Working Journalists Seminar Series

The Role of News in the Community panel discussion

October 7, 2014 at 7pm in the University Center Riverview ballroom Admission is free

Whether news still matters in community affairs will be discussed during this semester's Working Journalists Seminar, sponsored by the Department of Journalism at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

The event will feature a panel discussion, "The Role of News in the Community,"  The program coincides with National News Engagement Day, an event being sponsored for the first time by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).

Participants in the panel discussion will include Alan Burchill, the mayor of Hudson;  Neil Kraus, professor and chair of political science at UWRF; Rich Kremer, reporter and host of "The West Side" on Wisconsin Public Radio; and Chad Richardson, editor and publisher, Hastings (Minn.) Star Gazette.

"Despite more news platforms conveniently available 24/7 and diverse ways to engage with news, getting informed about news is no longer a national priority." the AEJMC notes on its website devoted to National News Engagement Day, The UWRF panel discussion will examine what this means for local politics and communities.

For more information on the Department of Journalism, visit the website

Spring 2014 Working Journalists Seminar March 6th at 7pm in the UC Riverview Ballroom

The Challenge of Marriage and the Media:  Making the Job and Marriage work.  Admission is free.

Panel discussion by two couples Angela Davis & Duchesne Drew and Eric Ebert & Helen Clarke Ebert who work/have worked in the news business.  This panel discusses the challenges for married and working couples in the Journalism field.

UW-River Falls to Host Panel Discussion on the State of the Local News Media

October 17, 2013 at 7pm in 120 South Hall   Admission is free

Each semester the UW-River Falls Journalism Department sponsors the Working Journalists seminar for students and the public.  This semester, a panel of professionals will discuss the  "State of the Local News Media". 

Andris Straumanis, associate journalism professor at UWRF, will moderate the discussion.

For more information call 715-425-3169 or e mail


Meg Heaton, Reporter and Columnist for the Hudson Star Observer.

Since 1990 she's covered education, police, health and general assignment stories.  A graduate of UW-Eau Claire, Heaton worked as an insurance adjuster and was a bookstore owner before she entered journalism.

Rich Kremer, Reporter and Host, Wisconsin Public Radio

Rich Kremer came to Wisconsin Public Radio from WTCH in Shawano where he worked as news director.  Before that, he was a host for Midwest Communications in Duluth and also worked as an intern at WPR's Northern Regional Bureau in Superior.  Kremer has a degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Superior.

Stacey Nogy, Asst. News Director, KARE-TV

Stacey Nogy is the Assistant News Director at KARE-TV, Gannett's NBC affiliate in Minneapolis.  Nogy has been with KARE-TV since 1993.  Prior to joining KARE-TV, she was a newscast and field producer at KNSD, the NBC affiliate in San Diego.  Nogy is a graduate of Edinboro University of Pennslyvania.

Eric Black, Politics and Government Writer, MinnPost

Eric Black writes "Eric Black Ink" for MinnPost, analyzing politics and government of Minnesota and the United States, the historical background of topics and other issues.  Black is a former reporter for the Star Tribune and a Twin Cities blogger.






Spring Semester Working Journalist via Wyman Series

Jose Antonio Vargas-How Do We Define American?

Wednesday, March 13th 2013
7:30 p.m. – Riverview Ballroom, University Center

Jose Antonio Vargas wrote the June 2012 cover story for Time Magazine titled "We Are Americans "Just not legally" and brought the term “undocumented Americans”  into popular discourse as a way to describe the country’s population of 11.5 million undocumented immigrants. 

In an essay for the New York Times Magazine titled "My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant," June 2011, Vargas revealed his undocumented status, which he did not know until 4 years after he arrived in the U.S. In the essay Vargas declared his mission to speak truthfully about immigration in America.  Having lived much of his life hiding his immigration status, he has reflected that coming out as a gay at Mountain View High School in Mountain View, California in 1999 was “less daunting than coming out about my legal status.”

Vargas  founded Define American, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, to elevate and reframe the immigration conversation.  

