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National Public Radio reporter takes listeners from ‘Haiti to Hollywood’

February 5th, 2011 Posted in Arts and Life

LOGAN—Mandalit del Barco, a general assignment correspondent for National Public Radio based in Los Angeles, returns to Utah State University this month to deliver a Morris Media & Society Lecture on how her radio stories open the world to listeners.

Del Barco, a fourth-generation journalist who was born in Lima, Peru, has reported and produced radio stories and photographed everything from street gangs to Hollywood, police and prisons, marijuana, immigration, race relations, natural disasters, Latino arts and urban street culture.
She will talk about some of her most recent assignments in a presentation she calls, “Haiti, Hemp & Hollywood: Stories of our times.” She speaks Feb. 17 from noon-1:30 p.m. in the Eccles Conference Center Auditorium on the USU campus. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.

A guest of the JCOM Department at USU and Utah Public Radio, del Barco also will be the special guest on Access Utah, UPR’s weekday call-in program, that morning from 9 -10 a.m.

The title of her talk is taken from her recent stories. Del Barco was in Haiti shortly after the massive 2010 earthquake, and she returned recently to report on reconstruction progress a year later. She also has covered “hemp”—the California proposition to legalize marijuana, which failed in November elections. And every year Del Barco covers Hollywood—the Oscars and Grammy awards—for NPR.

Over a distinguished career, del Barco has chronicled street gangs exported from the U.S. to El Salvador and Honduras, and went to Mexico to report about immigrant smugglers, musicians, filmmakers and artists. In Argentina, del Barco profiled on tango legend Carlos Gardel and in the Philippines she reported a feature on balikbayan boxes. Reporting from China, del Barco contributed to NPR’s coverage of the United Nations’ Women’s Conference.

She spent a year in Peru working on a documentary and teaching radio journalism as a Fulbright Fellow and on a fellowship with the Knight International Center for Journalists. In addition to her daily reporting for NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered and other programs, del Barco has created half-hour radio documentaries about gangs in Central America, Latino hip-hop, L.A. Homegirls, artist Frida Kahlo, New York’s Palladium ballroom and Puerto Rican “Casitas.” She has served as a guest host on Latino USA and Tell Me More.

“Mandalit del Barco is a premier storyteller whose reporting transports the listener to places we can’t be ourselves,” said Ted Pease, head of the USU Department of Journalism & Communication, which sponsors the Morris Lecture Series. “Her reporting, whether from Haiti to Hollywood, helps us understand the world better.”

While in Logan, del Barco also will meet with students at USU, participate in functions with Utah Public Radio, and meet with Latina high school girls at Mountain Crest High School.

Del Barco’s visit to USU is sponsored by Utah Public Radio and USU’s JCOM Department, with support from USU’s Office of the Provost.

Utah Public Radio programming can be heard in Cache Valley at 89.5 and 91.5 FM, as well as on the station’s digital program streams HD1 and HD2. A third digital program stream, HD3, is Aggie Radio, Utah State University’s student station.

The JCOM Department’s Morris Media & Society Lecture Series presents a regular series of events by media professionals that address a range of issues concerning the intersection of the mass media and modern society, funded by friends and family of former JCOM faculty member John W. Morris.

For more information about Mandalit del Barco’s appearances in Logan, contact Nora Zambreno at UPR at 435-797-9507 or Ted Pease in the JCOM Department at 435-797-3293.

Spring 2011 Morris Media & Society Events:
• Jan. 24-25: James McGrath Morris, author of a definitive new biography of newspaper baron Joseph Pulitzer, speaks on Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print and Power, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011, ESCL 046. He also will be on UPR’s “Access Utah.” See story.
• Feb. 7: Nate Carlisle, Salt Lake Tribune crime reporter, comes to campus to meet with journalism students and members of the Hard News Café and Utah Statesman staff to discuss investigative reporting techniques, and promote IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors). 4 p.m. AnSci 303. Refreshments! Story
• Feb. 11: John Dimick, 1990s USU graduate who is now vice president/radio programming and operations, Lincoln Financial Media, Atlanta, Ga., “You Can Take the Boy Out of the Country…” co-sponsored with the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Distinguished Alumni Series, David Haight Alumni Center, USU, 12:30-1:30 p.m. Story
• Feb. 17: Mandalit del Barco, National Public Radio’s West Coast correspondent whose stories range from natural disasters (Haiti’s earthquake) to social trends (legalizing marijuana) to culture (the Grammy and Academy awards), speaks on Haiti, Hemp & Hollywood:Stories of our times. 12-1:15 p.m., Eccles Conference Center Auditorium. Co-sponsored by Utah Public Radio with support from the USU Provost’s Office.
• Feb. 22: Paul Murphy, public information officer for Utah Atty. Gen. Mark Shurtleff, sponsored by USU’s PRSSA Chapter. Details to come.
• March 17 : Nancy Conway, editor, The Salt Lake Tribune, on The Myth of the Dying Newspaper. Details to come.
• April 12: RonNell Anderson Jones, USU alumna, BYU law professor and former clerk for Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, on legal issues for a free press in a changing media landscape: The Blame Game: The People, The Press, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Details to come.

All Morris Media & Society Events are free and open to the public.

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