Mar 17, 2014
07:52 AM
Arts & Entertainment

Connecticut Library Scores Speakers Like Tom Brokaw, AOL's David Shing

Connecticut Library Scores Speakers Like Tom Brokaw, AOL's David Shing

Karen Bleier/Getty Images

Former NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw, author of the blockbuster book “The Greatest Generation,” speaks November 3, 2011 at the Natioanl Press Club in Washington, DC.

In recent years one of the most-anticipated events of the spring season in western Connecticut has been the Kent Memorial Library’s Spring Lecture Series. Adopting an overarching theme each year, the series has explored such weighty topics as the U.S. Supreme Court, the current role of Russia in the world, the American Presidency and the new military. Guest speakers have included such luminaries as retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, presidential scholar Douglas Brinkley, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edmund Morris and former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and Colin Powell.

This year, the lecture series topic is no less thought-provoking, looking at “The Impact of the Media on Our Lives.” The first political convention covered by network TV was the nomination of Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952. The first cable TV station began broadcasting in 1948. Since this broadcast, cable TV has made it possible to appeal to narrower audiences, offering 24/7 service. Facebook, launched in 2004 and Twitter in 2006, have created another revolution in the communication of social and political attitudes and opinions.

The library’s guest speakers are slated to be former news anchor Tom Brokaw, AOL’s digital prophet David Shing and Gary Ross, a Department of Homeland Security special agent and author of “Who Watches The Watchmen.” (David Shing, left attends the NewsCred Content Marketing Summit 2013 at The New Museum on September 18, 2013 in New York City; photo by Mike Pont/Getty Images.)

“I feel like the media is expanding its influence over our lives and we want to explore if that is really happening,” said Ken Cooper, president of the Kent Library Association’s board of directors. “For example, is the political process driving media or is the media driving the political process? How is all this social media impacting our day-to-day relationships? And, of course, there is the whole issue of national security and privacy—that’s another aspect of the media issue that is very much on everyone’s minds.” (Right, Gary Ross.)

Mr. Cooper said the library was very fortunate to be able to get Mr. Brokaw, a long-time resident of Cornwall. “Tom Brokaw was there at the dawn of TV coverage of politics and has watched how the media has changed with the political process,” he said.

He said the library was equally lucky to get Mr. Shing. “David Shing is not only the digital prophet at AOL, but also a real visionary,” he said. “This is his subject and people consult with him from all over the world about how to use social media effectively and the future direction it is likely to take. If you are a young person and this is something you are really into, you will enjoy David Shing. If you are not young and are mystified about what your children and grandchildren are doing, you will also want to hear him speak.”

Mr. Brokaw will headline the series discussing “The Influence of the Media on our Political Process” on Sunday, May 4, at 5 p.m. at Mattison Auditorium, Kent School, 1 Macedonia Road.

Mr. Brokaw is best known as the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News from 1982 to 2004. He is the author of “The Greatest Generation” (1998) and other books and the recipient of numerous awards and honors. He is the only person to host all three major NBC News programs: The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, and, briefly, Meet the Press. He now serves as a special correspondent for NBC News and works on documentaries for other outlets.

Mr. Shing will present the “Impact of the Media on our Social Connections” on Sunday, June 8 at 2 p.m. at Kent Town Hall, 41 Kent Green Blvd.

Mr. Shing not only directs marketing for AOL, but lectures on the digital landscape. His blog Shingerview is followed around the world and he has been a featured speaker at the digital equivalent of Davos World Economic Forum, Cannes Lions. He regularly speaks at conferences across the globe, discussing the latest trends and the future of the web, providing his insight on the evolving digital landscape and where he believes it is headed in the future. He was a hit at Cannes Lions 2013 in Cannes, France. The entire festival was dedicated to digital creativity.

Mr. Ross will speak on “Balancing Our National Security with Freedom of the Press” on Sunday, July 27, at 2:00 p.m. at Kent Town Hall, 41 Kent Green Blvd.

See the full story online at The Litchfield County Times.

 

Connecticut Library Scores Speakers Like Tom Brokaw, AOL's David Shing

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