National Ethics Conference Focuses on Entertainment Journalism at Ninth Workshop

Industry experts will discuss topics such as Privacy vs. Adoration; Access to Celebrities; How to Get a Job in Entertainment Media; Stalking and Paparazzi; and Dealing with Publicity and Press Agents

Celebrities are followed by the paparazzi, have minimal privacy and are constantly in the public eye, yet they still want and need fans and attention. That attention, in the form of entertainment media ethics, is the focus of this year’s Poynter Kent State Media Ethics Workshop, “That’s Entertainment?” The ninth annual event will take place at Kent State University’s Franklin Hall on Thursday, Sept. 19.

“We picked entertainment ethics because there’s so much entertainment and celebrity journalism available in all media, whether it’s TV, online, magazines or newspapers, including tabloids,” said Jan Leach, workshop organizer and associate professor in Kent State’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. “There’s so much spin from publicity departments, movie studios and elsewhere. The news is often part truth and part rumor, but consumers may not know how to distinguish between them. There are so many responsibilities for entertainment journalists.”

Additional workshop speakers, in addition to Kelly McBride and Ellyn Angelotti of the Poynter Institute include:

  • Mark Avsec– Keynote speaker. Entertainment lawyer, professor and former performer and song writer of the funk-rock band Wild Cherry.
  • Glenn Gamboa – Newsday’s chief pop music critic. Gamboa headed the paper’s team chronicling the impact of hip-hop in America, a project that was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2005.
  • Nekesa Moody– Entertainment Editor for the Associated Press.
  • Todd Mesek – Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
  • Jack Breslin– Associate Professor at Iona College in New York. Breslin did publicity for “Late Night With David Letterman” and worked on “America’s Most Wanted” for Fox.
  • Bill Frakes – Photographer for Sports Illustrated.
  • Kyle Michael Miller – Social media producer for the 4th hour of NBC’s Today Show and Kent State University School of Journalism and Mass Communication alumnus.
  • Brittany Moseley– Associate Editor of Alternative Press, which is known for breaking news on musical artists like Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fall Out Boy and others. Moseley is also a Kent State University School of Journalism and Mass Communication alumna.
  • Matthew Parrish–Attorney with Calfee, Halter and Griswold in Cincinnati, Ohio, and a Kent State University political science and Honors College alumnus. Parrish represents musicians, writers, performers and filmmakers and was named “2012 Leading Entertainment Lawyer” in Newsweek magazine.
  • Gene Shelton– School of Journalism and Mass Communication Associate Professor and former writer and publicist for Motown Records. Shelton also worked at CBS Records, Columbia and Epic. At Epic, Shelton was Michael Jackson’s press agent and wrote the biography for the multi-platinum LP Off The Wall.
  • George Thomas – Sportswriter for the Akron Beacon Journal.
  • Katy Coduto – Kent State journalism student who writes for London-based Hi! Magazine.
  • Wendy Wyatt – Associate Professor and chair of the Department of Communication and Journalism at St. Thomas University in Minnesota. Wyatt is the author of The Ethics of Reality TV: A Philosophical Examination (Continuum, 2012).

Other speakers and special guests will be announced soon.

Topics will include:

The New Ethics of Journalism

  • Privacy vs. Adoration: Celebrity News as Journalism? Gossip? Both or neither?
  • Great Expectations: Who Gets Access to Celebrities and How?
  • So You Want to Walk the Red Carpet? – Getting a Job in Entertainment Media
  • Act 2: Getting the story and vetting the story: Paparazzi, stalking, ambush interviews, social media.
  • Encore: Agents, publicists, legal reps


Detailed information:

What: Ninth annual Poynter Kent State Media Ethics Workshop, “That’s Entertainment?” focuses on entertainment ethics

When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013

Where: FirstEnergy Auditorium in Franklin Hall, 550 Hilltop Dr., Kent State University

Cost: $25 for media and public relations professionals, $20 for educators and FREE for students

Event website for details and registration:

Twitter: #ksuethics2013