2013 SCSU First Amendment Forum

2013 SCSU First Amendment Forum


          St. Cloud, Minn.– What stays, and what goes? When it comes to community journalism, those tough questions face the news industry, audiences and educators.

“Heart & Soul:  Community Journalism in Minnesota” raises these crucial issues as the central themes of the 42nd annual SCSU First Amendment Forum.

A mix of seasoned and up-and-coming journalists headlines the free, day-long workshop Friday, April 19 in the Atwood Little Theatre.  Sessions are 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. to 3 p.m.  The Defense of the First Amendment Award presentation precedes the lunch break.

“This year’s forum is unabashedly focused on best practices, then and now,” said Michael Vadnie, faculty coordinator.  “Not only will it serve as an incubator for the exchange of ideas for journalists, educators and students, but also as an opportunity to glimpse inside the minds of committed news hounds.”

SPJ co-presidents Lindsey Branwall and Alyssa Chrisinger envisioned the event as a way to address issues of journalistic ethics, watchdog reporting, coverage of new citizens and the impact of minute-to-minute news cycles.

The morning session addresses lost traditions as well as preserved customs in the context of community journalism.  Featured panelists are Reed Anfinson, editor and manager of the Swift County Monitor-News, Benson, Minn.; Julie Bergman, co-owner of Page 1 Publications, East Grand Forks; Tom West, editor and general manager of the Morrison County Record, Little Falls; and Tim Hennagir, editor of the Monticello Times. Rene Kaluza, training director and columnist for the St. Cloud Times/Times Media, is the moderator.  (Anfinson, Bergman and West are past presidents of the Minnesota Newspaper Association while Hennagir and Kaluza also are adjunct journalism professors at SCSU.)

Highlighting the late morning session is recognition of Anfinson, immediate past president of the National Newspaper Association, winner of the Defense of the First Amendment Award.  His status report on the free press will end about noon.

The afternoon panel dubbed Future World Today promises to realistically update forum attendees about the challenges facing today’s journalists as well as predictions about the constantly morphing news business.

Featured panelists in the afternoon session are TaLeiza Calloway, freelance journalist, St. Joseph;  Jay Corn, Patch correspondent, Minnetonka;  Jun-Kai Teoh, digital content director, St. Cloud Times/Times Media; and Lesley Toth, reporter and columnist, Mille Lacs County Times, Milaca.  Reg Chapman, WCCO investigative reporter, Minneapolis, and an adjunct journalism professor at SCSU, will serve as moderator.

Forum sponsors are SCSU College of Liberal Arts, Minnesota Newspaper Association, SCSU student chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, St. Cloud Times/Times Media, National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Upper Midwest Chapter and SCSU Department of Mass Communications.


          For information on groups and parking, call Elaine at 320-308-2790, or send an e-mail to Vadnie at vads@stcloudstate.edu.