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Reporting the Y2K Story:
A seminar for working journalists

February 23, 1999 - New York City

For a report on what happened at this conference, see below.

Reporting the Y2K Story: A seminar for working journalists

Presented by FACS
and the
Media Studies Center

February 23, 1999
New York City

As a journalist, you have heard the doomsday predictions as well as the
assurance that, by year's end, the Year 2000 Computer problem will be
"no problem" after all. Reporting accurately and authoritatively on the
millennium bug is one of journalism's big challenges this year. What you
need to know to do the job well is the focus of a daylong conference for
journalists at The Freedom Forum's Media Studies Center, Tuesday,
February 23.

The Media Studies Center and FACS are presenting a day of learning to
provide journalists with the basic building blocks and the critical
background for coverage of Y2K. Our faculty will include leading experts
on risk assessment and preparedness for business, governments,
international institutions and the nation's infrastructure (electricity,
telecommunications, etc.). Liability experts will
explain the vulnerability of commerce small or large.

This seminar is for reporters and editors who need better background
information in order to cover the millennium bug story throughout 1999.
Participants will be better able to evaluate future stories about this
highly complex issue and will have new time lines for potential problems
in 1999 as well as after January 1, 2000.

Attendance is limited to working journalists from print, broadcasting
and new electronic media.


8:30 a.m. Registration

8:45 Introductions and Assessment of
Y2K Scenarios from participants
Paul Davis, FACS

9:00 A Journalists Perspective on Y2K
Marcia Stepanek
Business Week

9:20 This Year and Next. What are the Realities?
Ed Yourdon
The Cutter Consortium

11:00 Looking at Financial Institutions
Dennis Grabow, CEO
Millennium Investments

12:00 Lunch

12:30 p.m. Watching Federal, State and
Local Governments
Victor Porlier, Center for Civic Renewal
Dr. Robert Alloway, Director, Nat'l
Leadership Task Force on Y2K

2:00 Issues of Liability from Y2K Problems
Professor Walter Effross
Washington College of Law,
American University

3:00 The Power Grid
Rick Cowles, Author, Electric Utilities and Y2K

3:45 What Journalists should look for
in the coming year
The Faculty and Journalists

4:45 Adjournment

Faculty and Speakers

Dennis Grabow, CEO, Millennium Investments
Ed Yourdan, Chairman and Co-Founder, The Cutter Consortium, a software
engineering consultant and author of Time Bomb 2000.
Professor Walter Effross, Washington College of Law, American
University, Chair, ABA Subcommittee on Electronic Commerce.
Marcia Stepanek, Editor, Technology Strategies, Business Week.
Dr. Robert Alloway, Director, National Leadership Task Force on Y2K.
Victor Porlier, Center for Civic Renewal.
Rick Cowles, Author, Electric Utilities and Y2K


Media Studies Center
580 Madison Avenue, 42nd Floor
New York, New York
Tuesday, February 23, 1999
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Cost and Registration

There is no registration fee but you must be pre-registered to attend.

Register for the Seminar using: FACSNET online service: Go to
http// Select FACS Conferences
By Telephone: (323) 851-7372.
By Fax: (323) 851-9186
By E-mail

A special hotel rate for this seminar is available on Monday, February
22 at the Courtyard by Marriott, 864 Third Avenue at 53rd Street in
Manhattan. Call 212-644-9600 and tell the reservation agent you are with
the FACS-Media Center seminar.

This program is being made possible in part through the support of the
Hewlett-Packard Foundation.

The Media Studies Center is funded by the Freedom Forum of Arlington,
VA, a non-partisan, independent foundation dedicated to the improvement
of journalists.

FACS is a non-profit educational institution dedicated to improving
public understanding of issues through a more informed news media. FACS
programs are interactive and do not advocate points-of-view.

This conference is part of a continuing series of educational programs
on science and technology conducted by FACS in association with the
California Institute for Technology. The programs include the Science
Institute for Journalists at Caltech, which will be inaugurated in June

Tuesday, February 23, 1999
To register contact:

3800 Barham Boulevard, Suite 409
Los Angeles, California 90068
(323) 851-7372 * Fax (323) 851-9186

For a report on this conference...

Anyone dealing with the press and helping them "get" Y2K may want to have a
look at the following article:

Journalists struggle with covering could-be crisis

By Marilyn Geewax

"Maddening.'' "Frustrating.'' Journalists struggled to find words to
describe their feelings about covering the great enigma: the year 2000
computer flaw, also known as Y2K.

At a seminar last week at the Media Studies Center in midtown
Manhattan, about 70 reporters from around the country tried to figure
out how to better cover what may turn out to be one of the most
significant events in modern history - or one of the biggest yawns in
media history.


The rest can be found at:

Stephen Balkam