Mormon Media Studies Symposium

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Mormonism seems to be everywhere in the media lately. From the Mitt Romney campaign to “The Book of Mormon Musical,” coverage and scrutiny of the LDS faith have been intense during the past year.

The Mormon Media Symposium on Nov. 8-9 will present a series of presentations and discussions on key issues relating to “the Mormon Moment” in the media.

[/media-credit] The Mormon Media Studies Symposium runs Nov. 8-9 in the BYU Conference Center (Harmon Building).

Craig Foster, a genealogist at the Family History Library, will present a paper titled “Mitt Romney and the Media’s Shaping of the Mormon Question.”

“Students will learn how to put this coverage in a historical and social perspective,” Foster said. “They must be able to place this moment within a greater context.”

The symposium will include paper presentations on subjects relating to Mormons and the media, as well as feature expert panels and discussions. There will also be a special screening on Thursday night of “Trapped by the Mormons,” a 1922 anti-Mormon silent film.

The symposium aims to give students a clearer understanding of the interaction between the LDS Church and the media. Blair Van Dyke will be presenting a case study in LDS Public Relations at the symposium.

“The interface between the Church and the media is fascinating,” Van Dyke said. “Media really plays a major role in how the Church is perceived, (and) it is impossible to divorce our perception from the media. It helps us to mitigate inaccurate accounts and gets the facts into the hands of the public.”

With over 40 classes on a variety of subjects, students can choose to attend the classes and events that interest them most.

Rosemary Avance, a Fontaine Fellow in the School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, will be presenting a paper at the symposium on breaks in LDS identity and different groups of Mormons online.

“The Internet has not created different groups of Mormons, but it has made them visible,” Avance said. “My hope is for groups of Mormons to be able to find common ground (online).”

More information, as well as a complete schedule of the two-day event, can be found online at mormonsandmedia.byu.edu.

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