Dr. Larry Burriss

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (BURRISS)  In 1954, Marian Anderson became the first black singer to be hired by the Metropolitan Opera. And in 1955, she became the first black singer to have a major role in a Met production.

But fifteen years earlier, and 74 years ago Tuesday, on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939, Anderson sang a concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, putting on display what Arturo Toscanini said was a voice that came along only once a century.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (BURRISS)  --  What do most Americans know about foreign cultures, and what kinds of pictures of foreign countries do we get from the news? Well, there is something of a formula for the kinds of news we get about other places: floods, famine and fires; coups and catastrophes. Or, if there is good news, it's all about foods, festivals and famous people.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (BURRISS)  --  How many of you complain about your spouse spending too much time using the microwave oven? Or, how many times have you said, “I think I’ll go in the kitchen and use the sink?”

Sounds pretty silly, doesn’t it? After all, these are simply tools we use to do something else.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (BURRISS) --  At an educational conference I’m attending, two strands keep coming up: students at all levels don't know how to read, compute, communicate or think, and the negative impact the media are having on those same students.

Well, at the risk of sounding old-fashioned or corny, I would like to propose that we use the media to provide a remedy for all of these educational deficiencies.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  In case you didn't know it, and apparently many people don't, this is Sunshine Week, and this Saturday is both Freedom of Information Day, and the birthday of James Madison, generally considered the father of the Constitution.
     But, there also seems to be a generalized fear that the media have grown too powerful and too aggressive. Yet, if we stop for a moment and take an historical look at American media, we'll see they have always been a powerful influence in American life.