Hate in the Headlines seminar draws crowd

The “Hate in the Headlines” seminar drew a capacity crowd at the University of Minnesota School of Journalism. Photo courtesy of Melody Gilbert.

A seminar on covering hate groups and bias crimes that included prosecutors, victims, researchers and the FBI drew a capacity crowd Jan. 19 at the University of Minnesota Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

The seminar was sponsored by the Minnesota Journalism Center, the Hubbard School and the Minnesota Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Participants heard from Assistant Anoka County Attorney Brenda Sund and victim Asma Jama as they retold the story of a hate crime that made headlines across the state. Jeff Van Nest, FBI Minneapolis Division Counsel,  gave a detailed analysis of how the FBI defines and prosecutes hate crimes.

The Southern Poverty Law Center Research Director Alex Amend, a U of M grad, provided a thorough report on the center’s nationwide tracking of hate groups and bias crimes. Jane Kirtley, Silha Professor of Media Ethics and Law at the school of journalism, detailed the legal and ethical implications of covering these groups and these events.

Participants picked up reporting tips and learned of resources that can bolster their coverage of this emerging topic in today’s divided America. The Southern Poverty Law Center’s presentation can be found here .mnspj.org/…t/uploads/UMN-Presentation.pdf

News organizations large and small gave the event high marks for the depth and breadth of the materials covered.

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