Communication Studies, National Conventions 2012

In fall 2012, SMU students are attending the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, and the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, as part of a political communication studies program in Meadows School of the Arts. They are attending with Professor Rita Kirk, director of the Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility, and Dan Schill, assistant professor of communication studies, who are conducting “Dial Test” research for CNN.

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Speakers’ Corner

An update from Amie at the Democratic National Convention: 

Who would’ve known that downtown Charlotte would temporarily turn into Speakers’ Corner?

Protests show the power of freedom of speech, as I have witnessed them on an SMU study abroad trip to London, as well as this week at the Democratic National Convention. Free speech, in the form of protests that emphasize debate and discussion, are much more prevalent in the United Kingdom than in the United States. Areas such as Hyde Park in London are solely dedicated to the showcasing of all interests, and debate is welcomed and expected.

From women protesting the bank bailouts dressed in pink satin boas and carrying champagne flutes to adolescents passing out brochures on abortion, freedom of speech is in full force this week at the DNC. Every time I see an American conversing with a protestor, my heart warms and takes me back to memories of men and women on platforms in Hyde Park validating and disseminating their beliefs. This week at the DNC has not only exposed me to the inner workings of politics, but has more importantly refreshed my confidence in the American public’s political interest.

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