Award-winning journalist to speak at GV

GVL / Courtesy -

GVL / Courtesy –

Sarah Hillenbrand

At Grand Valley State University, many events are hosted as part of the Fall Arts Celebration to expose students to different forms of art and develop their own perspectives on various art forms. On Oct. 6, award-winning broadcaster, journalist and writer Scott Simon will come to GVSU to speak to students about his expertise and how these fields have been drastically changing over the years.

“A key part of a good liberal education is developing an appreciation for the arts, so first of all the Fall Arts Celebration provides different kinds of co-curricular opportunities to begin developing that appreciation,” said Frederick Antczak, dean of the college of liberal arts and sciences. “FAC events are always free, so they’re affordable for students and to community members, for whom this is an outreach from the university.”

Simon’s resume includes hosting National Public Radio’s “Weekend Edition Saturday,” hosting the PBS television show “Backstage With…” and being a guest host on the CBS program “Nightwatch” and CNBC’s “Talkback Live.” Additionally, he has been an essayist and commentator on NBC’s “Weekend Today,” “NOW with Bill Mayers,” been on ESPN and written several bestselling books.

“We wanted to bring a major figure in broadcasting and journalism in order to highlight our new broadcasting-journalism curriculum,” Antczak said. “…So the spotlight isn’t just on Mr. Simon, but on the high quality of our communication programs and their acuity and nimbleness in adapting to the demands of the moment while still giving a deeply humane education that will support all the changes in the times to come.”

Simon’s lecture, titled “Professional Journalism in a DIY Age,” will focus on the questions and challenges that are vital to journalism, democracy and personal sanity in the news business, said Anthony Thompson, director of the school of communications and a professor of photography.

“He typically interweaves personal stories with commentary about the role of journalism in society and as a profession, particularly within a democracy,” Thompson added.

Antczak said Simon was chosen as a speaker because he is well informed, accomplished and a great role model for aspiring students. Simon’s experience includes reporting from all 50 states and every continent, covering a variety of topics including wars, political campaigns, natural disasters and much more. He has won many awards for his reporting.

“Students can learn more about the importance of the news media in shaping our national character and the quality of our political discourse,” Thompson said. “But they will also hear from someone who has seen much of the world and who cares a great deal about the value and use of words to construct meaningful stories for others.”

Simon’s lecture will take place at GVSU’s Pew Campus on the second floor of the Eberhard Center at 7 p.m. on Oct. 6.