Past Events

Spring 2021

2021 Women in Sports Summit

2020 brought many wins for women in the sports industry. From the success of women’s leagues in returning to play after a global pandemic effectively shut down the entire sector for months to women being promoted to some of the highest leadership positions within the industry, there has been a shift in the sports industry that has the potential to change how we view women in what is typically considered a male-dominated space. Join the Reilly Center for the 2021 Women in Sports Summit as we explore the many roles that women play in sport.


2021 Louisiana  Redistricting Summit 

In January 2018, Fair Districts Louisiana and the LSU Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs kick-started a bi-partisan conversation about redistricting in Louisiana by hosting the first-of-its-kind Louisiana Redistricting Summit. Distinguished panels of legislators, academics, and activists participated in invigorating discussions on the past, present, and future of Louisiana remaking its political boundaries. Now that the 2020 census is complete and redistricting is becoming a focus of public discourse, it is time to reactivate the lines of inquiry begun during the 2018 Summit. To do this, the Reilly Center and FDL will again team up, this time for a webinar series to span all of 2021.

The March 31 spring session will first explore the many issues at play in the current redistricting round, including transparency, process, Louisiana history, and legal considerations. Then, a second panel will look at what Louisiana's new Congressional districts might look like.


  • Dr. Jenée Slocum, Director, LSU Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs

Panel: Issues at Play in the 2020 Redistricting Cycle

  • Barry Erwin, President & CEO, Council for a Better Louisiana
  • Norby Chabert, Former Senator, District 20
  • Ashley Shelton, Executive Director, Power Coalition for Equity and Justice

Tutorial: Dave's Redistricting App

  • Stephen Kearny, Co-Founder, Fair Districts Louisiana

Panel: Louisiana's New Congressional Districts

  • Jay Dardenne, Commissioner of Administration, Louisiana Division of Administration
  • State Rep. Royce Duplessis, District 93, New Orleans
  • State Rep. Barry Ivey, District 65, Central


  • Melissa Flournoy, Social Entrepreneur, Louisiana Progress

Setting the Stage: Entertainment and the Social Good

Research shows that entertainment media play a major role in how we view and interact the world around us. So, given the generally homogenous nature of the leadership and decision makers in the industry, how do we shift the narrative to reflect the heterogeneous nature of our reality? Join the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs and Associate Professor and Director of the Media Effects Lab Dr. Meghan Sanders as we explore how and why entertainment media play such a critical role in serving the social good, especially when it comes to sharing the experiences of minority, marginalized and underrepresented groups.


  • Jesse J. Holland, Assistant Professor, School of Media & Public Affairs, The George Washington University
  • Mary Beth Oliver, Ph.D., Professor of Media Studies, Bellisario College of Communications, Penn State University
  • Mia Ginaé Watkins, Communications Specialist, Playstation; Award-Winning Filmmaker

Fall 2020

The Press and the President: An In-Depth Look at the Difficult Relationship Between President Trump and the Media 

When President Donald Trump rode down the escalator in Trump Tower on June 16, 2015 to announce his candidacy for the 2016 Presidential election, the media was thrust into what could be considered one of the most contentious relationships between a United States President and the media. In a collection of essays that will be released in Spring 2021, William B. Dickinson Distinguished Professor in Journalism and former LSU Manship School Dean Jerry Ceppos brought together 24 journalists to share their experiences covering this administration and what has contributed to such a difficult relationship between the press and the president. Join the LSU Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs for a virtual roundtable conversation featuring several essayists and moderated by Jerry Ceppos.

Centering The Citizen In Politics: Understanding Your Role In The Political Process 

Democracies were founded on the role of citizen led government. As politics have evolved, many citizens feel left behind by the political process. In her book with co-author Dr. John Gastil, Manship Alumna Dr. Katie Knobloch highlights the creation and implementation of the Citizens’ Initiative Review (CIR) as a permanent governing body in Oregon. “Hope for Democracy: How Citizens Can Bring Reason Back Into Politics,” features citizen activists who developed the CIR and key participants at the inaugural CIR. Currently working on creating more community based projects that center the citizen in politics, Dr. Knobloch will join the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs for a virtual event to discuss the book, her passion for centering the citizen in politics, and how young people view their role in the political process.

