LSU’s Manship School Hosts Democracy, Media & History Forum in Collaboration with WWNO, WRKF & the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

November 7, 2018
Baton Rouge, LA – The symbiotic, sometimes strained, love-hate relationship between the press and politicians in the Pelican State will be examined as part of a collaborative project from LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication, the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities and public radio stations 89.3 WRKF in Baton Rouge and 89.9 WWNO in New Orleans.

The collaboration kicks off with “Democracy, Media & History: Louisiana Politics vs. The Press,” a panel aimed at examining Louisiana’s most indelible politicians and the media who covered them. The discussion will include Huey P. Long, Jim Garrison, Dutch Morial and Kathleen Blanco. The event is slated for Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 4 p.m. in the Manship School’s Holliday Forum and is hosted by the Manship School’s Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs.

Moderated by Dr. Jonathan Earle, dean of LSU’s Ogden Honors College, speakers include award-winning WWNO-FM radio producer Laine Kaplan-Levenson, political journalist Jeremy Alford, LSU history professor Dr. Alecia Long, and Xavier University of Louisiana history professor Dr. Sharlene Sinegal-DeCuir.

WWNO-FM and WRKF-FM are also presenting “Sticky Wicket,” a four-part series on the topic, which will air Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. on both stations and a Wednesday encore on WWNO at 8:30 a.m., beginning Nov. 13.

  • Episode 1, Huey P. Long examines how the former governor and U.S. senator rose to power through his mastery of the media, and then once in power waged war with it.
  • Episode 2, Jim Garrison looks at how the late New Orleans district attorney controlled his image during and after his investigation into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
  • Episode 3, Ernest N. “Dutch” Morial explores the 1979 police strike when he served as New Orleans mayor: Why did the police strike at that time? Why was Mardi Gras cancelled? Who did the City side with?
  • Episode 4, Kathleen Blanco looks at how the media depicted Louisiana’s first female governor in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and includes Blanco’s own reflections on that experience thirteen years later.

As part of the partnership, the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities will present a series of four articles focused on democracy and how each of the four politicians utilized – or sparred – with media as they worked to advance their causes. The articles are running in the LEH’s quarterly magazine, 64 Parishes (formerly Louisiana Cultural Vistas). Read the first two articles on Long and Garrison at

The collaboration is part of the “Democracy and the Informed Citizen” Initiative, administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and presented in partnership with the Pulitzer Prizes, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, public radio stations WWNO 89.9 in New Orleans and WRKF 89.3 FM in Baton Rouge, LaPolitics, Xavier University of Louisiana and Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communication.

The panel event will be held in the Holliday Forum of LSU’s Journalism Building (at the corner of Fieldhouse Drive and North Stadium Drive). General attendance parking is available at the LSU Barnes and Noble bookstore (at the corner of Highland Road and Veterans Drive). This event will be broadcast live on the Manship School’s YouTube channel.

Reporters on deadline needing a closer parking pass should e-mail for assistance (24 hours’ notice is requested). 


The Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs is partnership-driven, action-oriented, and dedicated to exploring contemporary issues at the intersection of mass communication and public life. Its interdisciplinary approach draws together experts from diverse fields to advance research and dialogue. The intent is to inspire our communities to think deeply, take action, develop solutions and broaden knowledge. Underlying the Center’s endeavors is to strengthen and advance the Manship School’s national and state leadership in media and politics.

WWNO 89.9 FM, New Orleans Public Radio, is the listener-supported NPR radio station serving New Orleans and Southeast Louisiana on 89.9 FM and on KTLN 90.5 FM in the Houma-Thibodaux area, with 24-hour classical music on Classical 104.9 FM and WWNO HD2 and jazz anytime on WWNO HD3. The station’s website,, streams all of its news, music, and cultural programs across the region, and carries the stories of New Orleans around the world. 

WRKF-89.3FM, Baton Rouge's NPR station, informs and entertains more than 50,000 community members each week with original coverage of Louisiana government and politics, national and international news, and cultural programs. A nonprofit founded in 1980, WRKF is supported by donors and underwriters. Its program schedule and a live stream of its broadcast can be found at WRKF.ORG.

The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to all residents of the state. Guided by the vision that everyone can realize their full potential through the humanities, LEH partners with communities, institutions, and individuals to provide grant-supported outreach programs, literacy initiatives for all ages, publications, film and radio documentaries, museum exhibitions, public lectures, library projects, 64 Parishes magazine, and other diverse public humanities programming. For more information, visit