The Mary Gardner Lecture for 2013 was presented April 18 by guest speaker Dr. Frederico Subervi. Entitled "The News Media Landscape in the U.S. -- New Opportunities for Journalism Professionals," the talk was well-attended by journalism students, faculty and area professionals.
Subervi is a professor and director of the Center for the Study of Latino Media and Markets at the School of Journalism at Texas State University. He has been researching, publishing and teaching on a broad range of issues related to the mass media and ethnic minorities, especially Latinos in the U.S., since the 1980s.
"There's value in learning about the diversity of Latinos in the United States," said Subervi in an interview after the presentation. "And it's not just for people who are Latino, but anybody who will be working almost anywhere in the country that will have to deal with different populations. And I say Latinos, but it's true about almost any other population."
During a week that included the Boston Marathon bombing and a factory explosion in West, Texas, Subervi pointed out the public safety aspect for journalists and communications professionals. "It's for everybody's safety that we want everybody to be informed in any language," he said. "In an emergency communication situation… least informed people can affect the most informed people, by the least informed people not knowing what to do, and then affecting everybody else.
"So you want everybody to be at least adequately informed on what to do. To be adequately informed, the news, the guidance, the instructions, have to be in the languages of the people who are going to be affected by the emergency crisis, the disaster," said Subervi.
Subervi also made the point that today's journalist needs a real understanding of the reach of social media. "It's not just knowing how to tweet. It's knowing which groups are using which tweets, when, where and how. And which groups are using the Internet, which groups are using traditional TV. That complex understanding is not just for the media-placement people in advertising and marketing -- it's also for journalists," he said.
The Mary A. Gardner endowed lecture series was established in 2002 in honor of former MSU Professor Emeritus Mary A. Gardner. Gardner left an indelible mark on journalism and journalism education. In her honor, the School of Journalism, with a gift from El Norte and its publisher, her former student Alejandro Junco, created a fund to support an annual lecture focused on press issues in Latin America.