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Vox video producer examines ideas of objectivity, bias in journalism for diversity lecture series

Students and community members gather in Jewett Concert Hall on March 21, to listen to Vox video producer Carlos Maza’s lecture “Queering the Blank Slate.” Audience members said they were excited to have Maza at Westminster College and to hear him speak about media, politics and President Donald Trump. (Photo by Madison Ostergren)

Westminster College hosted Vox.com video producer, Thursday, to talk with community members about his video series and his views on the role of neutrality and objectivity in journalism.

Vox Video Producer Carlos Maza traveled from New York to address campus as the latest Bastian Foundation Diversity Series speaker. After meeting with students from the communication program in the morning and having lunch with a small group of Westminster students, faculty and staff, Maza concluded his trip with his lecture, titled “Queering the Blank Slate: Media, Politics and Trump.”

During his presentation, Maza explored his thoughts on personal biases and how they play a role in journalism. Maza said journalism should be about fact but also about morality and justice. He said he believed that journalist are gatekeepers for news and no opinion article can really be a neutral opinion because we all have biases.

Vox Video Producer Carlos Maza and professor Chris Davids at Maza’s on-campus lecture “Queering the Blank Slate.” Through the lecture, Maza encouraged audience members to laugh and ask questions. (Photo by Madison Ostergren)

Through the night, Maza made jokes and had many in the audience laughing with him.

The event while requiring a ticket, was free and open to the public. Many students and community members showed up to the Jewett Concert Hall to hear Maza speak about his experience. Many said they “loved Carlos’s lecture.”

“I have been watching Maza and the Vox videos since the election, and have been obsessed ever sense,” said Luis Lopez, a custom peace and conflict major at Westminster. “When I found out Mazas was coming to Westminster, I [got] my ticket immediately […] which was back in October.”

Lopez said he enjoyed the lecture was because he could really relate to Maza on a personal level and agreed with his viewpoints on neutrality and objectivity as something society has a hard time understanding.

Lopez said he loves that the college hosts these kind of community events and he felt lucky Maza agreed to come to Westminster.

Other students also said they were pleased by having Maza come to Westminster.

Stephanie Curtrubus, who introduced Maza to the stage at the beginning of the lecture, said she appreciated the opportunity to get to spend most of the day getting to know Maza.

“Being able to have lunch, introduce and listen to Maza speak was a great opportunity I am grateful Westminster allowed me to have,” said Curtrubus, a first-year student.

Another way he connected with the audience was by encouraging them to ask questions. Everyone was able to send their questions to Maza during the lecture and throughout the program and Maza seemed excited to answer and speak about what he is passionate about.

One of Maza’s takeaways for the audience was that “some fights are worth fighting for and some fights are not.”

By relating to the audience and communicating in a fun-loving way, Carlos Maza created an open, non-judgmental environment for the audience to ask questions and listen to him.

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Madison Ostergren
Madison is that one crazy redhead on the Westminster Ski Team that you don't see very often on campus. Madison is a junior communication major, and if you are trying to find her, she is most likely somewhere in the mountains skiing, trail running, climbing or eating her homemade muffins.

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