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 the 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 Chris King of the St. Louis American, Carol Daniel of KMOX and Brian Heffernan of St. Louis Public Radio, and take part in a small-group activity.
Carol Daniel KMOX
Rob Edwards 5 on Your Side (KSDK)
Brian Heffernan St. Louis Public Radio
Chris King St. Louis American
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 of interactive exercises.
Natasha Casey Gateway Media Literacy
April 17
Holly Edgell (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 publications. Hear from Ryan Dean of 5 on Your Side (KSDK) and Shula Neuman of St. Louis Public Radio about their newsrooms’ approaches to breaking news.
Ryan Dean 5 on Your Side (KSDK)
Gary Dotson Belleville News-Democrat
Sarah Fenske Riverfront Times
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. Lindsay 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 St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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 Lippmann will share war stories from covering political news at the state, local and national levels.
Rachel Lippmann St. Louis Public Radio
Jo Mannies St. Louis Public Radio
Jason Rosenbaum St. Louis Public Radio
May 15
Kae Petrin (Host) St. Louis Public Radio
Food journalism From the business of restaurants to writing restaurant reviews, one might imagine the life of a food journalist to be a never-ending buffet. What’s it really like? Ian Froeb of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, George Mahe of St. Louis Magazine and Catherine Klene of Sauce Magazine set the table for a lively discussion.
Ian Froeb St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Catherine Klene Sauce Magazine
George Mahe St. Louis Magazine
Photos and drones Get the story behind the powerful images you see in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and at stlpublicradio.org. Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer David Carson of the Post and St. Louis Public Radio’s own Carolina Hidalgo will show some of their work and talk about the stories behind the images. St. Louis Public Radio’s Brent Jones also will demonstrate the station’s drone!
David Carson St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Carolina Hidalgo St. Louis Public Radio
Brent Jones St. Louis Public Radio