Fifty Years Later: The Kerner Report

March 1, 2018 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Knight Conference Center
555 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Fifty Years Later: The Kerner Report @ Knight Conference Center | Washington | District of Columbia | United States

Join us for a discussion about diversity in today’s news media and how the media covers communities of color, fifty years after the publication of the Kerner Report. In 1968, the “Kerner Commission” — officially the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders — reported to the nation that it had found “a press that repeatedly, if unconsciously, reflects the biases, the paternalism, the indifference of white America.” What has changed since the report was published, and what change is needed still, in the view of veteran reporters and younger journalists?


  • Lynne Adrine, director of the Washington Program for Broadcast and Digital Journalism for the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Adrine was a senior producer at ABC News in Washington for 16 years and has worked at CNN, The MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour, NBC News and CBS News.
  • Thomas J. Hrach, associate professor in the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media at the University of Memphis and author of “The Riot Report and the News: How the Kerner Commission Changed Media Coverage of Black America.” Hrach has previously taught at Ohio University where he received his doctorate degree. Prior to his academic career, he was a reporter and editor at The Marietta Times in Marietta, Ohio.
  • Francisco Vara-Orta, writer for Education Week, a vice president of the Education Writers Association and former president of the San Antonio Association of Hispanic Journalists. He also is a graduate of the Newseum Institute’s Chips Quinn Scholars program, aimed at improving diversity and inclusiveness in the nation’s newsrooms.
  • Tracy Jan, reporter for The Washington Post. Tracy covers the intersection of race and economy for the Post. She previously was a national political reporter for The Boston Globe, where she had also written about health and science policy, higher education, and the Boston Public Schools. She’s reported for The Oregonian, and was a Knight Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan as well as a Fulbright Fellow in Taiwan.


  • Richard Prince, journalist and author of “Journal-isms,” the nation’s premier online journal about media and diversity
  • Gene Policinski, president of the Newseum Institute and co-author of the nationally published column “Inside the First Amendment”

Presented by “Journal-isms,” the Chips Quinn Scholars program of the Newseum Institute, and the Journal-isms Roundtable.

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