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Warning that "sound bite" information from the media is inadvertently accepted by the public, Annenberg School Dean Kathleen Hall Jamieson addressed about 200 members of the newly founded Phi Beta Delta honor fraternity last week at the University Museum. In her one-hour speech, she showed a video compilation entitled "Tele-diplomacy: The Dictator, Democracy, and the Grammar of News." The videotape demonstrates how the media process information through a "filter" which Jamieson said presents a distorted view to the public. "Filtered news is destructive of any useful dialogue," she cautioned. The video also asserts that the media portray Saddam Hussein as a tyrant. Calling the news media the "custodian of the narrative," Jamieson showed unedited clips and compared them to edited versions aired on national news networks. The unfiltered, unedited international news that Jamieson is looking for will become more accessible in the future at the University. The Annenberg School for Communication will soon receive 24-hour-a-day news information from countries around the world, once the administration completes its plans to install satellite dishes next spring. "For the first time, we now have the capability to see news unedited, and there will be no need to see U.S. filtered news any longer," Jamieson said. The Annenberg dean also said the public learns through "sound bites" -- short quotes in news broadcasts. She said "most people get political exposure inadvertently" through processed and edited information. She added that even in education, sound bites play a major role, saying that "we are sound-biting what we teach at the University." Jamieson also cited college admissions processes as relying on sound bites like the Scholastic Aptitude Test which provides "a quick reward for a high level of thinking." Members of the new "Honor Society of International Scholars" praised and supported Jamieson's views. "The presentation was outstanding because it tied together the ideas of the international community," College senior Jason MacLean said. "Telediplomacy is an example of the kind of dialogue we want to get through the chapter," said chapter member and Office of International Programs Director Joyce Randolph. "We want to work towards valuable connections between the University and the world." And College Junior Sheile Ghosh lauded Jamieson for her presentation. "It is my opinion that her goal for the next few years should be to make this topic of discussion among those students and faculty who have an acquaintance with the international news media," she said.

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