Journalist Jelani Cobb to discuss ‘The Half-Life of Freedom’


The Wallace House will host a conversation with journalist and scholar Jelani Cobb part of the continuing series “Democracy in Crisis: Views from the Press” and the 2023 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Symposium.

Jelani Cobb
Jelani Cobb

The event, which also features Celeste Watkins-Hayes, interim dean of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, takes place at 6 p.m. Jan. 24 at the Rackham Auditorium. It also will be livestreamed.

Cobb, dean of the Columbia Journalism School and a staff writer for The New Yorker, examines race, the historic challenges to democracy, the impact of the media, and how these inform society.

“As a respected journalist he clearly sees the power of the media and other institutions to illuminate or obfuscate the critical issues we must face honestly to move forward as a society,” said Lynette Clemetson, the Charles R. Eisendrath Director of the Wallace House Center for Journalists.

“We hope this conversation will prompt people to think deeply about their role individually and collectively in protecting and perfecting our democracy.”

Clemetson said the fundamental role of journalism is to investigate, interpret and analyze the forces shaping society, and she expects a lively and engaging discussion that encourages people to think critically about “where we are, how we got here and their role in what may come next.”


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