Virginia Humanities hosts ‘On the Beat,’ recognizing importance of local journalism in democracy

newspaperTickets are now available for the upcoming Virginia Humanities program titled, “On the Beat: Local Journalism, Truth, and Democracy,” which will take place in Fitzpatrick Hall at the Jefferson Center in Roanoke at 7 p.m. on the evening of Oct. 23.

Regional journalists Monica Hesse (The Washington Post) and Beth Macy (The Roanoke Times) will join Pulitzer Prize recipient Eric Eyre (Charleston Gazette-Mail) in a discussion of important issues impacting communities nationwide—including the opioids crisis and the effects of economic decline on rural communities—and the vital role of local journalism to an informed citizenry. Community questions will follow the panel discussion, moderated by Dr. Reginald Shareef (Radford University). Book sales and signings will follow.

  • What: “On the Beat: Local Journalism, Truth, and Democracy,” a panel discussion open to the public
  • When: October 23, 2018, from 7:00-8:30 PM
  • Where: Fitzpatrick Hall at the Jefferson Center, 541 Luck Avenue SW, Roanoke
  • Cost: Admission is $5 and includes a $5 book voucher for Book No Further (Roanoke-based bookseller); Tickets are available online, or at the door, depending on availability. Seating is limited.
  • More details: VaBookCenter.org

About the Speakers

  • Monica Hesse is the national bestselling author of the true crime love story American Fire and the Edgar Awardwinning young adult historical mystery novel Girl in the Blue Coat. She is a feature writer for The Washington Post, and she was winner of the Society for Feature Journalism’s Narrative Storytelling award and a finalist for a Livingston Award and a James Beard Award. “Hesse has managed to wring tension and excitement out of a story with a known ending. She also superbly conveys the folkways of the Eastern Shore and the disruptive, confusing effect the fires had on its community.”—The New York Times
  • Beth Macy, author of Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America, is from Roanoke, Virginia, where her reporting for The Roanoke Times has won more than a dozen awards, including a Nieman Fellowship for Journalism at Harvard. “[Dopesick is] a harrowing, deeply compassionate dispatch from the heart of a national emergency… a masterwork of narrative journalism, interlacing stories of communities in crisis with dark histories of corporate greed and regulatory indifference.”—New York Times Book Review
  • Eric Eyre received the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting, recognizing his work as a statehouse reporter for the Charleston Gazette-Mail. He also received the Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE) Medal, Fred M. Hechinger Grand Prize in Education Reporting from the Education Writers Association, National Headliners Award, Society of American Business Editors and Writers award, Gerald Loeb Award for business writing, and an Association of Health Care Journalists award. He also was the recipient of a Kaiser Family Foundation fellowship.

Hosted by Virginia Humanities, the Virginia Center for the Book, and With Good Reason radio, this program is part of the “Democracy and the Informed Citizen” initiative, administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils. The initiative seeks to deepen the public’s knowledge and appreciation of the vital connections between democracy, the humanities, journalism, and an informed citizenry. We thank The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their generous support of this initiative and the Pulitzer Prizes for their partnership.

This program is also part of the 2018 Roanoke Valley Reads initiative.


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