Gov. Jesse Ventura’s communications director and three Minnesota political reporters will discuss news coverage of the governor in a panel discussion from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14, in 3M Auditorium of Owens Science Hall.

The discussion, titled “Jesse vs. the Journalists,” is sponsored by the UST chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Panelists will examine the challenges local journalists face in covering Ventura, who recently created a stir with his comments in a widely publicized Playboy magazine interview.

Covering Ventura poses unusual challenges for local journalists, who must deal both with his performance as governor and his status as a media celebrity who attracts attention from national news outlets. In addition, local reporters are faced with the governor’s apparent disdain for media such as the newspaper he dubbed the “St. Paul Pioneer Porn.”

The discussion, which is free and open to the public, will feature: John Wodele, Ventura’s communications director, and reporters Laura McCullum of Minnesota Public Radio, Rochelle Olson of the Associated Press and Jim Ragsdale of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

For more information, call St. Thomas’ SPJ president, Amy Konrad, (651) 695-9565, or the chapter’s adviser, Dr. Kris Bunton, (651) 962-5257.

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