New York Times Magazine Article:

Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012

Featuring Lee TienElectronic Frontier Foundation   

7 p.m.  Free & open to the public
University Ballroom

About Lee Tien

Thursday, March 22, 2012Duchesne Drew

Duchesne Drew

Managing Editor of Operations Star Tribune
Topic: The Star Tribune's Digital Strategy

7 p.m. Free & open to all
UC Ballroom C-D

Streaming video of presentation
Event poster
About Duchesne Drew

Howie Padilla at UW-River Falls Oct. 2011

Thursday, Oct. 27

Howie Padilla

Public Information Officer
St. Paul Police Department

Topic: Reporters & Public Relations Professionals: Fraternal Twins

7 p.m. Free & open to all
University Center Ballrooms C-D

Streaming video of presentation
Event poster
About Howie Padilla

2010-11 Series

Thursday, Mar. 31, 2011Wing Young Houie portrait

Wing Young Huie

Award-winning cultural photographer
Topic: Identity and the American Landscape

7 p.m. Free & open to all
North Hall Auditorium, Rm. 222

Event photos by Jens Gunelson:
Brief slide show
Complete collection

Wing Young Huie’s many photographic projects document the dizzying socioeconomic and cultural realities of American society, much of it centered on the urban cores of his home state of Minnesota.

Whether in epic public installations or international museum exhibitions, he creates up-to-the-minute societal mirrors of who we are, seeking to reveal not only what is hidden, but also what is plainly visible and seldom noticed.

His public installations—FrogtownLake Street USA (2000) and The  University Avenue Project (2010)—transformed major Twin Cities’ thoroughfares into epic photo galleries, reflecting the everyday lives of thousands of its citizens in the midst of some of the most diverse concentrations of international immigrants in the country.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune in 2000 named Wing “Artist of the Year” stating, “Lake Street USA is likely to stand as a milestone in the history of photography and public art.” In 2008 it hailed the resulting book “one of the 25 most important books ever published about Minnesota.”

His five published books are:

More about Wing Young Huie:

Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010

Jeff Zeleny, New York Times Political Correspondent

Jeff Zeleny photo

Topic: The November Elections

7 p.m. Free & open to all
North Hall Auditorium, Rm. 222

Event photos by Jens Gunelson
Brief slide show

Complete collection

Jeff Zeleny is a national political correspondent for The New York Times. Mr. Zeleny was named to the position in March 2010 after working as a White House correspondent, where he traveled with President Obama across the United States and the world, reporting from Cairo when the president delivered his first major address to the Muslim world and from Oslo as he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize.

He covered the 2008 presidential campaign, following Mr. Obama from the day of his announcement throughout his primary fight with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and into the general election with Senator John McCain. Previously, he was a Congressional correspondent for the newspaper.

Mr. Zeleny came to The Times in September 2006 from the Chicago Tribune, where he served as the national political correspondent from 2001 until 2006. He worked in the newspaper’s Washington bureau, covering the 2004 presidential race and the first years of the George W. Bush administration. In 2005, he chronicled Senator Barack Obama’s first year in Washington, producing the first draft of the senator’s rise. He traveled to Russia, Ukraine and Azerbaijan with Mr. Obama in 2005, and followed him to Africa in 2006.

Mr. Zeleny joined the Chicago Tribune in 2000 as a general assignment reporter on the Metropolitan desk in Chicago, where he was a member of the reporting team that won the Pulitzer Prize in explanatory journalism for documenting gridlock in the nation's air traffic system. Before joining the Tribune, Mr. Zeleny was a writer for the Des Moines Register, where he covered the 2000 presidential caucuses, state politics and the criminal justice system.

Mr. Zeleny, a native of Nebraska, was born June 10, 1973. He graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1996, where he studied news-editorial journalism and political science, and completed internships at The Florida Times-Union, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, The Wall Street Journal, The Associated Press and the Chicago Tribune.

Mr. Zeleny has traveled to all 50 states and has reported from more than three-dozen countries. He currently lives in Washington, where he regularly appears on a variety of television programs.

