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Social Media Week 2021 – Tuesday

UTSMW Kick Off

9:50-11:05 a.m.

#UTMSW21 will kick off at 9:50 a.m. and feature a welcome video from UTK Chancellor Donde Plowman, opening remarks from UT System President Randy Boyd and declarations of UTSMW in Knoxville and Knox County. A wonderful session will follow titled:

The Walking Dead: Journalists in a Social Media World

As news consumption moves away from traditional media to social media, the financial viability of traditional journalism, especially in local newspapers, reduces both the number of independent media outlets and the number of those employed as full-time journalists. Media consolidation also contributes to this phenomenon.

These trends have serious long-term consequences for journalism, and to the vital role that journalists play in informing an engaged citizenry. What are the implications of a nation where social media are the primary outlets for news distribution, and how can journalists respond to preserving traditional journalism values in this new reality?

Moderator: Dr. Mark Harmon

Panelists: Dr. Rick Ducey, Dr. Joy Jenkins, and Mr. Ray Suarez

Social Media: Gatekeepers or GateSleepers?

1:10-2:25 p.m.


With a handful of dominant social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, these platforms currently have no legal responsibility for the content they carry. A 1996 law, still in effect, has enabled them to grow without any limitations on the content that they transmit.

Both political parties now are calling for this law to be repealed or modified, so that these social media platforms will be subject to greater regulatory scrutiny for who and what they allow online.  This could dramatically change the nature of these platforms, and the larger experience of social media. Social media platforms would be treated as editors, with accompanying legal liability for matters such as defamation. What are the benefits and drawbacks of revising the law to fundamentally redefine how social media operates?

Moderator: Professor Stuart Brotman

Panelists: Professor Rob Frieden, Ms. Jamie Susskind, and Mr. Jon Adame

Pioneers in Sports Communication

6:00-7:00 p.m.

The field of sports communication, both within the journalism and public relations/advertising professions, has long been a male dominated profession, from play-by-play announcers to heads of sports information within organizations. However, some women have begun to break through this glass ceiling, and have paved the way for more women to balance the gender discrepancies that exist at nearly every level of sports communication. The current panel consists of those pioneers who are paving the way for future female representation in sports communication. Discussion will focus on how social media platforms can make it easier, or more difficult, for more women to enter this profession.

Moderator: Dr. Guy Harrison

Panelists: Jessica Mendoza, Beth Mowins, and Erin Exum