Elon University launched the Fund programs with a 2011 conference on media and politics: Media and Politics: Openness, Accuracy, and Honesty in the 21st Century Media Landscape.
- Presenting Complex Information: Scholars Discuss Media, Public Policy, and Audience Responses
Participants included: Barbara Miller, Assistant Professor, Communications, Elon University , Sarah Cohen, Knight Professor of the Practice of Journalism and Public Policy, Public Policy, Duke University, Donald Shaw – Kenan Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication, UNC, Chapel Hill, and David Gammon – Assistant Professor of Biology, Elon University.
- Challenges for Government Officials
Participants included Karen Finnegan, Deputy Director, Office of Government Information Services; David L. Elliott, director of Victims and Citizens Services, North Carolina Department of Justice; Sharon Gladwell, communications director for the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts; Brad Fowler, manager, Research and Planning at the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts; and David Hunt, Deputy Clerk/Information Specialist, Orange County, N.C.
- Challenges for Journalists
Journalists included Andy Curliss, staff writer with the (Raleigh, N.C.) News & Observer; Jennifer LaFleur, computer assisted reporting specialist with ProPublica; and Alex Goldman, producer with On the Media; Anna Johnson, editor of The Pendulum, Elon’s student newspaper.
- Keynote Speaker: Frank Sesno, professor of media and public affairs and international affairs, and director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at the George Washington University gave a talk titled “Openness, Accuracy and Honesty in the 21st Century Media Environment.”
- Workshop for citizens and students: Critically evaluating media sources