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News Release

February 18, 2013

Ohio University’s Schuneman Symposium to focus on journalistic excellence 

Ohio University’s fifth annual Schuneman Symposium on Photojournalism and New Media will take place Feb. 25-26 in Baker University Center. Featuring award-winning journalists, the symposium will focus on stories of how and why journalism excellence still matters despite public confidence that ranks the profession below Congress. All sessions are free and open to the public.

“With all the challenges facing journalism organizations these days, excellence as a goal may seem more and more elusive,” said Robert Stewart, director of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. “But given what surveys say about the public’s views on journalism, striving for excellence needs to remain a goal for all of us.”

The symposium is made possible through a gift from R. Smith and Patricia Schuneman, both graduates of Ohio University and now residents of Okoboji, Iowa.

“What we hope conferees take away from this symposium is a deeper understanding of the future of mass communication in these revolutionary times of change,” said R. Smith Schuneman.

The symposium begins Feb. 25 at 7:30 p.m. in the Baker Center Ballroom with a keynote speech from Gwen Ifill, moderator and managing editor of “Washington Week” and senior correspondent for the “PBS NewsHour.” Ifill and the staff of “Washington Week” shared in a George Foster Peabody Award for their coverage of the 2008 presidential election.

Investigative journalist Abrahm Lustgarten from the nonprofit news organization ProPublica will start the Feb. 26 sessions at 9 a.m. in the Baker University Center Theatre by discussing myths about the energy extraction process of hydraulic fracturing. Lustgarten is the recipient of a George Polk Award for environmental reporting. Keith Jenkins from NPR will explain how to develop a visual identity with audio. He is the supervising senior producer for multimedia and received an Emmy for NPR Music’s Project Song: Moby.

OHIO alum Michel du Cille, associate editor for photography at The Washington Post and a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner, will discuss how photojournalists are embracing change in digital media.

Other presenters include Meghan Louttit and Kainaz Amaria.

Louttit, an OHIO alum, is an Emmy Award-winning multimedia producer at The New York Times, where she develops Web content for the investigations desk.

Amaria is a former student and graduate teaching assistant in the University’s School of Visual Communication. She received a Fulbright Scholarship to photographically document her hometown in India. Currently, she is a multimedia producer and trainer at NPR.

For more information and a complete schedule, visit

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