Trustees discuss Media & Politics

On Friday, April 24, the Board of Trustees and SGA hosted a discussion in Diamond focused on media, politics and popular culture. Students, faculty, staff and trustees gathered to listen to Colby trustees Robert Hoopes Jr. ’89 and Betsy Lake Morgan ’90 discuss their views and experiences during a question and answer session. SGA President Justin Deckert ’15 and Vice President Michael Loginoff ’16 facilitated the discussion, and those in attendance were encouraged to participate and ask questions.

“Over the past year, many students have pushed to have more opportunities to engage with Colby’s Trustees,” Loginoff wrote in an SGA Official Notice to the Colby community. Along with other previous events, such as the “Pop the Balloons” forum, the media event was organized in an effort to meet these requests.
Students certainly took advantage of the opportunity. They filled the room and came prepared with many questions for Hoopes and Morgan.

Hoopes is the President of VOX Global, a bipartisan strategic advocacy firm based in Washington D.C. He also also served as Joe Biden’s chief of staff at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. During the event he discussed political communications strategy as it relates to the media and pop culture.

Morgan is the Chief executive officer of TheBlaze, a leading multimedia news and information network, and was formerly the CEO of the Huffington Post. She explained how media outlets have utilized new technology to rapidly share information and how political campaigns strategically use social media to target audiences.

Although the role of new media technologies in transforming communication was emphasized throughout the talk, Hoopes also highlighted the importance of a campaign having an interesting message, regardless of its mode of communication. “The human capacity to communicate ideas in a compelling way remains unchanged,” Hoopes said.

As a professional who has worked for networks on both the left and right side of the political spectrum, Morgan noted the importance of understanding conflicting view points. “I hope the pendulum is swinging back to [people saying] ‘I want to hear both sides of the argument,” Morgan said.

To further encourage discussion, the event concluded with an informal reception in the Diamond Atrium, where students were able to ask Hoopes and Morgan any remaining questions.
The event proved itself as an opportunity for students to learn from and engage with Colby alumni and trustees. SGA will continue hosting similar events to facilitate more conversation in the future.

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