The Northern Rockies Heritage Center will host two Montana Conversations programs: “The Public Trust” with David McCumber and “What Happened to The News?” with Dennis Swibold on Wednesday, October 23, 2019. The program will be at Heritage Hall at 6:00 pm. The presentation is free and open to the public. Funding for the Montana Conversations program is provided by Humanities Montana through grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Montana’s Cultural Trust, and private donations. Newspapers are for-profit enterprises. But they are more than that. Readers expect much of their newspapers. They expect the news to be covered with energy and thoroughness, particularly the local news. That’s just for starters. They also expect a newspaper to be a watchdog — to be a protector of the “little guy,” an advocate for truth and fairness not only in what we write, but in government and public affairs in general. In other words, if people are not being treated fairly, if they are being endangered, or discriminated against, or taken advantage of, they expect us to blow the whistle. That’s a newspaper’s unwritten contract with the community it serves. Newspaper editors like David McCumber frequently call it “the public trust.” And it’s a real thing that not only has a big impact on a newspaper’s brand but also on the community it serves. Never has so much news been available. The trick is knowing how to find it –- and how to judge its credibility. This program –- presented by veteran journalist, author and educator Dennis Swibold – takes listeners behind the curtain to reveal how the news is made and explain the revolutionary changes facing today’s fast-paced news media. It also offers citizens tools and techniques for staying well-informed amid the virtual blizzard of information –- and for participating directly in the civic debates crucial to their communities, state and nation. David McCumber is Editor at Montana Standard. Dennis Swibold is a professor at University of Montana School of Journalism. Come early for appetizers at 5:00 pm. Heritage Hall is ADA Accessible.
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