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Aggie journalists to report Oct. 3 on Ethiopia’s hope, heartbreak

September 8th, 2012 Posted in Arts and Life

LOGAN—A year ago, Utah State journalism Professor Matthew LaPlante traveled to Ethiopia and brought back heart-wrenching stories of tribal traditions of infanticide. This time, LaPlante took three Aggie journalism students with him to follow up on stories of life in the impoverished East African nation.

This photo is from a series of images shot by Salt Lake Tribune photographer Rick Egan during his trip to Ethiopia with Matthew LaPlante in 2011. Rick Egan photo

LaPlante and his fellow journalists—students MacKinzie Hamilton, Danielle Manley and Dale Nichols—will talk about their trip and what they found in the first Morris Media & Society Lecture of the year, “Ethiopia: Telling stories in the land of hope & heartbreak.”

The event, a panel discussion with photos of their experiences, will be Wednesday, Oct. 3, 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. in the new Agriculture Building auditorium, Room 101, on the USU campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Among the stories the USU team has already reported: LaPlante’s Aug. 8 story in The Washington Post on Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who had been sick and missing all summer. LaPlante’s reporting was prophetic, as Zenawi died three weeks later.

Manley also has already published her first story from the Africa trip—a piece on ThePostGame.com about the country’s famed distance runners, “Running In Ethiopia: Olympic Dreams, Empty Pockets,” about how distance running represents a way out of poverty for tens of thousands of people in that desperately poor country.

The Aggie Africa reporting team will talk about these and other stories they uncovered during their time in Ethiopia, and reflect on how just telling these stories can make a difference.

The JCOM Department’s Morris Media & Society Lecture Series is a regular series of public presentations by media professionals addressing a range of issues concerning the intersection of the mass media and modern society.

Upcoming Morris events this Fall include Bill Sedivy, executive director of Idaho Rivers and a former USU visiting professor, on the intersection of storytelling, lobbying and civic engagement to preserve wild places, on Oct. 24. And Genéa Gaudet, a 2000 USU JCOM graduate and former Statesman editor, who is now an independent filmmaker in Salt Lake City, will screen and discuss her films, on Nov. 7.

For more information about these and other upcoming events in JCOM’s Morris Media & Society Lecture Series, contact Ted Pease at 435-797-3293.



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