Eric Sorensen: Guest speaker for April 25

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Eric Sorensen has been reporting and writing for 30 years, often on scientific and environmental issues. A graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, he was the Palouse bureau chief of the Spokesman-Review and science writer for the Seattle Times.

He has edited at the magazines Conservation and Pacific Northwest Yachting, and co-authored the book, Seven Wonders for a Cool Planet: Everyday Things to Help Solve Global Warming. He has also worked with conservationists and scientists throughout the West in dealing with the media.

He is currently the science writer for Washington State Magazine, the quarterly magazine of Washington State University. Please come prepared to ask Eric a question about his career and his experience covering scientific and environmental topics.


Meet Tracy Simmons, guest speaker for April 23

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Tracy Simmons

Tracy Simmons serves as the editor and community manager of SpokaneFAVS (Faith and Values), which is affiliated with Religion News LLC.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in print journalism and master’s degrees in communication. Tracy has reported on religion for about a decade and has written for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas and Connecticut.

Over the years Simmons has won several journalism awards including the 2009 American Academy of Religion’s first place award for best in-depth reporting on religion, and the 2011 Religion Newswriters Association’s Schachern Award for Online Religion Section of the Year.

Please come prepared to ask Tracy a question about her work and the challenges of starting a news website.

Comparing tuition at Idaho’s universities

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We talked Friday about ways to visually present the increases in tuition and fees at Idaho’s universities and Lewis-Clark State College. The University of Idaho’s news release included a table showing the amount of the increase and the percentage for each of the institutions. But it didn’t show changes in out-of-state tuition.

Compare 3 leads: Idaho Board of Education


ASUI President Samantha Pere talks to University of Idaho President Duane Nellis and Provost Doug Baker on Wednesday in Moscow. (Photo: Geoff Crimmins, Moscow-Pullman Daily News)

At least three reporters covered this week’s meeting of the Idaho Board of Education in Moscow.  Joel Mills of the Lewiston Tribune and Holly Bowen of the Moscow-Pullman Daily News attended the meeting in person. Betsy Russell of The Spokesman-Review watched the streaming video.  Here are their leads from this morning’s papers:

In-state tuition and fees at the University of Idaho will increase by 6.1 percent in 2012-13, the Idaho State Board of Education voted Wednesday afternoon.  (Bowen)

On a mixture of unanimous and split votes, the Idaho State Board of Education approved the tuition and fee increase requests that came before it Wednesday. (Mills)

Students at Idaho’s state colleges and universities will pay more next year, but the tuition and fee increases approved Wednesday by the state Board of Education are considerably lower than the stiff increases of recent years, and board members said the schools are still a bargain. (Russell)

And here’s the Argonaut’s Facebook post from Wednesday on the tuition increase:

In a 5-2 vote, the Idaho State Board of Education approved the proposed 6.1 percent increase of tuition and fees for University of Idaho undergraduates, as well as the proposed increases for non-resident and graduate/professional student fees and tuition during today’s meeting at the UI Student Union Building ballroom.

Which lead bests captures the board’s action? Which one is most likely to entice the reader to delve more deeply into the story?  We’ll talk about these approaches in Friday’s class.


Meet Joel Mills, higher ed reporter

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Joel Mills will speak to the Reporting II class Monday, April 16.  Mills started his reporting career as an intern at the Lewiston Tribune almost 10 years ago, coincidentally as he was taking Public Affairs Reporting. The internship led to a full-time position covering higher education and the Palouse region from the Trib’s Moscow office. Please come to class prepared to ask a question about his career and beat.

David Carr on the future of newspapers

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David Carr

David Carr, who describes himself as “a journalism junkie and an optimist,” writes a weekly column called “The Media Equation.” Last week, he wrote about several buyers of metropolitan newspapers, whom he put in the category of “newspaper barons.” Carr observes that big-city newspapers may be returning to an ownership pattern that was common before World War II:

People like William Randolph Hearst and Robert McCormick wielded their newspapers as cudgels to get their way. It was only when newspapers began making all kinds of money in the postwar era that they were professionalized and infused with editorial standards.

Carr suggests that perhaps the new owners of the two dailies in Philadelphia “could catch the journalism bug and access the angels of their better natures.” Newspaper readers all over the United States will be rooting for their success.

Speakers, career workshops at WSU

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Marilyn Berger

Journalist and author Marilyn Berger will speak Tuesday, April 3, at 6 p.m. at Washington State University.  Berger will deliver a public lecture in Room 21 of the Communication Addition building. Her talk is titled “Adventures and Escapades, A Life in Journalism and Beyond.”

Berger was a diplomatic correspondent for Newsday and The Washington Post, United Nations correspondent for ABC News, and White House correspondent for NBC News.   Read more about her career here.

This is an extra-credit event for JAMM 327, along with Murrow Career Day workshops and speakers on Thursday, April 5.  Follow this link to a map and directions to the Communication Addition and Murrow Hall.

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