Media in Chicago with Emily L. Barr, President & General Manager, ABC 7 Chicago (WLS-TV)


Emily L. Barr’ Speech
Within the framework of Luncheon Forums, Niagara Foundation organized yet another forum on Wednesday, January 10. Yesterday’s event was focused particularly on media in the USA and fair broadcasting in a diverse community. The speaker was well-known media leader, President and General Manager of ABC 7 (WLS-TV), Emily Barr.
Along with delicious, home-made Turkish food and delight and after introduction of Executive Director of Niagara Foundation Kemal Oksuz, Emily Barr delivered a speech about the media situation in the USA with a particular focus on Chicago area emphasizing ABC 7’s contribution to diversity of views and community service in Chicago area.

Emily Barr emphasized the existing diverse communities in Chicago and the need to voice different opinions. However, sometimes it is difficult to do so. “There was issue about 9/11 and we didn’t know anything about the Muslim community, also we didn’t want to broadcast something that doesn’t really represent their views. Although we have some Muslim employees, we tried to call some experts from this community and we established kind of dialogue and that was so constructive” added Emily Barr.

Emily Barr also talked about various campaigns that her TV channel has undertaken for many years such as fire safety awareness campaigns. She especially stressed that every single burned house didn’t have a smoke detector and there is an urgent need to have one in each house.

She also complained about several TV channels’ biased broadcast but also put that she admires and respects this country’s freedom of speech. She also said that some TV channels claim that they are national but represent not more than 2 or 3 views but ABC 7 TV channel is not a national one yet trying to voice all opinions as much as it can.

At the end of her speech, Emily Barr answered the questions of the audience. Kemal Oksuz concluded the event by presenting a very wonderfully hand-written gift that reads Emily Barr’s name in an Ottoman Empire’s seal’s ornament.

Many important voices attended the event including the President of Harold Washington College, a representative from International Visitor Center, Representatives from ABC 7 TV, the director of Turkish American Society, mayor of Mount Prospect, leaders from different communities and many more.

The next event is announced to be on February 1st by Robert Grant, special agent in charge of FBI in Chicago.

Wednesday-January 10, 2007
11:30am- 1:00pm

205 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 4240
Chicago, IL, US, 60601

The views and opinions expressed on The Falls are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Niagara Foundation, its staff, other authors, members, partners, or sponsors.