Susan Carey to Deliver Cole Lecture at UM

Susan CareySusan Carey, veteran aviation reporter at The Wall Street Journal, will deliver the annual Jeff Cole Distinguished Lecture at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13, at the University of Montana. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held inside the Alexander Blewett III School of Law Room 101.

The talk, titled “Old School in the New Journalism Era,” is the ninth installment of the UM School of Journalism’s annual Jeff Cole Distinguished Lecture Series. The series honors Cole, a Butte native who graduated from the School of Journalism in 1980. He was the aeronautics editor at The Wall Street Journal when he was killed in a plane crash while on assignment in January 2001.

Carey joined the Journal at age 25 to cover coal mining, steel, labor unions and Appalachia. She later covered airlines, aerospace and tourism in Europe where she witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall. From there, she reported for the Asian WSJ in Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

While in Asia, she met Jeff Cole. She describes him as “a wonderful friend and an inspiration.”

The lecture is supported by the Jeff Cole Legacy Fund, which also offers an annual scholarship and a spring dinner for students who work at the Montana Kaimin, UM’s independent student newspaper.

The UM School of Journalism launched in 1914, and has trained generations of journalists in print, broadcast, photography and, more recently, new media. The school regularly ranks among the top 10 journalism schools in the United States.

MTJA Kicks Off New Trip With A Look Inside Fukushima

Logo for UM to Fukushima
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In May 2017, a group of Montana Journalism Abroad (MTJA) students will travel to Japan and report on the issues that continue to affect people displaced by a trio of disasters that struck the northeast part of the country in 2011. On March 11 of that year, a severe earthquake triggered a tsunami that decimated coastal towns, and damage from the wave led to the meltdown of nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. The nuclear fallout forced citizens to drop everything and leave their homes behind. After five years of clean-up efforts, the government has started to encourage people to return to their homes, but many people remain fearful of lingering radiation.

During their trip, the students will tour the affected areas, interview citizens and government officials, and then produce a multimedia package that tells the stories of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. These stories of displacement will resonate with Montanans who are no stranger to natural and industrial disasters, such as wildfires and leaking mine waste. As the group prepares for the trip, they are raising public awareness of the ongoing challenges of Fukushima residents.

With the screening of the documentary “Alone in Fukushima,” students invite the Missoula community to take a closer look at life inside the red zone. Just seven miles away from the nuclear power plant, Naoto Matsumura is the only person left in town. He risks the radiation to look after the domesticated animals that families left behind. Japanese filmmaker Mayu Nakamura follows Matsumura on his quest to care for the creatures and save them from starvation. poster for Alone in Fukushima film. The film will be shown Nov. 17 at 6:30 p.m. in the Payne Native American Center, room 11.

This Thursday, November 17, join the students of MTJA as they screen “Alone in Fukushima” at 6:30 p.m. in room 210 of the J-School. After the film, the director will skype in from Japan for a Q&A session. Admittance is free, but any donations are welcome and will help reduce travel costs.
Check out the trailer for Mayu Nakamura’s documentary “Alone in Fukushima” on YouTube.

By Jana Wiegand

Award-winning Editor to Deliver Annual Pollner Lecture

Melissa Mccoy profile picMelissa McCoy, a former deputy managing editor of the Los Angeles Times, will deliver the University of Montana School of Journalism’s annual T. Anthony Pollner Lecture on Monday, Oct. 3. Her topic: “What the Media Communicate About Mental Illness.”

The lecture, which is free to the public, will begin at 7 p.m. in the University Center Theater. McCoy said she is interested in why violence is often a theme in news coverage “when people coping with a mental illness are much more likely to be the victims of crimes rather than the perpetrators.”

She believes the media are making some progress in how such stories are covered but need to do better.

“What the news media tell us about mental illness is getting a bit deeper,” McCoy said, “but most stories are still reactive. By that I mean we chase the news when there’s violence, but we generate relatively few stories about how mental illness affects tens of millions of ordinary Americans every year.”

McCoy spent 17 years at the LA Times, advancing from metro copy editor to a deputy managing editor supervising 250 journalists. In addition to overseeing the paper’s award-winning copy desks, graphics department and researchers, she frequently was the final editor for major projects, a number of which won Pulitzer Prizes. During her newspaper and magazine career, McCoy also worked as a reporter, copy chief, news editor and assignment editor.

Since leaving the LA Times in 2009, McCoy has been a media consultant, writer and editor. She was a visiting faculty member at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, where she had previously served as an ethics fellow. At UM she teaches a seminar that focuses on reporting and writing about sensitive topics that include rape, murder, suicide and mental illness.

McCoy is the school’s 17th Pollner Professor, a professorship created in 2001 in memory of T. Anthony Pollner, a UM journalism alumnus and a dedicated staff member at the Montana Kaimin who died two years after graduating. The Pollner endowment allows the school to bring a distinguished journalist to campus each semester to teach a course and to mentor students at the Kaimin.

Founded in 1914, the School of Journalism is now in its second century of preparing students to think critically, act ethically and communicate effectively. To learn more about the School of Journalism, visit http://jour.umt.edu/.