Schuneman Symposium Reflects on “Covering Trump”

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Ohio University Baker Center
Seats fill up on the Baker University Center’s Theater (WOUB/Emily Votaw)

Political cartoonists, White House correspondents, photojournalists and Pulitzer prize winners were just a few of the careers represented at the 10th Schuneman Symposium.

This year’s theme was “Covering Trump” and journalists and artists from a number of publications gathered to share how their different publications go about covering the president.

The speakers asked one another questions, and learned about covering President Trump in different ways.

Marcus Pindur, a political correspondent for German National Public Radio, said the speakers opened his eyes to the shared problems journalists face.

“We more or less have the same problems and are struggling with the same problems in journalism, whether we are German, British, or American journalists,” he said. “We are struggling with problems all over the western world right now.”

Influence of Symposium:

Steven Hernandez, Ohio University journalism student, said he attends events like the Schuneman Symposium as he continually tries to expand his knowledge and improve his skills.

“I just want to know more about what people in the actual field have to say,” he said. “It’s always good learning about people who are actual professionals. I just wanted pointers cause it’s a really interesting time we’re living in with news, so just being able to talk to people and ask how they’re handling things day-to-day … something that I wouldn’t really get if I’m just in a classroom.”

Hernandez said it is important to bring symposiums like the Schuneman Symposium to towns like Athens, Ohio.

CNN Special Projects Producer Katie Hinman speaks at the Schuneman Symposium

“Sometimes when you’re in Athens, there is this small-town feel so you kind of feel a little disconnected from the rest of the country and what’s going on,” he said. “You know, they call it a little bit of an oasis for a reason, but you know small Athens is part of the national conversation as any other place in the U.S. They should be made aware of what’s going on,” he said.

Speaker Nicole Antonuccio, art director for both ClickHole and The Onion, said even as a professional educating students, she learned a lot during the symposium from her colleagues.

“Coming out of this I’m feeling, like, so lucky to have gotten the exposure to, sort of all these amazing different voices in media, and I think really hearing the different perspectives and approaches people take,” she said. “I just feel really very refreshed and I just think this is such an awesome opportunity for students.”

History of the symposium:

Communication Week in the Scripps College of Communication dates back to 1968 when the School of Journalism held its first Journalism Week in early May.

The college has hosted notable professionals through the years to educate young journalists on real-world issues.

In 1970, Journalism Week was changed to Communication Week to incorporate the entire college. The annual event includes speakers and panel discussions designed to encourage student interaction with prominent leaders in communications.

This year is the college’s 50th anniversary.

The Schuneman Symposium on Photojournalism and New Media was made possible by a gift of $495,000 to the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism from R. Smith “Smitty” Schuneman and his wife, Patricia.