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MJC Update

The Minnesota Journalism Center hosted events this past semester with a local, national, and international flair.

Supply, Demand, and Deadlines

m.j.c. logoThe Minnesota Journalism Center's fifth annual "Supply, Demand, and Deadlines" conference, held June 12-14, 2005, featured speakers including Arthur Rolnick, director of research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, and Andrew Cassel, business and economics columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Art Rolnick5.gifThe conference, a joint venture between the MJC and the Minnesota Federal Reserve, is a three-day intensive workshop aimed at helping journalists understand the economic aspects of the stories they cover as well as providing a basic introduction to economic thinking. Twenty journalists from around the country attended this year's conference to hear Rolnick, Cassel, and a number of other speakers, including Varadarajan V. Chari, an economics professor at the University of Minnesota, and Bob Isaacson from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

The ConferneceThe conference also featured a tour of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and the chance for participants to have their news stories on the workshop case study critiqued by journalists Cassel, Mike Meyers from the Star Tribune, and Chris Worthington from the Pioneer Press.

Bob StruckmanParticipants came away from the conference with new knowledge on how to incorporate economics into their writing in a meaningful way. Reporter Bob Struckman, from The Missoulian in Missoula, Montana, also appreciated the chance to network at the conference.

"I met some excellent people and probably added about a dozen contacts to my Rolodex," he says. "These people have added depth and context to my writing, and that was my goal."

"Supply, Demand, and Deadlines" will be held in the fall of 2006 in Washington, D.C., and will return to Minneapolis in the summer of 2007. Visit www.mjc.umn.edu for more information.

"J-Camp" with the Asian-American Journalists Association

The Minnesota Journalism Center participated in the 2005 Asian- American Journalists Association's annual "J-Camp" in August. The camp was attended by 48 top high school students from across the country, who came to the University of Minnesota campus for four days to learn the ins and outs of journalism from industry professionals. Speakers included James Colton, photography editor for Sports Illustrated, Hoda Kotb, a correspondent for "Dateline NBC," and Joie Chen, a Washington-based correspondent for CBS News. The AAJA sponsors "J-Camp" in conjunction with its annual national conference, which was held in Minneapolis this year. Students attended sessions geared toward different fields in professional journalism. Breakout groups ranged from photojournalism to broadcast to print. All participants were expected to produce a story during the camp, to include interviewing, reporting, and photography. A field trip to the Mall of America provided an opportunity for the students to take photos, interview shoppers live on camera, and discuss different aspects of the mall with employers and employees at different stores. The students then returned to Murphy Hall's computer labs, where they were assisted by industry experts who demonstrated techniques for creating a concise and interesting story. Workshop leaders included Curtis L. Taylor, a reporter for New York Newsday, Neki Mohan, a reporter and anchor at WPLG in Miami, and Kyndell Harkness, a photographer at the Star Tribune. Star Tribune media critic Neal Justin was the local organizer on behalf of AAJA. A closing reception, with Joie Chen as the guest of honor, ended the camp.

The World Press Institute: "Transparency Reporting"

The World Press Institute, headquartered at St. Paul's Macalester College, brought educators from all over the world to Murphy Hall this summer for the second annual "Transparency Reporting: Train the Trainers" program held June 20-July 1. Attendees from such far-flung locales as Brazil, Germany, and China participated in the two-week workshop, where they were trained in the latest reporting methods. Most of the participants were university professors or lecturers, but a number of editors and news reporters with part-time teaching appointments also attended. The intention of the workshop is to send people back to their communities armed with reporting skills they can share with their students and colleagues. A number of workshop sessions were led by SJMC faculty. These included a three-part series on media ethics given by Silha Professor Jane Kirtley, a two-part lecture on new media and the "new Web" given by INMS director Nora Paul, and a talk by MJC director Kathleen Hansen about journalism education and training in the United States.