Jana Pruden set to deliver 2020 James M. Minifie Lecture
Award-winning writer to speak on the future of journalism
The University of Regina’s School of Journalism will be hosting the annual James M. Minifie Lecture on Tuesday, March 3. The event will take place at the University Theatre and will begin at 7 p.m. This year’s speaker is acclaimed feature writer at The Globe and Mail, Jana Pruden. Pruden’s impressive resume includes crime bureau chief at the Edmonton Journal, winning Slate’s best crime writing 2013, and inspiring a major movie production, among others. Prior to working at The Globe and Mail, Pruden worked at the Regina Leader-Post for seven years where she had a number of colleagues who were graduates of the U of R’s J-School.
“When I lived and worked in Regina, I would attend the Minifies. It really means a lot to be able to speak at one. When I look at the list of people who have delivered Minifies in the past – some of the greatest and most respected journalists in our history – I really do think it is a great honour. I’m not sure I could have ever imagined myself being on that stage when I was in the seats watching those lectures years ago. It is pretty profound and special to be asked to deliver it,” says Pruden.
For Mark Taylor, Head of the Journalism School, asking Pruden to be this year’s speaker was a no-brainer.
“I thought she was a good selection because she is the best in the business at what she does, feature writing. She has a Regina connection and her enthusiasm for journalism is infectious. I believe this will not only rub off on our students but also on the community and we will have a great night.”
After doing intense research, Pruden settled on the topic of her lecture, “Give Me Rewrite: Drafting a New Future for Journalism”. The profession of journalism is riddled with limitless issues in the new age, which is why it was important for Pruden to dig deep to find the one she resonated the most with, she says.
“I started preparing by going back and reading previous Minifie lectures and reflecting on the history of this business, as well as my career. I am a sessional journalism instructor at MacEwan University so I think a lot about what the future looks like for journalists. Reflecting on where we came from and where we are going encompasses a lot of things I am interested in.”
Pruden also wants her lecture to help members of the public understand what it is journalists actually do and why they do it. For Pruden, this is especially important as we live in an era of #FakeNews, where the work of journalists is always under attack. It is Pruden’s hope that after her lecture, people in attendance will be able to look back differently and what they want the future of journalism to look like.