Watch Now: Newhouse School, Howard University and UVA Deans, Plus blacklist100 Founder Kai Wright Join Media Education Summit

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Media Industry Education Summit Confronts Critical Need for Corporate Alliances with Academia to Build a More Diverse Workforce at All Levels

Marshall McLuhan's "The medium is the message" phrase coined in 1964 has returned to relevance with a vengeance during this pivotal cultural moment in history. Perhaps nowhere will the founder of media ecology's message be more relevant than in the virtual halls of our educational institutions.

On Thursday, August 13 leading media ecologist Jack Myers, founder of MediaVillage and, moderated the next "Leadership Conversation" on the "Future of Education for Media, Marketing, Advertising & Journalism – for Industry Professionals, Educators, Students & Job Seekers," with Dean Gracie Lawson-Borders, Howard University Cathy Hughes School of Communications; Dean Mark Lodato, S.I. Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University; and Andrea Press, Media Studies Department Head, University of Virginia.

Kai Wright, Founder & Curator of blacklist100, will join Myers for a keynote conversation to open the 90-minute live "Media Education Summit."

"As an industry, we have underperformed in every measure of diversity, retention, and nurturing a diverse talent pool in our workforce," says Myers, an education and diversity activist for the media and advertising community who has spent decades researching and reporting on the media, marketing and advertising landscape. "Our growth comes from the engagement and commitment of companies and organizations – past, present and future – willing to invest in education and diversity. MediaVillage has been leading the way as the media industry's driving force for growth for the world's leading companies."

Topics discussed by Wright and the Deans in conversation with Myers include:

  • Recommendations for advancing relevant educational connections and collaboration between the media community and academia;
  • How can we successfully attract diverse new majority talent to media and advertising professions, especially from non-traditional sources;
  • How can academic institutions help feed diverse leaders into senior positions of responsibility in media, advertising and journalism;
  • What are the best models for assuring that diverse students see themselves reflected in the professional ranks of the media community;
  • How can we hold the media, advertising and marketing community responsible for delivering on ambitious talent development goals and what are those goals;
  • What are the realities confronting college students as they enter or return to school and what are the different models being tested;
  • What are college communications, journalism and advertising programs doing to adapt their curriculum to the new realities of the fake news, social media, commercial-free environment.

To quote a section of Wright's introduction of the "blacklist100": "Sorry, but not sorry, this isn't a message of hope; it's a message to stay woke. Because education, representation, and talent development are all critical components to building a healthy work environment & community for all, we cannot allow leaders to stay asleep at the wheel any longer." Wright's journalism has focused on social, racial, and economic justice throughout his career.

Dean Lawson-Borders is a member of the advisory board of, and the editorial board of the International Journal on Media Management. Her book Media Organizations and Convergence: Case Studies of Media Convergence Pioneers focuses on convergence of technologies in media organizations.

Dean Lodato is making his first public appearance since joining the Newhouse School in July from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, where he established partnerships between the school and such major media outlets as NBC News, CBS News, ABC News, Univision, Fox Sports Arizona, Pac-12 Networks, E.W. Scripps Co., TEGNA and Meredith Corporation. Lodato's career in broadcast journalism preceded his academic career, working at network affiliates in Phoenix, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Ft. Myers, Florida, as an investigative reporter, political correspondent, and anchor.

Andrea Press is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Media Studies and Sociology at the University of Virginia, where she founded the Media Studies Program. Professor Press is internationally known for her interdisciplinary scholarship on the media audience, on feminist media issues, and on media and social class in the U.S. She has authored the forthcoming US Media-Ready Feminism and Everyday Sexism and Women Watching Television: Gender, Class and Generation In The American Television Experience.

Jack Myers Leadership Conversations support the MediaVillage Media Industry Advancing Diversity & Economic Relief Fund efforts. Ten organizations were selected as recipients of the Relief Fund by the Advancing Diversity Council, an organization of 45 industry diversity and inclusion leaders focused on advancing diversity from advocacy to activism. The 10 beneficiaries are: 4A's Foundation, ADCOLOR, Advancing Diversity/Mentor's Playlist, American Education Foundation (AEF), AAF AdCamp for High School Students, Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University, International Radio & TV Society Foundation (IRTS), Jacaronda Foundation College Loan Relief, John A. Reisenbach Foundation, and TD Foundation for Children of Wounded Warriors and Fallen Heroes.

For interviews with Jack Myers, who is author of the best-selling 2013 book Hooked Up: A New Generation's Surprising Take on Sex, Politics and Saving the World and recently wrote "The numbers don't lie, diverse workforces make companies more money," for MarketWatch's Opinion page; to learn more about MediaVillage's and's diversity and education programs; or to get a copy of Myers' white paper on "The Case for Education & Diversity as Tools for Business Growth in Marketing & Media," contact

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