Election Watch Party

Amid the turmoil of a global pandemic, nationwide protests for racial justice and an economic crisis, the United States enters its 59th quadrennial election. The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted a number of the economic and social disparities in America, and will most likely play a large role in voters’ decisions. From how polling can help us better understand people's decisions on election day to the behind the scenes on how political pundits decide to “make the call” on winners, the party will feature cameos by LSU faculty and local and national political experts. Join the LSU Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs in partnership with LSU’s Office of Student Government and LSU Ogden Honors College as we host a virtual Election Night Watch Party via Zoom.

Economics & Politics of Race featuring Jason Riley of the WSJ 

Despite America's having a twice-elected Black president and a growing number of Black elected officials, there is a lag in Black economic advancement. Join LSU’s Eric Voegelin Institute and Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs as we host Wall Street Journal editorial board member and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, Jason Riley, and Southern University’s Department Political Science and History Chair, Dr. Albert Samuels, for a discussion on strategies to promote Black economic, social and political growth. The event will be co-moderated by Justin Franklin and Tyler Hunt. 

Justin is the LSU National Association of Black Journalists President and a senior in Manship School of Mass Communication. Tyler is a Political Science and African American Studies double major. 

 Spring 2020

Audience watching interview

There's No Crying in Newsrooms: A Conversation With Author Kristin Gilger

The female experience in media has long been an uphill battle. In their book, There’s No Crying in Newsrooms, authors Kristin Grady Gilger and Julia Wallace tell the stories of women who broke through a multitude of barriers at media organizations around the country over the last four decades. As we enter a new era of young women in media that are much less willing to put up and shut up, the female pioneers in the book share the many lessons about what it takes to succeed in media or any other male-dominated organization. Join the LSU Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs on January 30, 2020 to hear from author Kristin Grady Gilger about the inspiration for the book and why its message is so relevant to young women today.

Danna Young presenting to audience

Irony & Outrage: An Evening of Political Humor with Danna Young

From Last Week Tonight to Sean Hannity, political opinion programming has flooded the media landscape as our political environment grows increasingly divisive. Political and media psychologist Dannagal Young seeks to flip the ideology that political satire only works on the left and opinion talk radio is reserved for the right. Her latest book “Irony and Outrage” unpacks satire’s liberal “bias” and juxtaposes it with outrage’s conservative “bias.” Join the LSU Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs on February 20, 2020 to hear Young’s take on why the two genres actually serve very similar purposes for their audiences while holding diametrically opposed political views.

Hacking Democracy Program 

Hacking Democracy: Technology, The Internet & Politics

With a new presidential election cycle dawning, the voting public is questioning the security of the nation’s election systems. After the 2016 Presidential Election thrust the vulnerability of our voting technology to the forefront of conversation in the United States, there has been much discussion surrounding the security of future elections, as well as the use of social media as a tool to distribute divisive and false information. The Reilly Center’s annual John Breaux Symposium, entitled “Hacking Democracy: Technology, the Internet & Politics,” will explore how foreign interference aimed destabilizing political conversation, stoking racial tensions and spreading disinformation across social media platforms has led to ever-increasing friction among the voting population. Experts will discuss the integrity of our voting technology, and whether or not automated machines are actually secure. We will also investigate the depth of susceptibility in our nation’s election systems, as well as foreign interference in our democratic process. 

Fall 2019

event poster: Transforming the Way We Look at Palliative and End-Of-Life Care Flyer

Designing a Better End: Transforming the Way We Look At Palliative and End-of-Life Care

The Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs at LSU’s Manship School in partnership with LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans hosted a panel discussion on end-of-life care with healthcare professionals, policymakers and community leaders from across Louisiana on September 12 at the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. “Designing a Better End: Transforming the Way We Look at Palliative and End-of-Life Care” aimed to identify areas of improvement in the industries of palliative and hospice care, as well as other end-of-life and long-term illness services in Louisiana. Palliative care professionals and health policy advocate Torrie Fields moderated the event.

