Ohio University

Ohio University to host sexual assault coverage expert Nov. 14

ATHENS, Ohio—Ohio University will host a national event next week addressing sexual assault and how it is covered in media. In partnership with the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA), Mary Annette Pember, a Cincinnati-based award-winning journalist and citizen of the Red Cliff Band of Wisconsin Ojibwe, will deliver a keynote address on Wed., Nov. 14, 2018, at 7:30 p.m. in Schoonover Center 145.

Pember, an expert on covering sexual assault, trauma, policy, health and the environment, will lead the discussion on best practices when covering these topics. Following the keynote address, Pember will moderate a panel that will feature WOUB’s Editor-in-Chief Allison Hunter; Dr. Patty Stokes of the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; and independent student media representatives. The event will be streamed live on acrn.com, OHIO’s student-run radio station. The event may be followed on social media through the tag #najaeverywhere. Refreshments will be available after the panel discussion.

Partners and supporters include, from Ohio University, the Scripps College of Communication; the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism; the Institute for Applied & Professional Ethics; the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program; the Division of Student Affairs; the Survivor Advocacy Program; the Office for Diversity and Inclusion; the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Center; the Multicultural Center; the Black Student Cultural Programming Board; Graduate Student Senate; WOUB Public Media; and The Post; Ohio University student organizations ACRN; the Scripps Hispanic Network; the OHIO chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists; Scripps PRSSA; the New Political; and POCO (People Organizing Communication Objectively); and the Southeast Ohio Survivor Advocacy Outreach Program.

At the event, NAJA will unveil a new reporting guide on violence against women in Indian Country. With the assistance of Ohio University’s POCO student group, these guides will be distributed to attendees.

The Ohio University Survivor Advocacy Program and the Southeast Ohio Survivor Advocacy Outreach Program will have booths set up before, during and after the event to assist in addressing questions as well as in sharing resources from the University to community level.

The Scripps College of Communication has been an institutional member of NAJA since October 2017.

“We are proud to co-host this event with NAJA,” said Scripps College Dean Scott Titsworth. “We share NAJA’s commitment to promoting the highest standards of professionalism, ethics, social justice, and responsible reporting.”

The program’s format is designed to encourage open discussion among participants. It is the first in a series of NAJA academic events, including a symposium early next year on the Indian Child Welfare Act at the University of Oklahoma that will feature keynote speaker Suzette Brewer, Cherokee Nation citizen and independent journalist.

Event organizer and NAJA Vice President Victoria LaPoe, also an assistant professor in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, said NAJA hopes to encourage conversation on an international scale through the sponsorship of this event and others.

“Violence against women and sexual assault are topics we all need to be talking about,” said LaPoe. “We need to examine what we support, what we don’t support and what is accepted. This reflection includes conversations within our communities and the content we produce. NAJA is focused on partnerships to provide an inclusive and collective conversation on what’s affecting many people across the globe.”

The event is free and open to the public.

More about the keynote speaker: Pember is a past president and executive director of the Native American Journalists Association and the 2018 NAJA Medill Milestone Achievement Award recipient. She has won industry awards and fellowships from the International Center for Journalism, Women in Communications, The Associated Press, USC Annenberg, the Carter Center, the University of Maryland and others.

About the Native American Journalists Association: NAJA serves and empowers Native journalists through programs and actions designed to enrich journalism and promote Native cultures. NAJA recognizes Native Americans as distinct peoples based on tradition and culture. In this spirit, NAJA educates and unifies its membership through journalism programs that promote diversity and defends challenges to free press, speech and expression. NAJA is committed to increasing the representation of Native journalists in mainstream media.

For more information, visit www.NAJA.com.