Communications Toolkit for Academics

Calendar

Many journalists and media outlets publish stories around major national holidays, remembrances, celebrations and pop-culture dates. Below is a list of current events or special dates about which your research or expertise could relate. These dates and question prompts can be used to help you generate ideas for blog posts, social media posts, op-eds, articles for The Conversation, or to be quoted in the media. Please contact Jessi Adler at jessi.adler@cabs.msu.edu if you are interested in writing for The Conversation or being listed as an expert for one of the below topics. 

Topic Ideas

MAY

May 04 - International Star Wars Day. The unofficial celebration of the movie franchise based on a pun on the line 'may the force (fourth) be with you'. How has the franchise continued to impact and inspire so many generations of children and adults? With the death of Carrie Fisher, what type of moral/ethical/technological implications are there to include/not include her in the upcoming films? 

May 07 - French presidential election second round. A wave of populist candidates has been expanding throughout the West, including in the U.S. What has driven this move toward nationalism and populism? How might this play out in France?

May 09 - Europe Day.  Celebrating the proclamation that is considered the first step toward the creation of the European Union (EU), this is a day to celebrate peace and unity in Europe. With recent political events, such as Brexit, how can the EU continue to promote itself and the support of European integration?

May 17 – Chelsea Manning to be released. Chelsea Manning, who was serving a 35-year sentence for violating the Espionage Act, will be released from prison after her sentence was commuted by then-President Barack Obama on 17 Jan, three days before he left office. Should her sentence have been commuted? What message does this send?

May 25 – NATO Summit in Belgium. The NATO alliance requested this meeting after President Donald Trump’s criticism of the organization. Trump has called NATO obsolete. What would be the consequences of the U.S. pulling out of the alliance?

 

JUNE

June 06 - D-Day anniversary. As the number of WWII veterans continues to decline, how can we continue to commemorate the significance of this day to its full extent? What lessons were learned from the strategy behind Operation Overlord?

June 9 - 10th anniversary of the first iPhone. As the iPhone turns 10 and the annual Apple Worldwide Developers Conference is held, it has been said that the company is not as innovative as it once was. Is this accusation true? How has the company’s innovative drive and vision changed since Steve Job’s passing? 

June 12 - First Anniversary of Pulse Nightclub Shooting. A year later and there is still no definitive answer to the motives of the shooting. Why do we desire to figure out the motivations of a killer? Why is this something the media fixates on? Is it a healthy desire to fulfill, or would it be better if the media didn’t acknowledge motives when they’re murky and based largely on speculation? 

Jun 12 - 30th anniversary of Reagan challenging Gorbachev to 'tear down this wall'. These historic words were almost never spoken due to national security concerns. What lessons did/can we learn from this speech regarding international relations, diplomacy and the President issuing ultimatums? Are there any correlations between Reagan and the way President Trump is currently handing international situations? 

Jun 23 - 1st anniversary of Britain voting to leave the European Union. With formal exit plans now in place, what can the UK do to ensure successful future relations with the EU? What financial implications have we already seen, or should expect to see? 

Jun 24 - Great American Backyard Campout. A one-night event for to camp out in their backyards or local parks. With climate change discussions and President Trump threatening to eliminate funding for national parks and monuments, how important is it teach children about the great outdoors? What are other activities families can do to learn about and appreciate nature? 

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