St. Louis Public Radio: Mini J School

Explore the craft of journalism

Join St. Louis Public Radio for Mini Journalism School, a six-week lecture and discussion series on a wide range of journalism topics, to gain a greater understanding of the decisions, ethical considerations, and techniques that go into creating credible, fact-based news you rely on to stay informed. Professional journalists, educators, and others in the media industry will delve into two topics each night presented in one-hour segments.

Topics include media literacy, investigative journalism, press freedom, ethics, breaking news, drones, and interviewing techniques.

Six Wednesday Evenings

April 10
April 17
April 24
May 1
May 8
May 15
7 p.m. — 9 p.m.
St. Louis Public Radio Community Room
3651 Olive St., St. Louis, MO

Cost: $120

Program Schedule

April 10
Holly Edgell (Host) St. Louis Public Radio
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 Tiffani Lupenski of 5 On Your Side (KSDK), Chris King of the St. Louis American and Brian Heffernan of St. Louis Public Radio, and take part in a small-group activity.
Brain Heffernan St. Louis Public Radio
Chris King St. Louis American
Tiffani Lupenski 5 on Your Side (KSDK)
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, communication professor Natasha Casey of Gateway Media Literacy Partners will lead the group in a number in interactive exercises.
Natasha Casey Gateway Media Literacy
April 17
Alex Heuer (Host) St. Louis Public Radio
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, the St. Louis SPJ chapter president Elizabeth Donald will talk about the code and lead the group in an interactive, “What would you do?” exercise.
Elizabeth Donald Society of Professional Journalists
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.
Mark Sableman Thompson Coburn
April 24
Maria Altman (Host) St. Louis Public Radio
How we cover breaking news Different newsrooms have different definitions of what events and issues rise to the level of breaking news based on newsroom philosophy, resources and even the timing of newscasts and publication. Hear from Ryan Dean of 5 on Your Side (KSDK), Gilbert Bailon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Shula Neuman of St. Louis Public Radio about their newsrooms’ approaches to breaking news.
Gilbert Bailon St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Ryan Dean 5 on Your Side (KSDK)
Shula Neuman St. Louis Public Radio
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 the highs and lows of predicting the weather.
Mike Roberts KSDK (Retired)
May 1
Shahla Farzan (Host) St. Louis Public Radio
How to interview well There is an art to an effective interview, and the skill it takes can apply to most professions. Jeannette Cooperman of St. Louis Magazine will share her tips and tricks.
Jeannette Cooperman St. Louis Magazine
Investigative Journalism Investigative journalism serves an important watchdog purpose in society. So how do journalists unearth information and reveal truths? In this session, Molly Parker of The Southern Illinoisan, and Beth Hunsdorfer and Kae Petrin of St. Louis Public Radio will share their insights.
Beth Hundsdorfer St. Louis Public Radio
Molly Parker Southern Illinoisan
Kae Petrin St. Louis Public Radio
May 8
Fred Ehrlich (Host) St. Louis Public Radio
How news is changing News of layoffs and media consolidation is causing a great deal of angst in the profession. However, new platforms are emerging along with new ways for the public to engage with journalists and have their voices heard. Lindsey Toler of St. Louis Public Radio and Andrew Nguyen of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch are your guides to this new media landscape.
Andrew Nguyen Online News Association St. Louis
Lindsay Toler St. Louis Public Radio
Political Reporting It could be argued that political reporting is more important than ever. St. Louis Public Radio’s Jo Mannies, Jason Rosenbaum and Rachel Lippman will share war stories from covering political news at the state, local and national levels.
Rachel Lippman St. Louis Public Radio
Jo Mannies St. Louis Public Radio
Jason Rosenbaum St. Louis Public Radio
May 15
Food journalism Foodies might imagine the life of a restaurant reviewer to be one never-ending buffet. What’s it really like? George Mahe of St. Louis Magazine and Ian Froeb of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch set the table for a lively discussion.
Jeremy Goodwin (Host) St. Louis Public Radio
George Mahe St. Louis Magazine
Photos and drones Smart-phone technology and digital cameras allow amateurs to take decent photos. But, there is an art to capturing an image that tells a story. In this session, you’ll get tips and tricks from St. Louis Public Radio staff photographer Carolina Hidalgo and drone pilot Brent Jones. Also, you’ll see the St. Louis Public Radio drone in action!
Kae Petrin (Host) St. Louis Public Radio
David Carson St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Carolina Hidalgo St. Louis Public Radio
Brent Jones St. Louis Public Radio