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

APRIL

  • National Financial Literacy Month. 
  • April 6 - 100th anniversary of America entering WWI
  • April 15-23. National Park Week
  • April 21 - TIME 100 list announced
  • April 22 - Earth Day
  • April 25 - World Malaria Day
  • April 27 - 2017 World Press Freedom Index Published
  • April 29 - The White House Correspondents' Association dinner

MAY

May 01 - National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. As budget cuts have resulted in schools no longer offering gym class, and children of all ages are playing games on mobile devices, how should we ensure they get enough physical activity? 

May 02 - Forbes publishes list of America's Top Companies. What makes a company a top company? How do factors such as stock price, benefits, corporate social responsibility, corporate culture play a role in recruiting employees? 

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 05 - 'Cinco de Mayo' holiday. Why do so many other countries, besides Mexico, celebrate Cinco de Mayo? What draws people to this holiday over other cultural celebrations?

May 06 – Kentucky Derby. What are the economic and social impacts of the Kentucky Derby and the overall Triple Crown, and how has it changed over the years? Do people still care about horse racing?

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 7 and 21 -  Final two performances of Ringling Bros' 'Greatest Show on Earth'. Ringling Bros. cited their decision to stop using elephants as one reason their ticket sales had declined, but how could the circus have reimagined itself, despite no longer having elephants, to keep itself afloat?

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?

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