Three candidates on stage with three.

2019 Gubernatorial Debate

The Reilly Center has partnered with Nexstar Media to host a 2019 Gubernatorial Debate on September 19, 2019. As a red state with the only Democratic incumbent running for reelection this cycle, all eyes will be focused on Louisiana to serve as a barometer for the 2020 presidential cycle. The debate will be held in the LSU Student Union Theater and broadcast live across the state. It is also expected to be picked up by national media outlets.

Shock & Awe Panel Discussion

Shock & Awe: A Screening and Discussion with John Walcott

The Reilly Center hosted a screening of the 2017 film Shock and Awe. Dubbed the "only ones who got it right," the film depicts how the team of Washington Bureau journalists at Knight Ridder, Inc. investigated the reasons behind the Bush Administration's 2003 invasion of Iraq. Prior to the screening, there was a discussion with John Walcott, and Reveille Editor-in-Chief Caleb Greene. Walcott, portrayed by Rob Reiner in the film, was the Washington Bureau Chief for the McClatchy Co. and Knight Ridder, Inc. and was integral in the reporting of the Bush Administration's attempts to sell the Iraq War. Both the discussion and the film address the importance of journalism in a democracy and holding the government accountable for telling the truth.

Image of the fall of the Berlin Wall

Commemoration of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

The Reilly Center sponsored the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures’ Commemoration of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. The event included a lecture and panel discussion on the cultural significance and aesthetic representations of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Dr. Stephen Brockmann, Professor of German at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, one of the leading experts in the field of post-wall German literature and film will give a lecture on this topic at LSU. In addition to this lecture, experts and historical eyewitnesses from around the LSU campus and larger Baton Rouge area shared their impressions of the historic event.

Event poster: How Far is Too Far? Libel Law in Political Campaigns

How Far is Too Far? Libel Law in Political Campaigns

On November 13, the Reilly Center hosted Dr. Eric P. Robinson, an Assistant Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of South Carolina. Dr. Robinson’s book, Reckless Disregard: St. Amant v. Thompson and the Transformation of Libel Law examines the case that began with a political campaign ad in Louisiana and ended up changing American libel law forever. Dr. Robinson will moderate a panel of media law and political strategy authorities to discuss the effect of libel law on media operations and coverage of political campaigns as well as the implications of the St. Amant case locally and statewide.

Aerial image of panel discussion featuring campaign strategists

Reflections on Election 2019

The Manship School’s Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs, in partnership with Louisiana Public Broadcasting, is hosting a post-election event recapping the 2019 Louisiana gubernatorial and legislative elections. The event, consisting of two panel discussions, will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 20. The first panel, “Behind the Scenes: The 2019 Gubernatorial Campaign,” will gather political strategists from each campaign to discuss the planning and decisions meant to put their candidate on top and what the outcome might mean moving into the 2020 presidential election. The second panel, “The Future of the Louisiana Legislature,” will include former legislators and state politicos to examine the implications of the substantial turnover in the Louisiana State Legislature, and what it will mean for the future of the state.

Behind the Scenes: The 2019 Gubernatorial Campaign

  • Natasha Williams, LPB news anchor and reporter
  • Richard Carbo, campaign manager, John Bel for Louisiana
  • Jared Arsement, media consultant, John Bel for Louisiana
  • Bryan Reed, campaign manager, Eddie Rispone for Governor
  • Luke Letlow, chief of staff, U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham
  • Lionel Rainey, general consultant, Ralph Abraham for Governor

The Future of the Louisiana Legislature

  • Melinda Deslatte, correspondent, The Associated Press
  • Senator John Alario, Jr., Louisiana State Senate
  • Jeremy Alford, publisher and editor of LaPolitics Weekly
  • Representative Barry Ivey, Louisiana House of Representatives
  • Liz Mangham, managing partner, Southern Strategy Group
  • Representative Pat Smith, Louisiana House of Representatives

