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Professional Journalists to Discuss
How They Cover Disasters in the News

RELEASED: Nov. 2, 2007

EAU CLAIRE — A panel discussion titled "Covering Disasters" will be presented at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6, in the Menominee Room of Davies Center at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. A four-member panel of UW-Eau Claire alumni will discuss how journalists handle the coverage of disasters on both a professional and personal level.

Panelists include television news directors Glen Mabie of WEAU-TV, Lisa Patrow of WQOW-TV, and Julian Emerson, city reporter for the Leader-Telegram, who will address coverage of the September flooding in western Wisconsin, the Waste Research and Reclamation explosion and fire, and the Chippewa Falls High School bus crash.

Chris Berg, former KSTP-TV news director, will also talk about how the station covered the I-35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis. Berg's portion of the discussion also will feature footage, from inside the KSTP newsroom, of the station's highly praised coverage during the hours after the event.

"Often people assume they know what goes on behind the scenes in the newsroom during the aftermath of such a disaster," said Nathaniel Shuda, president of UW-Eau Claire's Society of Professional Journalists. "By hearing from those directly involved in reporting the news as it unfolds, we hope to convey a more accurate portrayal of the media to the public."

A question and answer session will follow the free presentation, which is aimed at working journalists, students and the public.

Support for the discussion has been provided by UW-Eau Claire's SPJ chapter and the Western Wisconsin Press Club.

For more information, contact Shuda at 715-459-7580 or shudang@uwec.edu.

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NW

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