November 28, 2015

Meet the new CJN Professor: Steve Harvey


Have you met the new CJN professor Steve Harvey? For students who want a career in journalism, he is someone they should definitely get to know. Harvey is a new broadcast journalism professor at Suffolk University and helps Communication and Journalism students produce shows at the 73 Tremont television studio. Harvey is not only a professor – he spent 35 years working as a television photojournalist and investigative reporter. He looks forward to achieving many things at Suffolk, but most importantly he wants to help the next generation of students become great.

Harvey spent 31 years as a TV News photojournalist for WBNS TV in Columbus, Ohio. His role as a photojournalist was a mix of news production, camera shooting, and interviewing. When he was asked about some of the significant stories he reported, he said: “Every day was significant. Every story mattered because each story affects people.”

Harvey has a passion for journalism. He does not do it for acclaim or awards, even though he did win four Emmys. “I did not chase awards. Many times I forgot to submit myself for the awards,” he said. One of his Emmys is even on display in his Suffolk office. That particular Emmy was won for a half-hour documentary called “Tip of the Spear.” During the Vietnam War, the media were able to report freely and the U.S. military blamed media for creating chaos. Therefore, the military did not allow the U.S. media to be embedded during the first Persian Gulf War. During the second Gulf War, the U.S. military made an exception to that rule and allowed Harvey and his crew to land on the aircraft carrier USS George Washington. He and his team were the first reporters allowed to embed with the U.S. military in the Persian Gulf. “I got to land on an aircraft. It was a riot,” Harvey said laughing. Because of those stories, and live broadcasts, the U.S. military began allowing U.S. media to embed with their units in the Gulf War Zone.

Not only has Harvey won Emmy’s, he also won a couple of Edward R. Murrow Awards. The award is named after one of the pioneers of American journalism and is a very prestigious award in television. One of the Edward R. Murrow awards was for doing an investigative report about the Air Force B1 bomber. In the late 70’s, when the U.S. Air Force wanted to create a high-speed stealth bomber, it hired the company Rockwell International to build it. Unfortunately, Rockwell discovered the quicker it built the bomber, the more money it made. Harvey did an investigation to prove that the building of this bomber was rushed and therefore, built poorly. Eventually, Harvey got a hold of documents that proved that the bombers were not built properly. “Some of the documents we got our hands on were a federal offense to have,” Harvey admitted. “We went and gave them to Ohio Senator John Glenn. He could have thrown us in prison, but he knew we were right,” he said. The Pentagon was not a fan of him after that though. Because of him they had to spend $500 million to fix the fleet planes. Harvey proves that if one wants to pursue a career in investigation journalism, he or she must have a lot of nerve to be able to get out the truth.

After an exciting 31 years at WBNS, Harvey became a professor at Kansas State University. When asked how he likes teaching in Boston now, he said it is a blast. “ The inner mix of walking through a community and there being all this diversity. There are people speaking different languages, senators, congressmen, and college students all walking down the same sidewalk. The opportunities here are phenomenal.”

Harvey plans to use his many years of experience to help the students at Suffolk achieve their dreams. “I want to contribute to the next generation of journalists,” Harvey said. “ I want to help them create opportunities to have successful careers and give them the tools to get the jobs of their dreams.”IMG_2376

As for advice for any aspiring journalists Harvey said, “There are 1,000 people out there who will tell you that you can’t. Spit in their eye and go chase your dream anyway.” While journalism is a lot of hard work, he said, it is worth it in the end if you have a passion for it. “It’s a blast being a journalist. Your worst day and your best day are almost the same day.”

If you haven’t met Professor Harvey yet, you’re encouraged to do so for career advice or just to hear some of his stories. For example, ask him about the time he covered the longest prison riot in U.S. history for 20 hours a day for seven straight days and then hopped on a plane to run the Boston Marathon immediately afterward. Professor Harvey definitely has plenty of knowledge and stories to share that will inspire students to chase their passions.


The Discussion: Religion & Satire

The Role of Social Media in Religion & Satire

Author: Taylor Cole

On Wednesday night, an eclectic panel met at Suffolk University’s Sargent Hall to address a topic that is often buzzed about, but not discussed in depth. “Religion and Satire: Is Anything Sacred?” opened the dialogue to speculate if there is a limit to which the media should respect. There were four panelists, each with their own proposals.


The discussion began on legal terms. Jay Wexler, professor of law at Boston University, applied the first amendment to the matter. Whereas the constitution gave anyone the right to speak as they choose, Wexler suggested that we have a certain responsibility to respect one another. He mentioned that today’s media has magnified our ability to wound with our speech, alluding to the pressure that social media has created.

Joan Vennochi, associate editor of the Boston Globe, contested this solution. While she also recognized social media as an aggressor in terms of setting the bar for what is acceptable, Vennochi believes that it does not matter so much as what gatekeepers allow to filter through the mainstream media. Instead, she insists that “pretending (these issues) aren’t there doesn’t help the cause.” Vennochi stated that we should use the plethora of media as a platform to educate what is in good taste. Contrary to Wexler, she held still to the “right to be disrespectful,” stressing that there is more to benefit from allowing all viewpoints.

Jytte Klausen offered a global, and for some, troubling perspective. On the same page as Vennochi, Klausen is an adamant supporter of freedom of expression. Noting that censorship makes it difficult to talk about powerful influences, Klausen had a point that censorship can easily lead to ignorance among consumers. In turn, Klausen supported a model that is free of censorship, and actively studies the effects of some powerful religious influences.

