High School Symposium 2018
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Sep , 20, 8:30 am - 2:00 pm

Armstrong Hall, Colorado College


Understanding Foreign Affairs:  Where Do You Get Your News?

This fall, the Colorado Springs World Affairs Council’s annual all-day symposium for area high school students and teachers will examine the role of media in understanding news about foreign affairs.

The Issues

Never has there been so much information available to almost everyone, and never has it been so difficult to sift the wheat from the chaff, the true from the false, the important from the insignificant, reliable reports from mere rumors, news from propaganda.

Already it is difficult to reach a sound understanding of what is happening in our own country. To grasp the meaning of events in distant places most of us have never seen, conversations and negotiations conducted in languages we do not understand, and cultural issues we have never encountered may be even more problematic.

It is no longer a choice between newspapers and television broadcasts. Cable news, the blogosphere, think-tank reports, free-lance journalists, eye-witness reports and photos, web pages too numerous to count mounted by governments, pressure groups, non-governmental organizations, and individuals—the choices are bewildering.

Where should one start? Can one expect objective, unbiased reporting?  If not, then how does one assess the underlying perspective and its influence on a report? How does one differentiate reporting that aims to be fair and balanced from reporting that seeks to promote a policy position? To what extent can we believe officials of our own government? These are some of the issues we hope to address in this symposium.

Our keynote speaker, T. R. Reid has become one of the nation’s best-known reporters through his books and articles, his documentary films, his reporting for the Washington Post, and his light-hearted commentaries on NPR’s Morning Edition. Reid has reported from four dozen countries on five continents.

The Schedule
  • 8:30                 Welcome and Introductions.
  • 8:45-9:45         Keynote Address: T. R. Reid
  • 10:00-11:00     Panel Discussion
  • 11:15-12:15     Roundtable Discussions
  • 12:30-1:30       Lunch in Rastall Dining Room
  • 1:30 -2:00        Plenary Session: Reports on the roundtable discussions.
How To Register

The CSWAC invites Pikes Peak area high schools to send names of selected students and sponsoring faculty to Nancye Thayer, registrar, at ThayerKH@comcast.net.  Home-schooled students should contact the registrar directly.  Registration for the Symposium closes Friday, September 14.

There is no cost to schools, teachers, or student participants thanks to the generosity of the CSWAC.  We urge schools and teachers to be selective in bringing students.  We reserve the right to limit enrollment to 50 students per school and a total of 400.


Nancye Thayer, ThayerKH@comcast.net, (719) 577-9655, Registrar

Robert Lee, Professor of Political Science, Colorado College, rlee@ColoradoCollege.edu (719) 389-6590

Karen Burghart, Executive Director, Colorado Springs World Affairs Council, Karen@CSWorldAffairs.org  (719) 579-8443.


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