MIDDLEBURY, Vt.- The Middlebury College Language Schools will host the “Symposium on Terrorism and Mass Media” on Sunday, July 30, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. The one-day event is open to the public and free of charge.

The panel of international speakers includes journalists, current and former faculty and students from Language Schools, and political strategists. The speakers will present various perspectives on issues surrounding terrorism and the role of mass media, from polarized messaging to the politics of terror, followed by a brief period for open discussion.

All lectures and discussions will be in English, and will take place in the library of the Robert A. Jones ‘59 House, located on Hillcrest Road off College Street (Route 125). No registration is required.

“As world peace, stability and intercultural dialogues are under siege, no place other than the intensive Middlebury College Language Schools could offer a better setting to discuss from different cultural prospective the effect of media on shaping public opinion,” said Italian School Director Antonio Vitti, who is one of the organizers of the symposium.

To follow is a schedule of events:

Sunday, July 30, 8:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Robert A. Jones ‘59 House Library

8:30 a.m.
Welcome and Introduction

Michael E. Geisler, Middlebury College Dean of Language Schools and Schools Abroad and Middlebury College Professor of German.

9 a.m.
The Role of Arab Media in Shaping the Public Opinion
Mahmoud Abdalla, director of the Arabic School and assistant professor and coordinator of the Arabic language program in the Wayne State University Department of Near Eastern and Asian Studies. Open discussion to follow.

10 a.m.
Terrorism and Media: The End of Neutrality?

Beppe Severgnini, a writer and journalist for Italy’s Il Corriere della Sera and Artist-in-Residence in the Italian School. Open discussion to follow.

11 a.m.
Is Terrorism Challenging Press Freedom?

Pierre-François Mourrier, director of research for the Office of the French President, and a guest of the French School. Open discussion to follow.

12 p.m.
The Politics of Terror
Douglas Birch, Moscow correspondent for the Baltimore Sun who has also covered Afghanistan and Iraq. Birch is a guest of the Russian School, which he attended in 2001. Open discussion to follow.

1-2 p.m. Break

2:30 p.m.
Media and the Global War on Terrorism

Don Gentile, deputy chief of the International Terrorism Group at the National Counterterrorism Center in Washington D.C. Gentile is a guest of the Spanish School, from which he earned a master’s in 1975. Open discussion to follow.

3:30 p.m.
The Media’s Role in Promoting or Fighting Terrorism

Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed, an Arab journalist affiliated with Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper and Al-Arabiyya TV, and a guest of the Arabic School. Open discussion to follow.

4:30 p.m.
Marketing Fear
Vittorio Zucconi, a writer, Washington correspondent for Italy’s La República, and guest of the Italian School.

5:15-6:00 p.m. Final discussion

All events are free and open to the public, and the lectures will be given in English. For more information contact the Middlebury College Language Schools at 802-443-5510.