Three energetic new faces joined the Minnesota Pro Chapter board this year. Sarah Bauer, Sarah Moran and Amanda Lutz fill out a well-rounded panel of print, broadcast and academic professionals. The thing they have in common is a diligence to keep the state chapter relevant to working journalists in Minnesota.
Writing her senior thesis, Sarah Bauer was alarmed to learn how difficult it is to keep a critical eye on the work of public officials. “The government can hide pretty much anything it wants from us in the name of national security, and the problem is, we don’t always know what they’re hiding,” she said. Bauer’s thesis topic was how access to government information using the Freedom of Information Act has gotten constricted since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Bauer is a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota School of Journalism & Mass Communication. While at the U of M she headed the student chapter of SPJ. Bauer currently works in marketing at a Twin Cities IT firm, preparing for law school to follow her passion for free speech, the First Amendment and open government in the legal world.
Sarah lives in south Minneapolis where she loves spending her free time running around the lakes and discovering new restaurants. She also loves cooking for friends and family. Her priority on the board this year is to advocate for reporters and create valid educational opportunities for them.
Sarah Moran’s most memorable interview involved a man preparing for retirement from his family-run trash hauling business recently sold to a larger company. “He had won over many loyal customers and friends during his years taking away their trash,” said Moran. “The way he was able to have such an effect through who he was and how he did his work was inspiring to me.”
Moran grew up in Minnesota, but spent her college years at the University of Missouri where she majored in journalism and political science. During college Sarah wrote for the Columbia Missourian, the Wall Street Journal Europe and the Kansas City Star. Today, she is a reporter covering civic life in the northern suburbs for the Star Tribune.
She enjoys yoga, riding her bike, swimming, running and relaxing on the North Shore. As a board member, Sarah hopes to bring awareness for the changing face of journalism. She also sees herself as ambassador to assure people that the press plays a vital role in their lives.
Amanda Lutz has been to more local and national SPJ conventions than many chapter veterans. Lutz recently made the jump from on-camara reporting to behind the camera producing when she took her current job at KSTP-TV. Before that she was a reporter for WSAW-TV in Wausaw, Wis.
An SPJ member since 2000, Lutz was active in her student chapter at St. Thomas University. Her chapter won regional Chapter of the Year during her time as leader. At the same time she served as national student representative. Lutz also helped found SPJ’s national “Generation J” initiative to better connect with young journalists. She sees it as a way to keep the fire for journalism burning for those still deciding on a career path. It’s also a source to expand SPJ’s membership of ethical, critical thinkers. “We can bring more young journalists into the organization,” Lutz said. “They can get help with problems and inspire each other.” Lutz is co-chair of the national “Generation J” committee.