Journalism Lecture Series

Dr. Brian Steffen
Nationally Known Journalism Professor to Speak on First Amendment Rights

The Culture of the First Amendment," its rights and responsibilities, will be the topic of the fourth annual Jean Everitt Journalism Lecture Series.   

Dr. Brian Steffen will speak at 5 p.m., April 4 in McMurran 114 on the Christopher Newport University campus. He is chair of Communication & Media Studies and Director of Student Media at Simpson College, Iowa.    

A long-time adviser to student journalists, Steffen believes that "journalism skills are essential to life." He is the recipient of several regional and national teaching awards.    

"I’m a passionate believer in the values of the First Amendment and the potential for journalism to nourish a democratic culture," Steffen says.    

His talk will also focus on the "responsibilities we all have—institutions, schools, businesses, individuals—in protecting the speech we loathe, the thought that we hate."    

The talk is open to the campus community and public. For more information, contact Dr. Terry Lee: or 757-269-0323.

Everitt Journalism Lecture Series

Sheila Bernard
"Close Viewing: Strengthening Documentary Film Literacy"
Sheila Curran Bernard

DOCUMENTARY FILMS—on television, in theaters, and on the web—have emerged as a powerful force in the worlds of both information and entertainment. But are audiences, including educators and policymakers, prepared to evaluate these works not only in terms of content but also craft? Sheila Curran Bernard is a longtime advocate as well as practitioner of ethical and effective media storytelling , drawing on the tools of the dramatist, novelist, and journalist to reach and engage audiences. Her book, Documentary Storytelling (Focal Press), now going into its third edition and used by film students and filmmakers worldwide, has been called “brilliant and effective” and “enlightening.”

Sheila Curran Bernard is an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker, writer, and consultant with credits on numerous documentary films and series, primarily for PBS but also for cable, theatrical release, and museum and classroom use. Her books include Documentary Storytelling: Making Stronger and More Dramatic Nonfiction Films and (with Kenn Rabin), Archival Storytelling: A Filmmaker’s Guide to Finding, Using, and Licensing Third-Party Visuals and Music. Bernard was the Anschutz Distinguished Fellow in American Studies at Princeton University in 2005 and has enjoyed residencies at the MacDowell Colony and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She holds a joint appointment at the University at Albany, SUNY, with the History Department and Documentary Studies Program and the New York State Writers Institute.


Mark Kramer

“What Sickened Old Journalism? New Journalism Finally is Part of the Cure”
Mark Kramer
, writer & writing coach

Journalism as we know it may not survive the decade, but as it turns out, journalistic storytelling might just get a little healthier.

Mark Kramer, the founding director of the influential Nieman Conference on Narrative Journalism at Harvard University, has been praised as a "dazzling, intrepid writer." Kramer sees reason to hope that newspapers and online media may publish more stories that report deeply and connect emotionally. Kramer is a tireless advocate of narrative journalism—reporting that engages readers with true stories told with the craft of the storyteller.
    "No writer or teacher has done more to promote great narrative writing in America and around the world than Mark Kramer. If I were a young pup—or an old one for that matter—I'd be looking for an opportunity to sit at the feet of the master," says Roy Peter Clark, senior scholar at the Poynter Institute, a journalism think tank in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Frank Lomonte

“Rights and Responsibilities of Student Journalists”—lecture and workshops
Frank LoMonte, Esq., Executive Director of the Student Press Law Center, Arlington, Va.

LoMonte directs the Student Press Law Center (SPLC), a non-profit organization that aims at protecting the freedom of the press for student journalists, usually from high school and university student newspapers. The SPLC describes itself as "an advocate for student free-press rights [that] provides information, advice and legal assistance at no charge to students and the educators who work with them."
     Before law school, LoMonte was an award-winning investigative journalist and political columnist in state Capitol bureaus in Florida and Georgia and in Washington, D.C., with the Morris newspaper chain. LoMonte graduated magna cum laude from the University of Georgia School of Law, where he was a senior editor of the Georgia Law Review.

Jean EverittEveritt Journalism Lecture Series
              Jean Everitt

JOURNALISM HELPS TO ENSURE LIVELY DEBATE, to safeguard against abuses of power, and to promote freedom of expression in American democracy
. Journalists report to give voice to those without powerful voices and to tell stories that connect us to our communities. From the community newspaper to the metropolitan daily to the latest news blog, journalism breathes life into daily routines, helps us understand the world, and reassures us that committed professionals will keep us informed.

The Jean Everitt Journalism Lecture Series at Christopher Newport University brings leaders in professional journalism and journalism education to Newport News, Va., for engaging lectures and symposia that address the pressing issues in journalism today. Lecturers are guest professors in journalism classes and give talks open to the working press and public. Founded in 2009 by Jean Everitt (CNU alumna 1988, English), the endowed lecture series honors Ms. Everitt’s father, Levi S. Zook. “Journalists are our eyes and ears,” she says. “Most of us would have no way of knowing what’s going on in the world. I’m concerned about ethics in reporting, about conscientious reporting being overruled by budgets. I want to see those issues addressed. The important thing is that students benefit.” The Journalism program in the English department at Christopher Newport University is honored to host The Jean Everitt Journalism Lecture Series.