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Estlow International Center for Journalism and New Media

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University of Denver

Estlow International Center for Journalism and New Media

The 2018-2019 Estlow Center Anvil of Freedom Lecturer: Alexander Heffner

Alexander HeffnerThe Estlow International Center for Journalism and New Media was pleased to host the 2018-2019 Anvil of Freedom Lecturer and Honoree, Alexander Heffner. Mr. Heffner is a journalist, civic educator, author, and host of PBS's "The Open Mind." He presented two lectures for students, faculty, and other members of the DU community on Monday, October 1 and Tuesday, October 2, speaking alternately on "Civil Discourse in an Uncivil Age: The Quest for a Post-Partisan Citizenship" and "The Twitter Effect: Seeing Donald Trump's Tweets in Historical Perspective." Mr. Heffner also signed copies of his most recent book, A Documentary History of the United States, at a reception immediately following the lecture on October 1. 

Alexander Heffner is host of "The Open Mind" on PBS. He has covered American politics, civic life, and Millennials since the 2008 presidential campaign. His work has been profiled in The Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Des Moines Register, Christian Science Monitor, Variety, Medium, and on NBC News, MSNBC, C-SPAN, NPR CNN, BBC, and ABC, among other media outlets. His writing has appeared in Time, USA TODAY, Daily Beast, Reuters, RealClearPolitics, NYT's Room for Debate, The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and Philadelphia Inquirer, among other publications. He is coauther of A Documentary History of the United States (Penguin, 2018). 

Couldn't make it to the event? A video of "Civil Discourse in an Uncivil Age" is available via Rocky Mountain PBS and on our own Archived Estlow Videos page

Estlow Center Presents 25th Anniversary Anvil of Freedom Award, Celebrates Real News Day

Kimberly KindyKimberly Kindy, investigative reporter for the Washington Post, was honored as the 25th Anniversary Anvil of Freedom Honoree. She spoke to a crowd of students, faculty, staff, alumni, community members, and representatives of the Denver Post about telling the truth in news, and the fight to keep local, fact-based news alive.

Kindy's name initially came to the attention of the Estlow Center as a news leader in the Post's 2016 Pulitzer Prize-winning series on police shootings. The award in the "National Reporting" category — which the Post has won three times in the past three years — recognized the newspaper for "its revelatory initiative in creating and using a national database to illustrate how often and why the police shoot to kill and who the victims are most likely to be."

In a letter inviting Kindy to deliver this year's Estlow lecture, Center Director Lynn Schofield Clark cited the reporter's "outstanding commitment to coverage of issues related to race, gender, and civil rights. Through your work in reporting on sexual harassment in Congress, your ongoing coverage of hurricane relief efforts, and your coverage of the rise of white nationalism and the abiding interest in Confederate monuments, in addition to your renowned work on reporting data related to police shootings, your work has provided invaluable insights to politicians, policymakers, and to the general public."

Recently, Kindy has covered for the Post former congressional staffers who are calling for policy changes and for sexual-harassment training in the U.S. Capitol. She has also reported on the ongoing climate-related crises in Florida and Houston, holding the Federal Emergency Management Agency accountable for keeping its promises to flood and hurricane victims, as well as the scrutiny of Confederate monuments and the rise of white-nationalist movements.

"You have been and continue to be an important role model for our journalism students and aspiring journalists," Clark wrote to Kindy in her invitation.

Kindy's lecture took place at the University of Denver on Friday, April 27, which was recognized by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper as Real News Day. Real News Day consisted of a series of events related to journalism and media nationally and in Denver hosted by the University of Denver and the Denver Press Club, including a panel discussion on the #MeToo phenomenon featuring Kindy and representatives from the University and the Denver Community and the Denver Press Club's annual Damon Runyon Awards dinner. This year the Denver Press Club presented the prestigious Damon Runyon Award to Washington Post editor Martin Baron.

More information about Real News Day and the 25th Anniversary Anvil of Freedom Award luncheon was included in the spring issue of the MFJS departmental newsletter, Perspectives, and is available here: Real News Day 2018.

Watch the full lecture video below. 

Source: DU VideoManager 

25 Years of the Estlow Center's Anvil of Freedom Award Lecture

2017 marked the 25th anniversary of the Estlow International Center for Journalism and New Media's Anvil of Freedom Award lecture! Edward Estlow and his daughters

For more than 13 years, the Department of Media, Film and Journalism Studies has been fortunate to house the Edward W. and Charlotte A. Estlow International Center for Journalism and New Media. The Center's mission is to contribute to the public good by improving our understanding of how people make meaning out of journalism, digital media and popular entertainment.

The Estlow Center seeks to explore the ways in which the traditional roles of journalism — information-sharing, knowledge-gathering, serving as a watchdog on power, providing the means for democratic participation in collective life and promoting public good — are finding new forms of expression and experimentation in the online digital environment. It does this by hosting events and seeking external funding for the sponsorship of research projects, both of which provide the means to bring researchers, professionals and students together for learning opportunities.

Our Vision

To provide leadership in exploring the ways that journalism's traditional role — as a watchdog on power — is finding new forms of expression and experimentation in the digital environment.

Our Mission

To support these emergent watchdog practices of journalism as they are marshaled for the purposes of enhanced civic engagement and efforts toward improved human rights for all. We do this by participating in and providing support for research, teaching, networking, mentoring and recognizing outstanding media professionals engaged in helping us to better understand journalism's new forms.

The media industries are undergoing tremendous changes. With the Internet, youtube, blogs, online gaming, digital television, satellite radio and cell phones, people are actively creating their own news and entertainment experiences like never before. Yet at the same time, the global media conglomerates continue to grow in size, swallowing up newcomers and reducing the opportunities for diverse programming while also shrinking news staffs in the interests of profit. The industries are investing huge resources into developing new models for delivering media products in the emergent digital environment.

Thankfully, many both inside and outside of those industries are striving to understand what these changes mean for our collective lives together and for the future of democratic engagement. We participate in this rethinking with collaborators and affiliates from around the world.