Professor simulates TED Talk for students



Rosie Ecker

Naeemah Clark, currently an associate professor of Communications at Elon University, came to talk to UK for a simulated TED Talk. 

UK lecurter Allyson DeVito, who teaches and coordinates CIS 112: Accelerated Composition and Communication II at UK, introduced Clark. CIS 112 is an offered course that enhances persuasive communication techniques through primary and secondary research.  

Clark’s presentation “Does The Media Tell Us Who We Are?” explained how television expresses diversity in the past and in today’s world, and was mandatory for students currently enrolled in CIS 112.

Clark has given TED Talks in the past and the College of Communication and Information funded Clark to come to UK.  While she has already given the same lecture as an official TED Talk , the one held at UK was not official but was free and open to the public. 

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Clark has been studying and researching the media effects of television in her education years and continues to do so as a professor at Elon. While the presentation was under 30 minutes, it detailed how the media has changed in regards to diversity within the past few decades.

She specified her own life in the terms of what she wanted to look like as a small child. She was confused as to why no one in the media, more specifically TV shows, didn’t portray someone of color in a trendy way. 

She discussed how far television has come from when she was younger, but still sees progress to be made. She believes people should be hired based on who best fits that part, not just based on race or ethnicity. However, she did note a lot of times actors are based on who will bring in the most revenue, which she fully understood.

When a question was asked from the audience about if newer children’s shows were diverse in today’s world, Clark said “I think that there is more diversity in children’s television than anywhere else.” Going further, she added, “Then if you look too, children’s television is different from when you guys were kids so there aren’t a lot of cartoon shows on anymore so its actually more real people.”