Spring 2019

Three students taking notes on balcony overlooking a panel discussion with moderator and two panelists

Classified Communications: Messaging for National Security & Foreign Affairs

The second annual Academy of Applied Politics Speaker Series hosted by the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs, Cornerstone Government Affairs and Taylor Porter featured Rear Admiral John Kirby, USN (ret) and Vice President of Government Operations Communications at the The Boeing Company Gordon Johndroe for a conversation on how mass communication professionals cover and disperse military, foreign affairs and national security information. The event investigated methods the military and national security organizations use to keep the public informed in peacetime, conflict and war.

Fall 2018

aerial view of SOS Forum

Secretary of State Forum

Louisiana Secretary of State candidates convened at LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication to discuss their vision for office as part of LSU President King Alexander’s multiple-day Behind the Ballot Symposium. The forum explored factors that impact voter behavior and will include questions on election integrity, college-aged voters and voting rights.

Questioning panelists included Jeremy Alford, publisher and editor of LaPolitics Weekly; Jessica Rosgaard, supervising editor and producer for 89.9 WWNO - New Orleans Public Radio (NPR affiliate); Stewart Lockett, LSU Student Body President; and Natalie Anderson, The Daily Reveille’s editor-in-chief. Moderated by Manship School senior journalism student, Laryssa Bonacquisti.

Aerial view of panel discussion

Re-envisioning Louisiana: The State We Want to Be In

This day long event held October 16th, 2018 centered around the pivotal question that many young Louisianans ask themselves as they contemplate college or beginning their careers: should I stay in Louisiana or should I go? Experts on economic development, criminal justice, education, disaster prevention, arts and more explored the adversities and opportunities for growth in Louisiana.

Spring 2018

Former presidential press secretaries Mike McCurry and Ari Fleischer share their insider perspectives on this key communications role

From the President to the Press Briefing: Exploring the Role of the Presidential Press Secretary

As presidential administrations transition, so do the roles and responsibilities of presidential press secretaries. Former presidential press secretaries Ari Fleischer, press secretary for President George W. Bush, and Mike McCurry, who served under President Clinton, shared their insider perspectives about serving in this key communication role. In what ways does the role change with each administration, and how does it remain the same? How have relationships with the press evolved over time? Has the role of the presidential press secretary changed in response to the digitized media landscape? Fleischer and McCurry shared their thoughts on these and more during their visit to the Manship School.

Hear them Roar pabelists and moderator Senator mary Landrieu

Hear them Roar: Voicing the Truth on Sexual Harassment in Media & Politics

Our national news features near-daily breaking stories of alleged sexual harassers and their victims, leaving some people stunned and others surprised it took this long for a national conversation to begin. Like other industries that wield power and money, media and politics are at the forefront of the conversation. LSU’s Manship School convened media, government and law experts to discuss the role of these industries in building the sexual harassment structure and how they can serve as instruments of change. Senator Mary Landrieu, center, opened and moderated the panel. Public relations and journalism instructors Sadie Wilks and Steve Bien-Aime, Ph.D., joined legal expert Michelle Craig and journalists Amy Brittain (The Washington Post) and Gloria Riviera (ABC News) in a robust discussion of this salient public issue.

Charles Steinberg gives the 2018 Sports Communication Summit keynote address

2018 Sports Communication Summit

The debate is hot: How much money should local communities shell out to entice (and keep) professional sports teams? The Houston Astros World Series championship rallied the city just weeks after Houston suffered historic flooding. Sports teams also generate tangible economic benefits, but at what cost to the community? Public investments in sports bring with them enormous price tags that leave people divided. Should communities fund these teams, or is the effort futile?

Dr. Charles Steinberg, President of the Pawtucket Red Sox, emphasized the power of sports teams to impact the lives of the people who care about them in his keynote address. Matt Moscona, Manship School alum and host After Further Review on ESPN Radio: Baton Rouge, moderated a panel discussion by experts on the merits and limitations of public funding in sports.

