University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire


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UW-Eau Claire to Host Media
Ethics Day April 9

 MAILED:  April 3, 2003

EAU CLAIRE - The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists will host two programs April 9 to discuss ethics in the media.

"News Media Ethics" is the topic of a discussion from 4:15-5:45 p.m. in the Hibbard Hall Penthouse. A. David Gordon, professor emeritus of communication and journalism at UW-Eau Claire and a senior author of a media ethics textbook, and Gary Hill, co-chair of the national SPJ Ethics Committee and director of investigations and special segments at KSTP-TV in Minneapolis, will lead the discussion.

The evening session, titled "You Done Me Wrong: Ethics in Journalism," will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Phillips Recital Hall of the Haas Fine Arts Center. The session will focus on how the media deal (or should deal) with individuals or families who find themselves in newsworthy and stressful situations, such as in accidents, court proceedings or criminal investigations.

During the evening session, Hill will give a keynote address titled "Journalism Ethics: A Balancing Act." Comments from members of a panel will follow Hill's presentation. The panel includes Gary Johnson, local news editor for the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram; John Hoffland, news director at WEAU-TV in Eau Claire; and Dallas Neville, former Clark County sheriff and U.S. Marshal.

Two members of the public who unexpectedly found themselves covered by the news media also will be on the panel. They are Jodie Berseth, daughter of the area man recently acquitted of second-degree reckless homicide charges in the hunting season death of a woman who was walking her dogs; and Cindy Hynek, mother of Les "Paulie" Hynek, the then 2-year-old who nearly froze to death two years ago after wandering outside his farm home in subzero temperatures. Henry Lippold, professor emeritus of communication and journalism at UW-Eau Claire, will moderate the panel.

Both sessions are free and open to the public.

The programs are funded from a grant received by UW-Eau Claire's student SPJ chapter from the SPJ Foundation.

In addition, media ethics will be the topic of discussion during the April 8 "The West Side" Wisconsin Public Radio program. The program, hosted by Mary Jo Wagner, will air from 5-6 p.m. on WHWC (88.3 FM). Gordon, Hill and Doug Mell, managing editor of the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram will participate in that discussion.

For additional information, contact A. David Gordon at


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Updated: April 4, 2003