St. Louis Public Radio: Mini J School

Explore the craft of journalism

Join St. Louis Public Radio for a virtual Mini Journalism School, a multi-week lecture and discussion series on a wide range of journalism topics. Gain a greater understanding of the decisions, ethical considerations, and techniques that go into creating the credible, fact-based news you rely on to stay informed. Professional journalists, educators, and others in the media industry will join us for in-depth conversations on a different topic each week.

Topics include media literacy, investigative journalism, press freedom, ethics, healthcare reporting, and how the news is changing.

Nine Monday Evenings
February 15
February 22
March 1
March 8
March 15
March 22
April 5
April 12
April 19
7 p.m. — 8 p.m.
Zoom Virtual Sessons
$80 for all 9 sessions
or $10 for individual sessions Register Now

2021 Program Schedule

Feb 15
Media Literacy We’d all like to think we can spot “fake news,” but it’s not as easy as separating clickbait from legitimate coverage. In this session, Blackburn College communications professor Natasha Casey will discuss the origins of fake news and the challenges of separating fact from fiction in the digital age.
Jonathan Ahl St. Louis Public Radio
Natasha Casey Blackburn College
Feb 22
Why We Cover What We Cover There is no one-size-fits-all approach to how newsroom leaders make decisions about news coverage. In this session, you’ll hear the perspectives of Gilbert Bailon of the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Art Holliday of 5 on Your Side, and Shula Neuman of St. Louis Public Radio.
Shula Neuman St. Louis Public Radio
Gilbert Bailon St. Louis Post Dispatch
Art Holliday 5 on Your Side
Mar 1
Political Reporting It could be argued that political reporting is more important than ever. St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Rachel Lippmann, and Jaclyn Driscoll will share their experiences covering politics at the local, state and national levels during a pandemic and unprecedented upheaval.
Fred Ehrlich St. Louis Public Radio
Jason Rosenbaum St. Louis Public Radio
Jaclyn Driscoll St. Louis Public Radio
Rachel Lippmann St. Louis Public Radio
Mar 8
Investigative Journalism Investigative journalism serves an important watchdog purpose in society. So how do journalists unearth information and reveal truths? In this session, Jeremy Kohler of Pro-Publica, Molly Parker of the Southern Illinoisan, Tom Scheck with APM Reports, American Public Media’s investigative reporting and radio documentaries project, and Maria Altman of St. Louis Public Radio discuss this topic.
Maria Altman St. Louis Public Radio
Jeremy Kohler St. Louis Post Dispatch
Molly Parker Southern Illinoisan
Tom Scheck APM Reports
Mar 15
Arts, Culture, Food Journalism Covering the Arts, Culture and Restaurants has changed significantly in the last year as those areas have been impacted in many ways by COVID restrictions. How are journalists covering these beats and what does a food journalist do when they can’t go out to eat?
Jeremy Goodwin St. Louis Public Radio
Ian Froeb St. Louis Post Dispatch
Mar 22
Television Weather Television news managers know that, in many markets, weather is the most important part of any newscast. Mike Roberts, formerly of 5 on Your Side (KSDK), will share insights about the decision making process of making the forecast, sharing that information with viewers and helping inform the news department’s decision making process for coverage of weather related events. He’ll also explore the role climate change is having on television weather and news decision making. Joining Mike will be Five on Your Side Chief Meteorologist Scott Connell and Dr. Jennifer Francis from the Woodwell Climate Research Center. Dr. Francis will be discussing her studies on the relationship between a rapidly warming arctic, severe weather in the mid latitudes and a more amplified and slower moving jet stream.
Sarah Fentem St. Louis Public Radio
Scott Connell 5 on Your Side
Mike Roberts KSDK (Retired)
Dr. Jennifer Francis Woodwell Climate Research Center
Apr 5
Ethics of Journalism Journalism is a self-regulating profession. Most newsrooms adhere to the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) code of ethics or have their own version. In this session, local journalists and ethics experts will talk about the code and challenges in this area.
Shula Neuman St. Louis Public Radio
David Cazares St. Louis Public Radio
Mark Memmott The Texas Newsroom
Apr 12
Press Freedoms and Libel Law Journalism (“the press”) is the only profession protected by the U.S. Constitution. American jurisprudence has tended to favor the press over time, based on this very protection. Mark Sableman of Thompson Coburn LLP will lead the group in a discussion about press protections and why it’s challenging to win a case of libel against a news organization.
Alex Heuer St. Louis Public Radio
Mark Sableman Thompson Coburn
Apr 19
How News is Changing In the past year, journalists have adapted quickly to reporting on overlapping social, political and ecological crises during a global pandemic. At the same time, audience habits changed just as the need for accurate daily updates became more urgent. All of this while an industry-wide reckoning over racial justice has forced legacy media organizations to make long-overdue changes. This has all had a significant impact on journalists and the news platforms that we rely on. Brian Heffernan of St. Louis Public Radio will discuss these changes with WAMU Senior Producer Ashley Lisenby and St. Louis Post Dispatch Reader Engagement Editor Beth O’Malley.
Brian Heffernan St. Louis Public Radio
Ashley Lisenby WAMU
Beth O’Malley The St. Louis Post-Dispatch

2019 Mini J School Photos