John Gizzi, Chief Political and White House Correspondent for Newsmax, spoke at Millersville University on Wednesday night, Oct. 24. His session was titled “The Press and Civil Society: Where the Relationship Went Sour and Can it Be Revived?” Gizzi was the keynote address for the International Policy Conference.
Gizzi spent most of his speech answering the public perception of biased modern news media from his perspective as a moderate Republican voter and journalist. He informed the audience why demonization of the press by political actors threatens democracy. “The press is a check on government;” Gizzi said, “when society mistrusts the press, that power balance is upset… the responsibility is with all of us.” Though a few major news companies own and operate most mainstream news sources, Gizzi suggested that the responsibility to fix trust in the press still lies with all parties involved.
The presentation was followed by a question and answer session. Gizzi gave advice for consumers of news media on how to filter biased sources, suggested internal avenues for both political parties to embrace moderates, and frequently joked with the audience. Gizzi is colloquially known as “the man who knows everyone in Washington,” and displayed his lexical memory by recalling everyone’s names from his earlier round of pre-speech introductions. He showed special enjoyment when answering questions from President Wubah and Dr. Prabhu on the relationship between the press and society.
Though the event was about society, many questions centered on Gizzi’s own political leanings toward the Republican party and how the stresses between moderates and the far-right wing have grown under the current President. His attempts to defend conservatism from Trumpism were answered politely and without shame. Gizzi aims to use his position as a member of the press to rebuild society’s trust in news media.
The International Policy Conference is an annual event hosted at Millersville University of Pennsylvania. The next conference will occur during the Fall semester of 2019.