Nadeem Mazen, Cambridge City Councillor, is hopeful that we will set a floor and ceiling for certain human rights issues. As many noted, Muslims are particularly vulnerable to be targeted by satirical media. Mazen offered that we have much to learn from the discussion that comes from the aftermath of trauma through a controversial media. While he agrees “censorship is inherently a slippery slope,” he admits that there are particular sensitivities that should be respected.

In sum, there was an agreement that while we reserve the right to speak freely, it is important to be sensitive to the differences between us. Media has indeed faced us with a challenge of what is tasteful, but as shown by the panel and the discussion with the public, there is no common agreement on exactly what that is.

The Discussion: Religion & Satire

               Religion and Satire Discussion: A Great Opportunity to Understand Different Points of Views

Author: Maria Rodriguez Davila

“Religion and Satire” was a provocative discussion that proved the tension between religious sensitivity and satire. A very attentive audience almost filled the 50 chairs in Sargent Hall at the Suffolk University Law School n October 21.


People were still coming into the room during the event, as the audience was very engaged during the entire discussion. The audience didn’t miss anything of the hot debate while they were taking notes and listening to the speakers. The discussion consisted in bringing different backgrounds and perspectives to the challenge of accommodating both freedom of speech and religion. Questions and comments section at the end of the program provided the audience the opportunity of interacting with speakers and give their opinion about the discussed topic. The atmosphere during the entire discussion was quite serious and respectful. Each speaker was notable prepared. There were five speakers and each of them gave their own point of view and perspective about the topic.

One of the speakers, Joan Vennochi is the associate editor of Boston Globe. She has covered national and Massachusetts’s politics for the Globe. She also writes regularly about national and local politics, and also covers issues relating to business, law and culture. During the discussion, she talked about the Internet as an influence in today’s media. After stating some of her arguments, she concluded how cartoons need to be published no matter if they are offensive to people because she believes in free speech.

There is no doubt Religion and Satire was an interesting diverse discussion with freedom of expression in which people expressed what they think about the topic.  The audience exchanged and discussed different points of view. There were many reasonable points of view. Each of them was different but all of them were valid. The audience showed a lot of interest and respect to every single argument. At the end of the discussion the audience stayed to enjoy some beverages and snacks.

The Discussion: Religion & Satire

Religion & Satire- An Evening of Debate

Author: Hannah Duhaime

Suffolk University Law School hosted the event ‘Religion & Satire- Is Anything Sacred?’ on Wednesday, October 21, 2015. In Sargent Hall a small assortment of students, professors, and professionals gathered to listen to the topic of the evening. Promising a provocative discussion of the tensions, which exist between religious sensitivity and satire, the panel of speakers did not disappoint.


The panelists consisted of a diverse group including professor and author Jytte Klausen, journalist Joan Vennochi, law professor Jay Wexler, and Cambridge City Council Member Nadeem Mazen. Each panelist brought a unique perspective to the primary question of the evening – should the Charlie Hebdo cartoons have been censored in the United States? Despite differing backgrounds, all panelists came to the agreement that censorship was never the correct solution to media problems.

As Klausen, the most ardent of the group, assuredly stated: “Censorship makes us stupid.” Her passion can likely be attributed to personal experience as her own book, “The Cartoons that Shook the World”, which was censored by Yale University. Nonetheless, this experience allowed her to speak confidently as she eagerly engaged in debate, most notably with fellow panelist Nadeem Mazen. Although both agreed on the damaging qualities of censorship overall, they had different viewpoints on the history of the Muslim religion and the causes and nature of violence in the Middle East in relation to the cartoons which led to an impassioned clashing of ideals. As the debate garnered some heat, as often happens, Jay Wexler brought a calmer, more analytical perspective. Wexler, a self-proclaimed satirist, managed to bring humor to an otherwise tense subject by responding candidly and making appropriate jokes gaining a positive response from the audience. Joan Vennochi contributed by expressing her position from the journalistic viewpoint, elaborating on the role of the media in being the “gatekeepers” of information. This led to interesting discussion on the role and responsibilities of the media to deliver information to the public and provide an educational platform for listeners to learn about today’s events.

Throughout the night, each panelist provided insight into the issue of Religion & Satire in regards to their own professional viewpoint. While this limited the depth of possible discussion, in the time frame allotted a greater understanding of the subject, which was achieved by the audience. And, at the end of the event, an overall positive consensus could be noted. With strong opinions and insightful commentary, the panelists provided a thought-provoking discussion on religion, censorship, and the state of media today.

Information for Spring 2016 Advising


Advising for SPRING COURSE SELECTION begins on October 19.

The week of October 19-23, the CJN advisors will be available for appointments during their regularly scheduled office hours.

OCTOBER 26-30 & NOVEMBER 2-6, we will have advising appointments available 5 days a week.  Sign-up sheets for advising/scheduling appointments will be posted in SOMERSET on the 4th floor.  Dr. Geisler will also have hours posted in RIDGEWAY on the 4th floor for those of  you who would prefer Ridgeway.

You may see ANY of the CJN advisors for assistance in selecting your courses.

QUESTIONS:   Contact  the DIRECTOR OF CJN ADVISING:  Dr. Vicki Karns (for the duration of advising, Dr. Karns will be located in Somerset 414E)

When you come to your advising appointment, PLEASE remember to bring a copy of your program evaluation.

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