Four Freedoms Forum
Freedom of the Press? American Journalism Today
Thursday, May 25
Free speech and a free press are core American values—imbedded in the Constitution’s First Amendment by our nation’s founders—and the United States has long served as a strong advocate for those principles. In light of recent events, American journalism faces one of its greatest challenges. Join us to discuss the role of the press in our times, and share your thoughts on one of the most compelling issues of our day. This program is free for all visitors.
WAMC Northeast Public Radio
Associate News Director
Jim Levulis was born and raised in Eden, NY, Jim has been WAMC’s Associate News Director since October 2016. Before that he worked as WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief for three years. He previously worked as a reporter, producer and anchor at WAER, an NPR affiliate in Syracuse. He has experience in Top 40 radio and has spent time with NPR-affiliate WBFO and CBS-affiliate WIVB-TV, both in Buffalo. Jim holds a BA in Broadcast Journalism and History from Syracuse University.
Tammy Daniels is editor of iBerkshires.com, an online media source covering the Berkshires and headquartered in North Adams, Mass. Daniels joined the locally owned Internet company after nearly a decade working for New England Newspapers Inc. publications, most recently as managing editor of the North Adams Transcript. Over the past four years, iBerkshires has more than doubled in its reach and launched three new hyperlocals. It offers an alternative source for local news and events and frequently partners with local radio and public access. Its mission is to provide accurate, relevant information as well as to provide a format for citizens to comment and share information. Daniels is a Berkshires native now living over the border in Stamford, Vt., and a graduate of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.
Jennifer Browdy, Ph.D
Associate Professor of Comparative Literature
Bard College at Simon’s Rock
Jennifer Browdy, Ph.D. is an associate professor of comparative literature, gender studies and media studies at Bard College at Simon’s Rock, where she just piloted a new course, “Just the Facts: Media Production and Consumption in the Age of Fake News and Alternative Facts.” Jennifer worked as a reporter and editor for various publications in the Berkshires and New York City, and has written recently for Berkshire Magazine, The Berkshire Edge, Yes! Magazine, Kosmos Journal, and many academic journals and volumes. The founding director of the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers and the Butterfly Leadership Program for teen girls, Jennifer advocates for women of all ages writing and speaking out on the issues they care about. She maintains an active media presence with her blog, Transition Times, devoted to issues of social and environmental justice. Jennifer’s new memoir, What I Forgot …And Why I Remembered: A Journey to Environmental Awareness and Activism Through Purposeful Memoir, is accompanied by her writer’s guide, The Elemental Journey of Purposeful Memoir: A Writer’s Companion, and she offers writing workshops and author coaching for purposeful memoirists. She is the editor of the anthologies Women Writing Resistance in Latin America and the Caribbean (second edition forthcoming in 2017 from Beacon Press); African Women Writing Resistance: Contemporary Voices (University of Wisconsin Press, 2010); and Writing Fire: Celebrating the Power of Women’s Words (Green Fire Press, 2015).
Jenn Smith is an award-winning journalist and community engagement editor, who has been with The Berkshire Eagle since 2004. The Eagle this month is marking a year of great change in its return from corporate to local, independent ownership.
In her field, Smith covers a range of topics, from features to politics, education to entertainment, municipal to social justice issues. She’s reported from The Berkshires to California and Haiti to Pakistan, and has seen firsthand the range of press freedoms and censorship and its effects on public information and democracy.
She grew up in Berkshire County, graduated from Wahconah Regional High School in Dalton and is an alumna of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Smith says she has an unrelenting passion for listening to and sharing people’s stories, and fostering ideas, dialogue and action across social sectors.
Consulting Fellow / Reynolds Journalism Institute
Board Member, Journalism That Matters
Bill Densmore, a consultant and researcher on the future and sustainability of journalism, is an expert on Internet information technologies and business models. He is a consulting fellow to the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI) at the Missouri School of Journalism and director of its Information Trust Exchange project. He is author of the white paper, “From Paper to Persona.”
Densmore Associates provides project and event management services, writing research and market intelligence to companies, universities and individuals concerned with the changing media ecosystem.
In a career spanning news writing, journalism, publishing and entrepreneurship, Densmore has founded two technology companies. Amherst, Mass.-based Clickshare Service Corp. provides user registration, authentication, content access control and transaction services to Internet web content sites and publishers. He is co-founder of Taxonometrics Inc., a New York-based company incubating a news- and information-personalization service called LifeSTream(r) .
He’s a founding member and director of Journalism That Matters, Inc. and also served eight years on the board of the New England Newspaper & Press Association and four years on the board of Shires Media Partnership, Inc. Densmore also served as director/editor of the Media Giraffe Project at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst from 2005-2008. It was an effort to find and spotlight individuals making sustainable, innovative use of media (old and new) to foster participatory democracy and community. He is a member of the editorial advisory board of The Berkshire Eagle.
A career journalist, Densmore has been an editor/writer for The Associated Press in Boston, Chicago and San Francisco and for trade publications in business, law, insurance and information-technology in Boston, Chicago and New York. He co-owned and published the Advocate newsweeklies for the Berkshires/southwestern Vermont, from 1983-1992. He freelanced for general circulation dailies including The Boston Globe and, while in Chicago, for National Public Radio and worked for public-radio stations in Worcester and Amherst while a college student. He has written for ComputerWorld Magazine. In 1994, Densmore formed what became Clickshare Service Corp. Since 1995, he has been quoted and cited in The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and other publications on Internet topics and has lectured on journalism issues at the University of Massachusetts, Williams College, Brandeis University, Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, the Missouri School of Journalism and at numerous conferences. Densmore has also served as advertising director for a small, group-owned daily, editorial director for a chain of central Massachusetts weeklies; and as an interim director of the not-for-profit Hancock Shaker Village, a living-history museum.
Densmore holds a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in environmental policy and communications.