2011 Year in Review

The Minnesota Journalism Center had a very busy year and we are looking forward to what lies ahead in 2012. As we gear up for our winter events, here is a look back at what we have been doing over the last 12 months.


Murrow Fellows Come to Visit

The University of Minnesota School of Journalism & Mass Communication hosted the 2011 Murrow Fellows, a group of international journalists here as part of the U.S. Department of State's Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists. Nov. 4-8.

The University of Minnesota has been part of the Murrow Program since its inception in 2006. As part of the program, more than 150 journalists from 105 countries visit the United States. They start their trip in Washington, D.C., break off into smaller groups around the United States and then reconvene in New York City.

This year, 10 journalists from East Asian and Pacific Rim countries came to campus. The journalists arrived in Minnesota on Wed., Nov. 2 and departed on Tues., Nov. 8.

The focus of their trip to Minnesota is to learn more about immigrant, refugee and transportation issues, topics chosen by the journalists themselves.

As part of their time here in Minnesota, the group heard about the refugee health program, the coverage of minorities, public policy and issues regarding First Amendment Law and social media within Minnesota. The group visited Minnesota Public Radio, 3M and Public Radio International, plus each participant was paired with a journalist here in the Twin Cities who has a similar "beat" to them. Murrow Fellows are being paired with reporters at the Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, MPR, Twin Cities Public Television and the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

The program, named after the late CBS journalist, aims to inform international journalists about U.S. policies, programs and civic issues.

Liberty Tree Event Series
As part of the weeklong event celebrating Minnesota's role in First Amendment Law, Rodney A. Smolla, a First Amendment Scholar and president of Furman University, gave a keynote address showcasing the importance the free speech.
Watch Part One.
Watch Part Two.

Hacks & Hackers Meet Up

Hacks & Hackers met up in Murphy Hall on Nov. 9, 2011 to hear Professor Seth Lewis from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism & Mass Communication talk about his research and how reporters can use data in journalism

Watch the video.


MJC Director, Nora Paul, spoke at TEDx on Oct. 28, 2011.

Nora Paul's "Getting Whipped Up About Journalism" talk from TEDx has been made available on YouTube.

"In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized." - TEDx

Watch here.

John Beardsley Inaugural Lecture

The Inaugural Beardsley Lecture took place on Oct. 6, 2011. The lecture was in honor of the late John Beardsley of Twin Cities PR agency Padilla Speer Beardsley. He was a luminary who never quit asking, What's next? He loved to learn, grow and think to the future.

The featured speaker was Dr. Michael Chorost. A technology theorist who went completely deaf in 2001 and had a computer implanted in his head to regain his hearing. Having the device in his body sparked an idea: how do computers change humans? And how can computers change the way we communicate? What he found is that computers can make communication much more creative.

His experience that prompted two books, including Dr. Chorost's most recent, World Wide Mind.

SJMC Hosts Panel About the Future of the Magazine

Creative turmoil in the publishing world, iconic magazines are vanishing and everything (and we mean everything) is put online with little to no profit for publishing companies. Apps, social media, smart phones and e-readers are revolutionizing the world of magazines and publishing.

With this uncertainty in the industry, what's the future for magazine writers, designers and editors? An expert panel comprised of David Schimke, the editor in chief of the Utne Reader, Deborah Hopp, publisher of Mpls. St. Paul Magazine and vice president of MSP Communications and media guru Kate Byrne. The discussion was held on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011, at Murphy Hall auditorium.

Watch the Video


Minnesota Journalism Center Hosts Latino Media Expert

Félix Gutiérrez, a nationally acclaimed expert in social media and racial diversity and Professor of Journalism and Communication at the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, visits the University of Minnesota on September 22, 2011 to discuss the history of Latino media and preview the documentary "Voices for Justice." The documentary-in-progress is being produced by Berkeley filmmaker Raymond Telles.

This talk will chronicle the issues addressed by Latino newspapers in the United States and the advocacy role they have played in fighting for civil rights.

As part of the evening, Gutiérrez previews his documentary "Voices for Justice" for the first time and then will display his traveling 24-panel exhibit, Voices for Justice: 200 Years of Latino Newspapers in the United States, which gives a chronological history of Latino media, the issues these newspapers covered and the journalists who produced the stories, photographs and news media.

