|Communicators Days set for Oct. 20-21|
Media and politics will highlight the Communicators Days, Friday and Saturday, Oct. 20-21, at the Hilton Garden Inn. Representatives from the local government, media, academe, and nonprofit organizations will be on hand to discuss their roles in the world of media and politics.
North Dakota state and local candidates for office will kick off the event with discussion about current events and their campaigns. Friday’s discussion on the upcoming election is free and open to the public. There is a $30 registration fee for Saturday’s events, which includes a continental breakfast, lunch, panel discussions and a chance to network. Students who pre-register will have the opportunity to assist with the event and attend the sessions free of charge.
UND President Charles Kupchella will host the reception at 6 p.m. Friday, which will be followed immediately by “Election 2006: a Political Discussion” with North Dakota politicians at 7 p.m. Confirmed participants in the discussion include Bill Brudvik, Democratic candidate for North Dakota attorney general; Dwight Grotberg, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate; Kristin Hedger, Democratic candidate for North Dakota secretary of state; North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger; and Matt Mechtel, Republican candidate for U.S. House of Representatives. Dave Thompson, news director for North Dakota Public Radio and Jack Zaleski, opinion page editor at The Forum, will moderate the discussion.
Three other panels will mark Saturday’s activities. “FOI/OR/OM: Freedom of Information/Open Records/Open Meetings” will begin at 8:45 a.m. with a continental breakfast and discussion on open governance and democracy as it relates to the media’s role as the societal freedom watchdog. There will be an emphasis on North Dakota interpretation and application of the law. Panelists will include Peggy Bellows, editor, The Forum; Mike Morken, news editor, KXJB TV; and Wayne Stenehjem, North Dakota attorney general. Jack McDonald, attorney and legal counsel for Wheeler and Wolf, will moderate the discussion.
“What is News?” at 9 a.m. will focus on questions such as: Does the media still produce news? Does it engage in synthesis and analysis? Do many journalists settle for simply recording and replaying? How do journalists determine what to cover? Panelists include Darrell Dorgan, director, North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame; Jerry Fiskum, Red River Farm Network; Bob Kerr, general manager, WDAZ TV; Jaime DeLage, assigning editor, Grand Forks Herald; and Jim Pumarlo, newspaper consultant/former editor of the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Susan Mickelson, SimmonsFlint, will be the moderator.
The panel on “The Effects of Covering Trauma on Journalists” follows at 1 p.m. and will look at how reporting traumatic events affects journalists and their media organizations. Panelists include Cecile Wehrman, news editor, The (Crosby) Journal; Kevin Grinde, managing editor, Grand Forks Herald; Janel Klein, freelance broadcast journalist; Stephen J. Lee, reporter covering region/police/courts, Grand Forks Herald; and John Stennes, photo chief, Grand Forks Herald. Rosanne McBride, clinical psychologist and assistant professor at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, will moderate the discussion.
Jacquelyn Lowman, coordinator of Communicators Days and UND School of Communication faculty member, said the event is meant to begin ongoing conversations among various publics on the state of the media in North Dakota and across the country. “The media will only be one segment of voices in these panel discussions. We want other voices, particularly those of the public and students, to be heard as well,” Lowman said.
Media associations, such as the North Dakota Broadcast Association (NDBA) and the North Dakota Newspapers Association (NDNA), will set up table displays, as will communication student clubs.
For information, please contact Jacqui Lowman, 777-2581, firstname.lastname@example.org. To register, please contact Jacqui Lowman or Missy Ryder, 701-740-6936, email@example.com.