imageMedia professionals from all over the world will be visiting the University of Oregon (UO) School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC) this term for the Demystifying Media series.

If you haven’t heard of these hour-long seminars, just think “MythBusters” — but for media. Each Demystifying speaker will dive deep into an issue affecting the rapidly changing media industry. This is great news for SOJC students, who will be able to network with top media industry professionals while getting a firsthand account of how the communication field is evolving. Attendees will also get to use the speakers as resources, conduct informational interviews or get tips for growing in the media professions.

“The aim of this series is to bring great speakers into the SOJC who are doing new and innovative things in the communications space, including researchers and practitioners from a variety of disciplines,” said Damian Radcliffe, Carolyn S. Chambers Professor in Journalism and coordinator of the Demystifying Media series. “Each talk is different, but they will all give students an opportunity to hear about the breadth of work being done across industry and academia.”

This term, Demystifying Media sessions include:

Dennis Dimick: The Wonders of Earth Photography. Dimick, a former executive editor of environment for National Geographic, will explain how to locate and shoot aerial earth images and show some examples of his own images. He will also take students on an intense visual tour of Earth featuring pictures, animations and movies he has accumulated over his career. April 21, 2 p.m. in Lawrence Hall room 115.

Tracie Powell: How to Reach Under-Represented Communities. Powell, who writes frequently for the Columbia Journalism Review and is a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University, will be demystifying ways to reach under-represented communities. At Stanford, she explores how newsrooms can reach elderly and African American audiences and users. May 6, 1 p.m. in Allen Hall room 307.

Yvonne Leow: How Vox Uses Snapchat Discover. Leow, senior Snapchat editor at Vox and previously a John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University, will talk about how the social media platform supports Vox’s audience, content and revenue strategies. May 20, 12 p.m. in Allen Hall room 140.

Claire Wardle: Journalism and Silicon Valley. Wardle, director of research at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, will demystify the perception of journalism in Silicon Valley. In the days before social media and online platforms, journalism was largely centered around print channels, which have a very different set of rules around privacy and ethics. Wardle explores what journalists need to know about these issues when using newer digital platforms. May 27, 12 p.m. in Allen Hall room 140.

The Demystifying Media series, which is new for the 2015-16 school year, has already brought many great speakers to the SOJC during winter term, including Nic Newman, founding member of the BBC News Website; Jennifer Brandel, founder and CEO at Hearken; Zach Hyder, partner at Quinn Thomas Public Affairs; and Dan Hon, principal at Very Little Gravitas.

“Students will be exposed to people and ideas from outside the SOJC —  speakers who are working at the cutting edge of our industry,” said Radcliffe. “That’s a rich tapestry of people and expertise that we can learn from.”

Story by Nikki Kesaris ‘18