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Communication & Media

News & Events

Award-winning journalist to discuss health care reform


NEW PALTZ -- Award-winning journalist Trudy Lieberman, who is considered one of the best consumer reporters in America, will kick off the Sojourner Truth Library’s celebration of National Library Week with a talk on Monday, April 16, on the topic “Can health care ever be reformed?”

The event will be at 5 p.m. in the College’s Lecture Center Room 102. It is free and open to the public. The talk is sponsored by the Sojourner Truth Library and the Department of Communication and Media. Light refreshments will be provided by Sodexho, the campus food service provider, following the event.

Lieberman has been an investigative reporter for 35 years and is one of the nation’s foremost experts on health care, focusing especially on the lack of health insurance for Americans and on medical care for the elderly. Her work is particularly significant because she has pushed the boundaries of journalism beyond the norm of neutrality to help bring about changes in public policy.

Lieberman, who was a Fulbright Scholar in 1993, is a frequent contributor to the Columbia Journalism Review, the nation’s premier magazine of media criticism, and to The Nation magazine, a prominent progressive magazine of commentary. She also has written numerous articles as a health columnist for the Los Angeles Times.

Lieberman is the college’s sixth James H. Ottaway Sr. Professor of Journalism. She is teaching a class, titled "The Media and the Marketplace,” which examines how media organizations function as profit-making institutions and still try to preserve their role as watchdogs for the public interest.

Lieberman has a rich history as a consumer reporter. She was one of the nation’s first full-time consumer reporters for the Detroit Free Press from 1968 to 1976. Her stories led to various reforms of Michigan state laws.

For nearly 30 years she worked for Consumer Reports, a nonprofit magazine with a circulation of four million. The magazine often tests products on its own and then shows its readers the product’s flaws. It differs from much of journalism in that it does not rely solely on other sources for its conclusions; the magazine also accepts no advertising. Lieberman was the magazine’s health policy editor and senior economics writer. She also was director of the Center for Consumer Health Choices at Consumers Union, the magazine’s parent group.

Lieberman is currently completing a book, tentatively titled “The Growing Divide – Who Will Have Medical Care and Who Will Go Without,” for the University of Southern California Press. It is due out in 2008 at a time when the presidential candidates will be debating various approaches to health care.

Lieberman, who is the author of five other books and hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles about the health needs of the poor and the under-served in America, was awarded a John J. McCloy Fellowship to study German health care in 1994. The following year she was named Fulbright Senior Scholar to study Japanese health care.

“With health care still not available to an estimated 48 million Americans, we especially look forward to hearing from Ms. Lieberman on what can be done to improve the quality of life for Americans,” said Chui-chun Lee, the director of the library.