Parker Lecture honors UCC telecommunication advocacy work

Parker Lecture honors UCC telecommunication advocacy work

August 31, 2003
Written by Staff Reports

Jay Harris among featured speakers at nation's only telecommunication-related advocacy event

Jay Harris, director of the Center for the Study of Journalism and Democracy at the University of Southern California, will deliver the 21st annual Everett C. Parker Ethics in Telecommunication Lecture at 12 p.m., Sept. 16, at National City Christian Church in Washington, D.C.

Harris, who is the former chairman and publisher of the San Jose Mercury News, will be the featured speaker at the nation's only event that annually examines telecommunications and the digital age from an ethical perspective. It is sponsored by the UCC and the Telecommunications Research and Action Center, a nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C.

In 1982, the lecture was created to recognize the work of the Rev. Everett C. Parker, former director of the UCC's Office of Communication, a justice advocate who pioneered the movement to protect the public's rights in broadcasting.

Responding to a request from the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Parker and other UCC members documented how southern television stations blocked coverage of the civil rights movement. The UCC successfully challenged station owners in a federal appeals court, resulting in an historic ruling that declared airwaves to be public property. Local communities must have a voice in their management, the court said.

The luncheon is an occasion to recognize those who continue to bridge the communication divide between the powerful and the powerless. Newton N. Minow, a former chair of the Federal Communications Commission, and Peggy Charren, founder of Action for Children's Television, will be honored.

For ticket information, contact Kate Dean at 202/263-2950 or

OC, Inc. — The Untold Story is a 22-minute video that tells the little-known history of the UCC's involvement in opening up the airwaves to women and people of color. Founded in the 1960s by the Rev. Everett C. Parker, OC, Inc. has been at work ever since holding broadcasters, the FCC and other regulatory bodies accountable to all sectors of society. Available for $19.95 from United Church of Christ Resources at 800/537-3394.

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