On Monday, April 4, 2016, a group of AUIS students had a conversation with Sam Seder, an MSNBC contributor and a political talk radio host, via Skype, concerning the role of the media in the U.S. presidential elections. The media has changed a lot, he said, it used to function purely as a source of information for the people, and was not expected to make a profit. Now, however, “the population is not as educated about important issues, not even issues they care about.” And this, he explained is because the media has an incentive to get higher ratings, and therefore more profit. But when being more specific about this year’s presidential elections, he mentioned that the reason Donald Trump, the Republican frontrunner candidate, is getting so much coverage, is because he drives ratings, “he is an incredible showman, and people who want to vote against him are just as compelled to watch”, said Seder. On the democratic side however, he talked about Bernie Sanders, who is not getting nearly enough media coverage compared to his popularity.
— Sara Bajalan (@SBajalan) April 4, 2016
After Sam Seder’s talk, Dr. Djene Bajalan, AUIS professor who organized this talk for his American History class, opened the discussion to Q&As. Some of these questions were about Sam Seder’s own opinions and expectations for the elections, and others about the extent to which the media is influenced by political affiliations. Sam Seder had questions for the students as well, which also included questions from his live audience.
Will be speaking via skype with some college students in Sulaimani, in Iraqi Kurdistan in a few minutes- send me any questions you may have
— Sam Seder (@SamSeder) April 4, 2016
These questions ranged from students’ perspective on the American invasion of Iraq in 2003; what life was like in Iraq; women’s rights and if they had improved since 2003; and what students thought of their American-style education at AUIS.
The dialogue between Sam Seder and the American History students was very engaging and interesting to say the least and students expressed their interest in participating in such lectures in the future.
Story and photos contributed by communications intern Lana Jabbar.