More about Jeff Zeleny:

2009-10 Series

April 26, 2010

Fragile States from Sudan to Afghanistan

Fragile States poster image7 p.m. North Hall Auditorium
Free & open to the public

Vaness M. Gezari is a Washington-based writer who covers national and international affairs with a focus on South Asia, West Africa and Afghanistan. Her forthcoming book assesses the U.S. military's Human Terrain program, which embeds social scientists and anthropologists with troops in Afghanistan. Her reporting has been featured on NPR and in The Washington Post Magazine.

Jason Motlagh is a freelance journalist based in Istanbul whose reporting focus includes insurgencies in India, civilian casualties in Afghanistan and a 25-year civil war in Sri Lanka. His reporting has been featured in TIME, The Economist and The New Republic. His four-part series on the Mumbai terror attacks, published exclusively on the Virginia Quarterly Review blog, recently won an Ellie, a National Magazine Award for Digital Media in News Reporting.

Moderated by Dr. Patricia Berg, UWRF Professor of Journalism

Sponsored by The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, UW-River Falls and UWRF Department of Journalism's Working Journalists Seminar Series

Oct. 29, 2009

Media Coverage of the Somali Community

Dr. Hassan Eibakar

Eibakar-2807 p.m. North Hall Auditorium
Free & open to the public

Event photos by Jens Gunelson

Dr. Hassan A. Eibakar, born in Somalia, graduated with a degree in Veterinary and Animal Husbandry from Bologna University, Italy in 1962.

Throughout his life, Dr. Eibakar has been a leader in his community. In 1963 he was named Director General of the Livestock Development Agency within the Somali government. In 1970 he resigned to private activities and began a poultry farm in the capital of Mogadishu. Dr. Eibakar would later found a large cold storage facility that provided ice making for the city. Also, he directed an effort to build an oxygen production factory in Somalia. The public project eventually became a private enterprise.

After the deterioration of the Somali government in 1990, Dr. Eibakar moved to the United States. After settling in Minneapolis, he supported his family as an interpreter/translator in Somali, Italian, and English. In the same period, he began publishing an English-language periodical, Bridging People, and also self-published the book Beyond The Rainbow, whose subject is the recent history of Somalia and its diaspora. Currently, he operates the Warsan Times, a monthly newspaper aimed at informing and educating people on current Somali and East African issues.

Links of interest:

2008-09 Series

March 24, 2009

Duchesne Drew, Star TribuneDuchesne Drew photo

7 p.m. University Center Ballroom
Free & open to the public

Duchesne Drew of the Star Tribune discusses what students should learn while they are still in college, from basic to multimedia skills, so they are prepared for the challenges facing journalism.

Duchesne Paul Drew is the Star Tribune's Managing Editor for Operations. He's the newsroom's liaison to the circulation, production and advertising departments; he oversees the copy desk, newsroom technology issues, training and recruitment; and he leads the newsroom's community outreach efforts.

Prior to being named to his current position, Duchesne was the Assistant Managing Editor for Local News. In that role he coordinated the paper's metro section and supervised the teams that cover Minneapolis, St. Paul, the Twin Cities suburbs and public safety issues. Duchesne was previously the Star Tribune's business editor, St. Paul bureau editor, an assistant editor on the paper's metro team and a longtime education reporter.Duchesne is president of the Minnesota chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists and serves on the board of ThreeSixty  (, a local program that exposes teens to careers in journalism.He is a member of the National Association of Multicultural Media Executives and 2009 McCormick Media Fellow. Duchesne has a bachelor's degree from Columbia University, where he majored in history, and a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University.

Oct. 2, 2008

Covering Catastrophe: News Media & the I-35W Bridge Collapse


  • Joe Fryer, KARE 11 TV reporter

  • Scott Takushi, Pioneer Press photographer

  • Mary McFarland, Minnesota Department of Transportation Public Affairs Representative

Photo of panelists and students

7 p.m. University Center Ballroom, Free & open to the public  

Background information (for students to read prior to the panel discussion):

This seminar series highlights current challenges, new directions, and the richness of diversity within the journalism field.

This series brings journalism professionals to our campus each semester.

Events are free and open to the public

Sponsored by UWRF Journalism Department

Contact Us

Journalism Office
310 North Hall
715-425-3169 phone
715-425-0658 fax

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