Rutgers SPAA Hosts Third Annual Conference on Media and Democratic Governance

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Keynote speaker is Ukrainian Ambassador to the United Nations, Yuriy Sergeyev

Third Annual Media and Democratic Governance Conference Is “Seeing Through the Spin: Sorting Fact from Fiction in Public Information,”
Friday, April 11, 2014 – Rutgers University-Newark

Current controversies from Bridgegate to Ukraine are on the agenda for a conference being hosted next month by the School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) at Rutgers University-Newark. The conference seeks to improve governance by improving the public’s access to accurate information.

The conference topic, “Seeing Through the Spin: Sorting Fact from Fiction in Public Information” will address the “Bridgegate” scandal and its impact on government transparency; the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s present state and where its future lies; the crisis in the Crimea; and other international events covered by the media.

The keynote speaker will be Yuriy Sergeyev, Ukrainian Ambassador to the United Nations since May 2007. Sergeyev was Ambassador to France from 2003 to 2007 during which time he was also Permanent Representative to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Between 2001 and 2003, he was Secretary of State at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, a position he held after having served five months in 2001 as First Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs. From 2000 to 2001, he was Director-General for Foreign Policy in the Administration of the President of Ukraine.

Also speaking will be Richard Brodsky, a former 14-term New York State Assemblyman from Westchester. Brodsky currently is a Senior Fellow at Demos, a public policy organization that researches, advocates, and litigates for progressive issues. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Wagner School of Public Affairs at New York University. As Chairman of the Assembly Committee on Corporations, Authorities, and Commissions, he authored the historic 2009 Public Authorities Reform Act, a sweeping reform of all of New York’s 700 authorities and the most significant reform of the New York State government in decades. He has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Fox Business News and other media.

In addition to these two dynamic speakers, the conference will host three panels of distinguished guests from the press, the legal system, advocacy organizations and academia, who will discuss the issues concerning press coverage and public affairs and sorting fact from spin.

Rutgers SPAA Dean Marc Holzer, announcing the conference, said, “In a democratic society, the media are a critical link between people and their government. An effective news corps that probes and questions what government does builds accountability. Helping the media to do a better job is a central part of SPAA’s mission.”

The conference is being organized in collaboration with The Center for Media and Peace Initiatives and The Society of Professional Journalists (NJ Chapter). It will be held Friday, April 11, 2014 at Rutgers University-Newark. It is free and open to the general public, but registration is requested. It will take place at The School of Public Affairs and Administration, Rutgers University-Newark at the Center for Urban and Public Service, 111 Washington Street, Newark from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm.

For more information, including registration and the program, visit:

Rutgers University-Newark School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA)

Ranked 7th nationally by U.S. News & World Report, the School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) at Rutgers University-Newark educates and motivates students to choose careers in public service and administration through its innovative and comprehensive undergraduate (BA), Master of Public Administration (MPA), Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA), PhD, and professional and graduate certificate programs. The school’s faculty generates knowledge and best practices in public service and administration, and collaborates with public and nonprofit sector organizations and professionals throughout the U.S. and the world. Guided by the principles of knowledge, competence, diversity, and service – with an emphasis on public service values and competencies for effective performance – SPAA promotes accountability, transparency, and performance in the public and nonprofit sectors.

MEDIA CONTACT: Michael Gershowitz, PhD
School of Public Affairs and Administration, Rutgers University-Newark or 973-353-3703