Campus & Community

Estlow Center honors reporter for coverage of diverse communities

The Estlow International Center for Journalism and New Media will host an event April 17, from 9:30 to 5:30 p.m., to include a workshop focusing on how mediated storytelling plays a role in shaping views and policies that affect disadvantaged and underrepresented communities. The center also will honor Renee Montagne, host of NPR’s Morning Edition, with DU’s Anvil of Freedom Award.

“This award is given to an outstanding journalist who highlights diverse or disadvantaged communities,” says Lynn Schofield Clark, director of the Estlow Center.

As host of Morning Edition, Montagne highlighted the disparity in treatment between the white and black students involved in a high school fight in Jena, La. She also brought attention to California laws that hindered those who wanted to give food to the homeless and how some felt a new homeless shelter in Los Angeles was a little “too nice.”

“Montagne’s work on stories like the homeless in L.A. and the ‘Jena six’ are great examples of why she is being honored with the Anvil of Freedom Award,” Clark says. “It was the wish of our founder, Ed Estlow, to acknowledge the First Amendment protections that allow journalists to report on stories that can truly inform in a democracy.”

Clark says that Montagne’s stories have helped to shape public opinions about diverse communities whose stories often go unreported. Particularly when today’s journalism is criticized for focusing too much on celebrities and trivia, it’s important to bring honor and recognition to those who to choose to report on issues like these, Clark says.

Montagne will be the keynote speaker for the “Untold Stories: Truth and Consequences” luncheon.

The day aims to give professionals and aspiring professionals an opportunity to learn new skills and reflect on issues regarding the representation of diverse communities.

Workshops will include sessions on diverse storytelling within social movements and activism, sessions with Colorado Public Radio, Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post representatives, and a session that places the University’s involvement in Project Homeless Connect in a context for academic reflection.

The event is free for DU faculty, staff and students. The cost is $75 for the public, which includes lunch. For a complete list of workshops and speakers or to register, visit the Estlow site.

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