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CNN's Jessica Ravitz Comes to USU for Morris Media & Society Lecture

Thursday, Feb. 07, 2013

CNN reporter Jessica Ravitz comes to USU to speak

(photo from Hard News Café website)

Time Magazine Cover, illustation for Morris Media & Society Lecture

(photo from Hard News Café website)

The Student Life section of Utah State Today highlights work written by the talented student journalists at Utah State University. Each week, the editor selects a story that has been published in The Utah Statesman or the Hard News Café or both for inclusion in Utah State Today.

CNN’s Jessica Ravitz Comes to USU for Morris Media & Society Lecture

From the Hard News Café Thursday, February 7, 2013

Jessica Ravitz, former Salt Lake Tribune religion writer and now a reporter for CNN, comes back to Utah on Feb. 27 to deliver a Morris Media and Society Lecture at Utah State University.

Ravitz is a journalist who has made the transition from newspapers to a converged journalism forum through CNN on television and

She comes to USU to talk with students about her career track in a lecture titled “Persistence, Patience and Compassion: An enterprise journalist’s toolbox.”

The Morris Lecture, sponsored by the USU Journalism and Communication Department, is Wednesday, Feb. 27, at 11:30 a.m. in the Agriculture Sciences Building Auditorium on the USU campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Ravitz, who joined CNN in 2009, specializes long-form storytelling and has written extensively about religion and women’s issues. She authors a CNN blog on religion and faith. Her reporting has taken her on a road trip with a doomsday group, into the world of a rabble-rousing Mormon feminist and on a mission to bring light to untold stories of rape during the Holocaust.

For more than two years, she has covered Aesha Mohammadzai, a young Afghan woman who was disfigured by her Taliban husband. That moving story, reported by Ravitz on CNN, also was a TIME magazine cover story.

“Jessica Ravitz’s work exemplifies the best of journalism’s potential for telling moving and important stories about topics that matter — stories reported with compassion and persistence,” said JCOM Department Head Ted Pease. “Her work, incorporating both the strengths of traditional print journalism and the storytelling power of multimedia on TV and the Web, is an example that journalism students should emulate, and that informed citizens should follow.”

At CNN, Ravitz has won awards, including a National Headliner Award for online-only writing. Her stories from the Gulf Coast and Alaska helped CNN win the Peabody Award for coverage of the BP oil disaster. Her contributions to the CNN Belief Blog have earned recognition by the Religion Newswriters Association, including an award as the Gerald A. Renner Enterprise Religion Report of the Year.

A native of Detroit, Ravitz is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the graduate school of journalism at Cal-Berkeley.

Ravitz’s appearance at USU is sponsored by the JCOM Department, with help from the USU student chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, Aggie TV News and the Hard News Café.

For more information on her visit, or for media access, call the JCOM department at 435-797-3292.


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