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Host of PBS 'The Open Mind' to speak at UA about civil discourse in digital age

Alexander Heffner to speak Jan. 24 at the University of Akron's Kolbe Hall.

Published: January 19, 2017 11:25 AM
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Akron, OH - The Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at The University of Akron will host journalist and educator Alexander Heffner for a talk on campus Tuesday, Jan. 24. This free event runs from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in Kolbe Hall 51. RSVPs can be made by calling 330-972-5182 or via email at jbolois@uakron.edu.
 
Well known for his recent hosting duties on the public affairs program “The Open Mind” on PBS, Heffner has covered American politics, civic life and Millennials since the 2008 presidential campaign. The theme of Heffner’s presentation is titled “Civil Discourse in the Digital Age: The Path Forward.”
 
“Mr. Heffner’s expertise is particularly valuable these days—we all need to cultivate an open mind,” said Dr. John Green, director of the Bliss Institute. “Heffner’s focus on public policy in connection to a new generation of Americans makes him an ideal envoy for today’s college students.”
 
Heffner was a special correspondent for PBS’s “Need to Know,” chronicling the Millennial vote in 2012. He founded and edited SCOOP08 and SCOOP44, the first-ever national student newspapers covering the 2008 campaign and the Obama administration of President Barack Obama. He also taught a civic education/journalism seminar in New York City public school classrooms.
 
Heffner’s work has appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, Variety, Medium and on NBC News, MSNBC, C-SPAN, CNN, BBC and NY1, among other media outlets. His essays, reviews and op-eds have appeared in TIME, Reuters, RealClearPolitics, NYT’s Room for Debate, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe and The Root, among other publications.
 
“The Open Mind,” an excursion into the world of ideas across politics, media, technology, the arts and all realms of civic life, is the longest-running public broadcast in the history of American television. It premiered in May 1956, founded by Richard D. Heffner, a historian, broadcaster, university professor and Alexander Heffner’s grandfather.
 
The Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics is a bipartisan research and teaching institute dedicated to increasing understanding of the political process with special emphasis on political parties, grassroots activity, and ethical behavior.


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