The event will be held on the East Bank of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus at Walter Library's Digital Technology Center, room 402, from 5-7 p.m., Sept. 22. The event is free and open to the public.

JULY 2011

SJMC Alum Hosts Facebook Journalism Meetup

On July 14, School of Journalism & Mass Communciation alum Vadim Lavrusik hosted the Facebook Journalism Meetup at MPR in St. Paul. Lavrusik (B.A. '09) is the journalist program manager for Facebook in charge of their Facebook + Journalists initiative, which works to teach journalists about using Facebook in reporting and networking. Plus, the page works as a platform for journalists.

Watch the video.

MAY 2011

See Change Conference

See Change: The Power of Visual Communication,
entered its second year with a bang, or more appropriately, the swipe of an iPad. The two-day conference celebrating design and communication held its opening reception on May 19, 2011 at the McNamara Alumni Center and its following full-day workshop at the Coffman Memorial Student Union Theater.

The goal of See Change is to bring visual artists like graphic designers, photographers and illustrators together with communicators, journalists and publishers to share work and discuss the future of our changing media landscape.

Charles Melcher, the 2011 keynote speaker, is the founder and president of Melcher Media, an independent book packager and publisher. Melcher showcased his work, from large-scale, popup books for Neiman Marcus department stores, to customized editions of the Nike Human Race marathon book, in which participants can find photos of themselves among the thousands who participated around the world.

Melcher also brought with him the first ever full-length, interactive book for the iPad and iPhone. "Our Choice," based on Al Gore's book of the same name, takes the text and illuminates it by bringing examples to life with just a swipe of a finger. To create the book, Melcher worked with Gore to ensure readers could interact with the concepts Gore wanted to illustrate.

The spirit of innovation carried through to the next day with featured speakers Ian Adelman, former director of design at The New York Times; Matthew Atkatz, interactive creative director at CP+B; Karin Fong, director and designer at Imaginary Forces; Jon Forss, creative director at Non-Format; Jeff Johnson of Spunk Design Machine; photographers Doug Menuez and Paul Nelson sharing their work and design philosophies. To kick the program off, Phillip Brunelle, artistic director of VocalEssence, warmed up the group by helping everyone find their voice.

Although presenters and attendees shared their struggles of keeping up in an evolving marketplace, attendees were excited for what the future will bring.

The inspiration for the See Change conference began with an endowment from former SJMC faculty member Smitty Schuneman and his wife, Pat. Mary K. Baumann and Brent Stickels were recruited to act as program directors along with the help of Steve Bickel, Joe Duffy, Michael Hart, Will Hopkins, Daniel Jasper and Steve Niedorf. The 2011 See Change would not have been possible without their guidance and the vital support of Best Buy, SJMC, Minnesota Journalism Center, AIGA Minnesota and the College of Design.

Visit seechangeconference.org for 2012 registration information.

APRIL 2011

Frank Premack Public Affairs Journalism Award

For the past 34 years, the School of Journalism & Mass Communication has hosted the Frank Premack Public Affairs Journalism Awards. Although much has changed over the years, the importance of well-written, hard-hitting stories that inform and inspire remains constant.

Held at the McNamara Alumni Center on April 18, 2011, SJMC and the Minnesota Journalism Center honored winners in three categories broken down into small and large news organizations: Breaking News, Investigative or Analytical Reporting and Opinion.
The diverse panel of judges, ranging from artists to lawyers, narrowed the entries of exemplary public-affairs journalism down to one winner per category.

In addition to these awards, the Premack Board presented the Graven Award for Journalistic Excellence to Gary Eichten of Minnesota Public Radio. He was chosen for his many contributions to public-affairs journalism.

The Farr Award for Exceptional Contributions to Public Affairs Reporting was presented to Laura Waterman Wittstock of Wittstock and Associates. As the former president of Migizi Communications, she advocated for Native American children and communities to tell their own stories and she was honored with a drum circle by the Little Earth Singers.
But the program isn't all about the winners. For the first time, local journalists were invited to a pre-ceremony workshop showcasing the work of the runners-up in each category. All were given the opportunity to share their experiences and answer questions about their reporting process.

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