Acclaimed Sports Reporter, UM Alum to Present Annual Pollner Lecture

October 05, 2015

MISSOULA – Award-winning sports reporter Kevin Van Valkenburg will deliver the University of Montana School of Journalism’s annual T. Anthony Pollner Lecture at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19, in the University Center Theater.

Van Valkenburg, UM’s 2015 Pollner Distinguished Professor, will present “The Art of Storytelling Will Always Be What Matters, Not the Medium.” The lecture is free and open to the public.

“The most important thing to understand about modern media,” Van Valkenburg said, “even as it changes rapidly, is that there is an enormous appetite for storytelling in almost all conceivable forms.”

He emphasized that the news media is still relevant, despite what many people may think. “It’s more relevant now than ever,” he said. “But we have to be creative as we reinvent it, finding new models to tell stories and reach an even broader audience."

Van Valkenburg graduated from the UM journalism school in 2000 and went on to work as a reporter and columnist for the Baltimore Sun. In 2012, he joined ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine as a news, features and investigative reporter.

“It’s great to have a distinguished graduate of our program give the Pollner lecture,” journalism Dean Larry Abramson said. “Kevin is in a unique position to help our students prepare for life in a modern newsroom. And I know the community is excited to hear about his life as a digital journalist.”

This semester, Van Valkenburg serves as the 15th Pollner professor, a professorship created in 2001 in memory of T. Anthony Pollner, a UM journalism alumnus who died two years after graduating. The Pollner endowment allows the school to bring a distinguished journalist to campus for a full semester to teach a course and to mentor students at the Montana Kaimin newspaper. Van Valkenburg was a classmate and friend of Anthony Pollner.

For more information call journalism school media and information coordinator Alyssa Rabil at 243-4366 or email alyssa.rabil@mso.umt.edu.

Contact: Alyssa Rabil, media and information coordinator, UM School of Journalism, 406-243-4633, alyssa.rabil@mso.umt.edu.