Denison University recently hosted The Between Coasts Forum, a conference for more than 50 writers, editors, radio and video journalists, and thought-leaders from across the nation. The forum was organized by Denison faculty and authors Michael Croley and Jack Shuler. Denison students helped staff the event and networked with the writers.
“We’re helping journalists and storytellers to better report from the so-called “flyover country,” said Shuler. “It’s not a typical conference, where everyone sits around listening to a select few persons. Instead, participants gather to talk and strategize. Editors listen to writers and writers listen to editors.”
Three days of discussions and lectures spanned topics such as the events at Charlottesville, the opioid epidemic, and journalists as public storytellers. Attendees of the conference included Nancy Gibbs, former editor of “Time” magazine, Ted Genoways, author of “This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of a Family Farm,” and Harry Boyte, senior scholar in Public Work Philosophy at the Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship at Augsburg University, as well as editors from such publications as “The New Republic,” “Longreads,” “Pacific Standard,” “Bill Moyers and Company,” “Virginia Quarterly Review,” “The Daily Yonder,” and “100 Days in Appalachia.”
“This weekend was about working together to better tell the stories of the places we live in, the places we love, the places we want to know better—and doing so with empathy and integrity,” said Croley. “This is the second Between Coasts forum. The first developed out of a post on Ted Genoways’s FaceBook page and had a very simple premise: let’s see what happens if we get a bunch of writers, journalists, editors in the same space. This time we invited folks who are local and national experts to participate in discussions about issues journalists are covering now. We’re here to work, to learn from each other, and to, hopefully, be inspired to tell some good stories.”
To read local journalism with a national outlook, visit betweencoasts.org.