 2000 Fellows at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 7 in the Taubman Building (access from Eliot Street), Room 275, at the Kennedy School of Government. The public is invited.