Adam Hochberg

Photo courtesy of: Honors Tutorial College

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Ellery Golos Lecture to examine social media

Adam Hochberg, a 1985 Honors Tutorial College graduate, plans to share his media expertise with alumni and students this weekend as part of the HTC 40th anniversary reunion.

Drawing from his experience reporting for NPR, working with the prestigious Poynter Institute and teaching at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Hochberg will speak about social media and its challenges for both mainstream news consumers and journalists. He said that we have come a long way from the days of television news anchor Walter Cronkite. Now, news consumers consult many venues that often conflict with one another.

“One of the things I do miss about the old era is at least when all of us came together to watch one of the three nightly newscasts, there was a commonality. At least we all saw the same facts,” he said.

Hochberg will also address the challenges for journalists, who deal with ethical conflicts from the news production perspective. He covers such concerns in his weekly column for the Poynter Institute’s website. His column discusses various social media, which can include well-known names like Facebook and Twitter, but also blogger networks, sections of mainstream media sites and the like.

“We have a pretty broad definition of social media,” he said. “Anything that’s interactive and participatory would count.”

In his career, Hochberg “backed into” journalism, studying broadcast management at Ohio University and then radio, TV and motion pictures at UNC-CH. He was always interested in radio and considered himself an aspiring radio programmer. Following the job market led him to a position in Raleigh, North Carolina as a southern correspondent for NPR, which he held for 15 years.

When asked about giving a speech targeted to two generations of news consumers and journalists—alumni and students—Hochberg stressed that the two groups don’t necessarily get news so differently anymore.

“It’s not like the older generation gets its news from smoke signals,” he said. “They are actually the fastest growing group on social media.”

Hochberg said that he is looking forward to speaking at the reunion. His Ellery Golos Lecture will be held in the Common Room of 35 Park Place on April 13 from 5 to 6 p.m.