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Speak Truth To Power: The Role of Journalism


Wednesday December 5, 2018: 7:00pm to 8:30pm


Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room


Join the Michigan Daily for the first in a series of panel discussions. In part one, "Speak Truth To Power: The Role of Journalism," panelists will examine concerns of transparency and accountability in local institutions, with a particular focus on the role played by journalists and local news organizations.

We are proud to welcome a panel of esteemed, professional local journalists to discuss these topics.

David Jesse, the higher education reporter for the Detroit Free Press, has covered the state’s two-year and four-year colleges and universities for a decade. His work has focused on higher education finances, access and accessibility and sexual assault on campus. In the past year , he has broken major stories on the cover-up at Michigan State University following the Larry Nassar scandal. He, along with a reporting partner, have spent more than two years penetrating the secrecy around the University of Michigan’s $12 billion endowment. He has won dozens of national and state awards for his work. Prior to joining the Free Press, he worked for papers around the state of Michigan, including the Ann Arbor News.

Micheline Maynard is a regular contributor to Forbes, where she writes The Check blog, looking at dining trends. Other outlets include the Washington Post, Medium, and ABC Australia. She was the award winning Detroit bureau chief and a senior business correspondent for The New York Times, and was senior editor of the daily Boston-based NPR program Here & Now, which broadcasts to an audience of 4.5 million listeners on 450 stations. She has written four books, including The End of Detroit, which predicted the collapse of the American carmakers and the rise of import carmakers in the U.S. well before both happened. She is an adjunct lecturer at the University of Michigan, and has taught at the Ross School of Business and the Lloyd Hall Scholars Program.

Robert Yoon is a political journalist and the Howard R. Marsh Visiting Professor of Journalism at the University of Michigan. As CNN’s Director of Political Research, he covered five presidential campaign cycles and helped prepare eight different moderators for 30 presidential debates. His contributions to CNN’s election coverage have earned him two Emmy Awards, five total Emmy nominations, a Peabody Award, and a National Headliner Award. He received an additional National Headliner Award for his work on CNN's investigation of the 9/11 terror plot. In 2016, he was named by Mediaite as one of the most influential people in the news media. He is the host and creator of “The J Word,” a journalism-themed public affairs talk radio program that airs on WCBN-FM Ann Arbor. He was awarded a Knight-Wallace Journalism fellowship at the University of Michigan in 2017. He has degrees from The University of Michigan and Harvard University.

Kat Stafford is an award-winning journalist and Detroit government watchdog reporter at the Detroit Free Press. Stafford, a Detroit native, has received several awards for her work including the Society of Professional Journalists’ 2017 Young Journalist of the Year Award, the 2017 Detroit Young Professionals Vanguard award and the 2014 Rookie Writer Award from the Michigan Press Association. She was also named a 2018 Rising Star by the News Media Alliance and was a 2016 Fellow of the Loyola Law School, Los Angeles’ Journalist Law School. She is the vice president of the Board of Directors for the SPJ Detroit chapter and is a board member of Eastern Michigan University’s student newspaper, The Eastern Echo. Stafford has also made several television appearances and has hosted and moderated several events.


Outgoing Michigan Daily Editor-in-Chief Alexa St. John will moderate the discussion.

This series, presented by the Michigan Daily, is made possible thanks to a grant received from the Poynter College Media Project.

This event is a partnership with the Michigan Daily.


Speak Truth to Power poster

This event will be recorded