For immediate release…
Friday – Jan. 17, 2014

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - Whether in war or peace, news doesn’t wait in the 21st century. It’s instant, thanks to Google, smart phones and 24-our cable television. But today’s information age has its roots in the early 20th century, when radio and TV were born. Retired Northern Kentucky University Professor Michael Turney will take you back to the 1940s for his Six@Six Lecture on Jan. 23, from 6-7:30 p.m., at the Behringer-Crawford Museum in Devou Park.

Titled “On the Air: How Radio and Media Coverage Shaped the Second World War,” Dr. Turney’s lecture will explore the era when today’s coverage-as-it-happens approach was born. As WWII broke out, TV was in its infancy and radio’s focus was entertainment.

“At the time of Pearl Harbor, only a few radio stations had a daily 15-minute newscast. Most limited their single daily newscast to five minutes or less. Many offered no news at all,” said Dr. Turney, who taught in the NKU Department of Communication and served as the department’s chair.

“By D-Day in 1944, the public and political demands for more and faster war news, coupled with the technological advances brought by the war, made live, trans-Atlantic radio broadcasts possible. And by the end of the war, trans-Pacific radio broadcasts were also possible.”

Dr. Turney  will explain how the news was transformed, sharing his knowledge on the subject, as well as clips from radio broadcasts announcing the attacks on Pearl Harbor, of reporters going ashore under fire on D-Day and the spontaneous celebrations in American cities on V-J Day.

“As a result of wartime news coverage, radio became America’s preferred source for up-to-the-minute news,” Dr. Turney said. “However, most Americans continued to rely on newspapers for further details and most of their routine news coverage.”

Since his early retirement from NKU, Turney’s mission has been helping individuals and organizations enhance their communication efforts and become more effective in relating to others. He's been doing it for more than four decades, primarily in NKU classrooms, but also in suburban Chicago newsrooms, the Iowa State Capitol, mid-western museums, and multi-media production studios.

Dr. Turney's primary teaching areas were public relations, communication law, and the social and cultural impacts of mass media. As a professor emeritus, he is using his retirement to do more writing and photography, multi-media production, and volunteer work that he had previously been able to do.

Admission to the Jan. 23 lecture is $6 (students free with valid ID) and tickets are available in advance at http://sixatsix.nku.edu. Parking is free.

The presentation is a part of the Six@Six lecture series, a community lecture series sponsored by the NKU Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement, which works to connect the campus and community. The series allows NKU faculty to showcase their scholarship and expertise at community museums, libraries and other cultural venues. In addition, one of the six lectures each season is delivered by an Associated Press journalist as part of a partnership with AP through NKU’s Newspaper Readership Program. This season, Six@Six 2.0 was added to feature NKU students and their research.

Six lectures remain in the current season after Dr. Turney’s. All begin at 6 p.m. and last 90 minutes, including a Q&A with the presenter. The remaining lectures are:

  • February 4 at the Campbell County Library in Ft. Thomas: Preserving Your Grandmother’s Quilt: Restoration and Care of Antique Quilts, by NKU student Tracy DeBellevue

  • February 12 at the Mercantile Library in Cincinnati: Prosecuting Domestic Terrorists: the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing, by NKU President Geoffrey Mearns

  • March 5 at the Carnegie in Covington: Every Bite a Taste of History: How Food Enriches our Understanding of the World, by NKU history professor Dr. Jonathan Reynolds

  • March 20 at the Mercantile Library in Cincinnati: Ascent: A Cultural History of Cincinnati Public Stairways, by NKU students Andrew Boehringer and Shane Winslow

  • April 8 at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County-Main Library in Cincinnati: Unearthing Bodies, Revealing Memories: Examining Transitional Justice Practices in Contemporary Spain, by NKU Spanish professor Dr. Kajsa Larson

  • April 21 at the Baker Hunt Art and Cultural Center in Covington: At What Price? BP, Oil and the Gulf of Mexico, by NKU student Christina McGee

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