Presented by the Whitman College Office of Communications and the Politics Department
Sponsored by the Robert R. Hosokawa Endowment and a gift in memory of V. Jay Broze '69 made by a classmate
In this lecture, Hedrick Smith poses a challenge to the modern media. Are we failing American democracy by hyping a perpetual news crisis and focusing on crime, scandals and infotainment, but neglecting the deeper trends that alter people’s lives and American society? Based on his new best-seller “Who Stole the American Dream?” Smith describes how America moved over three decades from widely shared prosperity and effective bipartisan politics to paralysis in Washington, gaping financial inequalities, big money politics, and a middle class stuck in a rut. He points to a power shift in Washington and wedge economics as the main causes, then asks: Did we in the media just collect the dots and fail to connect the dots? For a millennial generation, Smith offers ideas on how journalists can restore quality to the American media and how middle class Americans can reclaim the American Dream.
In 2000, an endowed lectureship was established at Whitman College by David and Beverly Hosokawa, and the Hosokawa Family Foundation. A celebration of journalistic excellence, the lectureship honors Robert R. Hosokawa '40, a lifelong journalist and professor of journalism, by bringing a noted journalist to campus. The endowment also established the Hosokawa Prize to be awarded each year in recognition of outstanding achievement and excellence as demonstrated by student journalists and photojournalists of The Pioneer, Whitman's student newspaper.