Panelists discuss celebrity privacy rights, job opportunities at Poynter Ethics Workshop 2013

Matt Parrish, an attorney who has represented musicians, writers, performers, filmmakers and their management on entertainment law issues, participates in a panel discussion about agents, publicists and legal representatives at the 2013 Poynter Kent State Ethics Workshop Sept. 19, 2013. Photo by Rachael Le Goubin.

Alexandra Taylor

The Twittersphere boomed yesterday during the 2013 Poynter Kent State Media Ethics Workshop, “That’s Entertainment!”

Jan Leach, an associate journalism professor created the workshop in 2004 to better educate Kent State students and media professionals about the importance of ethics in the media industry.

Moderators Ellyn Angelotti and Kelly McBride from the Poynter Institute set the mood for the workshop with a highly applauded opening speech relating to recent events in entertainment media.

The controversy of Miley Cyrus’ MTV VMA performance centered “The New Ethics of Journalism.” Ethics are a question when journalists are influenced by opinions that are published onto the Internet. Cyrus’ performance was filtered as a “controversy” due to the expression of fans on the Internet.

“Journalism has to stop mimicking what happens on the Internet,” McBride said.

The audience had a favorable reaction to the third speech of the day, “Privacy vs. Adoration: Celebrity News as Journalism, Gossip and Fan Fun.” The panel members were high-profile entertainment writers from Newsday, Billboard Magazine, Associated Press and Alternative Press. One of the topics discussed was celebrity rights for privacy.

“People don’t have the right to know everything about everyone. It’s not news,” Glenn Gemboa of Newsday said.

Members of the audience tweeted their reactions to hearing about celebrities being stalked and how celebrities handle news when it comes to their private lives.

Keynote speaker, Mark Asvec, lawyer and former member of the popular Cleveland band, Wild Cherry, spoke during the middle of the day while the audience ate lunch. However, instead of speaking about his career, he spoke from a lecturer standpoint that engaged the audience of varied generations of media professionals. While discussing such things as factual copying, copying as a legal matter, fair use and the use of similar ideas and sounds in music, Asvec lectured the audience on challenges that the music industry has faced for years. This is all too familiar with Asvec, as he was in the midst of a lawsuit in 1990 with rapper Vanilla Ice for not crediting Wild Cherry with “Play that Funky Music,” which Vanilla Ice sampled in his debut album “To the Extreme.”

“I’ve written several research papers on the music industry, but I’ve learned more here in the last ten minutes [than] ever before,” attendee @JustinHMGraci tweeted.

Other panels throughout the day including talks about how to network for an entertainment job and walk into an interview, which appealed mostly to students.

Bruce Winges, Akron Beacon Journal editor and vice president said accuracy is crucial for resumes and cover letters.

“Spell my name right and spell the name of my publication right,” Winges said.

Contact Alexandra Taylor at < href=”mailto:[email protected]”>[email protected]