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University of Iowa News Release

March 8, 2004

Visiting Scholar To Speak On Value Of Diverse 'Marketplace Of Ideas' March 11

Communication scholar Robert E. Sanders (left) will speak on "How People End Up Empowered in a Marketplace of Ideas," Thursday, March 11 in the annual Orville Hitchcock Lecture sponsored by the communication studies department in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The presentation begins at 7 p.m. in Room 1505, Seaman Center and is free and open to the public.

Sanders, who holds a doctorate in speech from the UI, is a professor of communication at the University at Albany, SUNY. As the national debate continues over recent FCC rulings on media ownership that increase the potential for the media in particular markets to be owned by one, or just a few, companies, Sanders will consider whether a homogeneous information market jeopardizes the democratic ideal of an informed, empowered citizenry. He contends that access to diverse messages is empowering insofar as people have a principled basis for judging among diverse messages on their merits, and his lecture will focus on three methods for formulating such principles.

Sanders has written a book and a number of book chapters and articles on what he refers to as "neo-rhetorical participation in social interaction," which concerns the discursive basis for the influence exerted on people's social conduct by what others say, and in turn the basis for fashioning discourse artfully to achieve such influence. Sanders served as editor of the journal Research on Language and Social Interaction for 10 years, was chair of the Language and Social Interaction Divisions of both the National Communication Association and International Communication Association, and is co-editor of the forthcoming Handbook of Language and Social Interaction.

Orville Hitchcock was a UI faculty member in communication studies for almost 40 years until his death in 1992. He was also involved in public radio and discussion of political social issues via a radio program, "The Town Meeting of the Air" which was moderated out of Chicago. The Hitchcock lecture is devoted to speakers who can do analyses of public issues from a rhetorical perspective.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact the communication studies department at 319-335-0575.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACT(S): Media: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011,