The day of the event, my friend and I wanted to get there very early. We wanted to make sure that we got seats and were able to see Anita a Sarkeesian as well as the other speakers. I arrived around 10:30 am and, apart from a brief departure later in the day to drop off my heavy bag, I stayed until almost 2:00 pm.
The first speaker who’s entire speech I was able to be there to hear was Dr. Lynn Schofield Clark’s. She spoke heavily of the presence if “whiteness” in our society. She explained just how prevalent it has been.
Dr. Clark discussed the topic of research and how it “has been shaped by whiteness.” This includes “white scholarship” and marginalization. Many who have taken part in the research have skewed it because of their standing and position. She explains that they have predominantly been white and from the “rich western society.”
Further into her speech, Dr. Clark briefly discussed community. I specifically agree with her on this point. She explained the importance of community engagement. She said: “Research shouldn’t just be about knowledge, but moving closer to positive change.” Engaging is a way to do this. Research is such an important part of moving forward and improving society. It is crucial that it is done fairly so that results and opportunities are accurate.
The second speech that I was able to ear in full was given by Dr. Michael K. He focused on transparency in journalism. I found his speech to be one of the most interested and best given. Not only was his speech very good, but his slides were not too wordy. They were useful, engaging, and informative.
He discussed what has made transparency possible today. These causes include digital media, immediacy, and interactivity. What was once expected of journalists is no longer the case. He explained that it was once quality. Today people want the news that is happening now immediately. I find this to be very true. This is even true with myself. For example, back in the day, getting general updates weeks after they happened in the war was once ok. Today, the public wants to know what is happening right now. In my case, I even follow many news companies’ twitter pages so that I can get a notification when something is happening as soon as possible.
Journalists are expected to be transparent to their audience. He pointed out a number of times that today it is “more important to show how we do something than what we do.” The audience needs to be able to see the process. I find this to be true. If there is no transparency, news providers are often seen as different or disconnected.
He also went on to explain some popular transparency tactics. One example he gave was hyperlinks. Using certain features, such as hyper linking, online can show transparency. Hyperlinks connect the audience with more information. The are a way to get to a deeper layer to the story that they are added to. This is why they are a good transparency tool. To sum up, “transparency is a guiding force that influences daily work.”
A third speech that I had the pleasure to see was that of Dr. Anita Sarkeesian. She is another excellent speaker. Her visual aids were also very good. They complimented her speech and were very powerful and informative.
Dr. Sarkeesian began by showing an example of one of her research videos. While it was short, the video conveyed a powerful message. She proceeded to describe the gaming industry’s situations… “Gaming is becoming a more diverse environment.” She revealed that it used to be just for “white, straight males,” but it is now a diverse place with many different people of both sexes. While she seems to be blamed often for the changes in the industry, “no one person is in charge of the cultural change.”
While she discussed the gaming industry, the majority of her speech revealed much of the harassment that she faces every day. It’s incredible how many terrible things are posted about her every day in every online medium… Tweets, videos, photos, etc. She revealed that the harassing mostly comes from those attempting to defend the status quo of the industry. She faces theses things regular illy but still manages to conduct research and make videos on the sexism in the gaming industry.
Written by: Katya Seitz