LA Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne gives the Summit's keynote address

2018 Louisiana Redistricting Summit

The 2018 Louisiana Redistricting Summit featured dialogue from top Louisiana leaders on redistricting in the state, an issue which shapes future elections and influences who represents Louisiana’s citizens locally, in Louisiana’s state legislature, and in Congress. Participants included nationally-renowned redistricting thought leaders, university students from around the state, and a bipartisan group of Louisiana legislators.

Public affairs expert Marie DesOrmeaux Centanni of Lafayette served as emcee for the event, and Louisiana Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne (pictured) served as keynote speaker.

Fall 2017

Executive Editor of the NYT, Dean Baquet, responds to questions posed by Mass Communication students at LSU

A Conversation with Dean Baquet

New Orleans native Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The New York Times, addressed the political and financial pressures on American journalism in a conversation sponsored by the LSU Ogden Honors College and Manship School of Mass Communication's Reilly Center. Three students questioned Baquet about a number of topics, including the president’s strained relations with the media, accusations of “fake news,” public trust in the media, the changing economic model of journalism and race in the newsroom. The three interviewers, Sarah Gamard, William Taylor Potter and Kayla Swanson, are students of LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication. Gamard is also an Ogden Honors College student.

LA State Representative Julie Stokes moderates the She Persisted panel

She Persisted: Women at the Ballot Box & on the Campaign Trail

Despite seeing the first woman nominated to represent a major party in the 2016 presidential election, women remain underrepresented among elected officials in the United States. This panel, featuring exclusively female expert perspectives, explored why there are so few women in government and addressed specific challenges women face today in becoming elected officials. Panelists also discussed current efforts underway across the nation, on both sides of the aisle, to encourage more women to run for office and what that means for the future.

A Reilly Center panel explores the partisan underpinnings of perceived ideology

Neither Liberal nor Conservative: Top Strategists and Scholars Debate Campaigning in Polarized America

The consensus in today’s political spectrum is that Americans are extremely polarized and can’t agree on anything. Surprisingly, however, truly ideological liberals and conservatives exist in a distinct minority only among those who are deeply engaged in political life. The panel was inspired by new research released in “Neither Liberal nor Conservative: Ideological Innocence in the American Public,” in which Donald Kinder and Nathan Kalmoe, assistant professor at the Manship School, argue that American public opinion is in a state of ideological innocence. If this is the case, how do Americans make election and policy decisions? What are the implications for campaign and issue strategists? The panel explored these questions.

The panel and moderator for "Resistance in the Digital Age: Exercising or Abusing First Amendment Rights"

Resistance in the Digital Age: Exercising or Abusing First Amendment Rights

Changes in technology and communication practices have raised questions about when efforts to convey political protest are protected, peaceful, and safe. Changes in the meaning and exercise of first amendment rights reflect these technological changes in the digital sphere. This panel focused on the implications of protest's movement to the online world.

This panel of activists, journalists, and scholars discussed the opportunities and challenges faced by reporters, law enforcement officials, and protesters because of changes in technology and the introduction of new communication platforms.

Lunch & Learn

A networking program hosted by the Reilly Center

Farrah Reed

Meet our past guests

Featured Guests

Reilly Center Speaker Series

David Karpf
Author, Analytic Activism

David Karpf, George Washington University Associate Professor and author, Analytic Activism

Melissa Michelson
Author, Listen, We Need to Talk

Lesley Fair

Attorney, Federal Trade Commission

Leslie Fair poses in front of Tiger Stadium during her visit to LSU in spring 2017

Steven Luckert
Senior Curator, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

Dr. Luckert addresses an audience in the Holliday Forum during his spring 2017 visit to LSU

Charlie Cook
Editor & Publisher, The Cook Political Report

Charlie Cook discusses the unprecendented nature of the 2016 presidential elections in the Holliday Forum during his spring 2017 visit to LSU