Ethics in the Media Symposium set for Wednesday, April 17

Contact: Tonya Lowentritt
Date: April 12, 2013


     HAMMOND – Three distinguished Southeastern Louisiana University journalism alumni will return to their alma mater to speak at a symposium on ethics in the media.
     The event is scheduled for Wednesday, April 17 at 2:30 p.m. in 138 D Vickers Hall on the Southeastern campus. The official sponsor for the event is the Southeastern Lyceum Arts & Lectures Committee.
     The three speakers will discuss their personal experiences with tough ethical situations in the journalism industry, give their thoughts on a range of issues facing the media today and take questions from the audience. They will be joined by a Southeastern professor, who will also discuss his thoughts on media ethics and serve as moderator for the event.
     The symposium is open to the public, and there is no admission charge.
     Also at the symposium, a group of current students who were members of Southeastern's Press Club team that won the Southeast Journalism Conference Championship in February will be honored. The Press Club president is Lindory Dyson of Hammond, and the faculty adviser of is Amber Narro of Ponchatoula.
     The three alumni speakers are Danny Heitman of Baton Rouge, class of 1986 and an editorial board member of The Advocate; Paul Purpura of Metairie, class of 1996 and a staff writer for Times-Picayune and Stacey Plaisance of New Orleans, class of 1999 and a staff member of the Associated Press New Orleans bureau.
     Heitman is an award-winning columnist for The Advocate a frequent contributor to national publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, Smithsonian and The Washington Post. Heitman is also an adjunct professor at the LSU Manship School of Mass Communication and the author of a critically acclaimed book about John James Audubon. His Audubon book was adapted as a public television documentary, for which he served as an associate producer. As a college student Heitman served as the editor of Ponchatoula's weekly newspaper, The Enterprise, which closed its business five years ago. While a student at Southeastern, he served as a contributing writer for The Daily Star and as an intern at The Advocate.
     Purpura is a native of New Orleans, a U.S. Marine Corps. veteran and primarily works as The Times-Picayune's Jefferson Parish courts beat reporter. During his time at Southeastern, he was the editor of the campus newspaper, The Lion's Roar, and won several collegiate journalism awards. He worked as a stringer for The Daily Star, and, after graduating, worked for The Vicksburg Post, in Vicksburg, Miss. He joined The Times-Picayune in 1999. He was part of the staff to receive the Pulitzer Prize for public service journalism for coverage of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath in 2005.
     Plaisance joined the Associated Press staff in 1999. A south Louisiana native, she previously worked for the River Parishes bureau of The Times-Picayune as a high school columnist. At Southeastern she served as editor of The Lion's Roar and a staffer for the campus radio station KSLU, as well as a correspondent for The Daily Star and The Advocate. Since joining the AP, Plaisance has covered hurricanes, shootings, red carpet film premieres, In 2009 Plaisance was among the first wave of AP print journalists trained to shoot, edit and package video. She has become what the AP now calls "hybrids," or multimedia journalists.
     Joining Heitman, Purpura and Plaisance as speakers will be Professor of Communications Joe Mirando, who has served on the Southeastern faculty since 1982. Mirando is the Elizabeth Weeks Jones Endowed Professor of Humanities. He was awarded the endowment for his scholarly work in ethics, and has published chapters in college journalism textbooks and articles in national professional journals devoted to the study of journalism.
     For information on the event, call the Southeastern Department of Languages and Communication at 985-549-2105.




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