Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, WSIU to Launch New Public Affairs Series

Sep 26, 2017

Credit Mark St. George / WSIU

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Contacts: Jak Tichenor, Interim Director, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, (618) 453-4003,; Greg Petrowich, Executive Director, WSIU Public Broadcasting, (618) 453-4344,

Paul Simon Public Policy Institute and WSIU Public Broadcasting to Launch New Weekly Public Affairs Series

Carbondale, Ill. – The Paul Simon Public Policy Institute and WSIU Public Broadcasting, a service unit of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, are partnering to produce On-Topic, a weekly three-minute news and public affairs feature set to premiere on WSIU’s main channels WSIU-TV 8.1 / WUSI-TV 16.1 and WSIU WORLD (WSIU-TV 8.2 / WUSI-TV 16.2) on Saturday, September 30 at 5:27pm following PBS NewsHour Weekend.

“We are excited by this new opportunity to showcase the expertise of our faculty and staff, along with contributors from SIU’s Departments of Political Science and Communication Studies,” said Jak Tichenor, Interim Director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.

The new series, which also will be available by podcast subscription at and, will feature weekly analysis of current topics in the news by a host of experts from the Institute and the University. Jennifer Fuller, Associate Director for News and Public Affairs at WSIU Public Broadcasting, will serve as host.

The On-Topic guest line-up includes Dr. John Jackson, Visiting Professor; Dr. Linda Renee Baker, University Professor; Dr. Tobin Grant, Chair of the SIU Department of Political Science; Dr. Todd Graham, Director of the Saluki Debate Team; and Tichenor, Statehouse Correspondent for the Illinois Lawmakers public media series. 

“This partnership is the latest example of WSIU Public Broadcasting’s long history of working with the University’s academic and public service programs to provide the public with thoughtful analysis of the issues behind the headlines of the day,” said Greg Petrowich, Executive Director of WSIU Public Broadcasting. “We are confident that this is just the beginning of what we expect to be a long and productive partnership with the Institute in exploring fresh approaches to news and public affairs reporting.”

“In an era where context is so critical, On-Topic will provide viewers with a valuable lens through which they can examine and better understand the issues of the day,” adds Jennifer Fuller, WSIU Associate Director for News and Public Affairs.

On-Topic will be produced in WSIU’s state-of-the-art, high-definition television studios with production crews staffed by students in the SIU Department of Radio-Television & Digital Media and other academic programs. 

Learn more about the series at

About WSIU Public Broadcasting

WSIU Public Broadcasting is licensed to the Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University and is an integral part of the College of Mass Communication & Media Arts on the Carbondale campus. The WSIU stations reach more than three million people across five states and beyond through three digital public television channels, three public radio stations, a radio information service, a website, and an education and community outreach department. 

About the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute

The Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale acts on significant and controversial issues impacting the region, the state, the nation, and the world. It is committed to developing and working to implement approaches that could bring concrete, positive results in tackling some of the most difficult challenges in the public policy arena. The Institute works to foster ethical conduct in government and opportunity and fair treatment for people in America and throughout the world, and promotes responsible citizenship for all Americans, but particularly for young Americans.

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