Pollner Professor to Discuss Role of Storytelling in Social Justice Reporting

September 26, 2018

Ben MontgomeryMISSOULA – An award-winning investigative journalist, who is in residence at the University of Montana School of Journalism this semester, will deliver a lecture Monday, Oct. 8, on the importance of telling the stories of people entangled in social justice issues.

Ben Montgomery, the fall T. Anthony Pollner Distinguished Professor at UM, will present “Enemy of the [Bad] People” at 7 p.m. in the University Center Theater. The talk is free and open to the public.

Montgomery, a former enterprise reporter for the Tampa Bay Times and founder of the popular narrative journalism website Gangrey.com, is teaching a course on investigative techniques and narrative writing. He also serves as an adviser to students at the Montana Kaimin newspaper.

As a reporter for the St. Petersburg Times, Montgomery and a colleague were finalists for a Pulitzer Prize for local reporting in 2010 for their series about decades of abuse at a Florida reform school for boys.

He’s won a number of other national awards, including a Columbia University Dart Award for reporting about trauma and a Casey medal for reporting on disadvantaged youth and families. He was also a finalist in 2011 for a Livingston Award, which honors outstanding work by journalists under the age of 35.

Montgomery was most recently a reporter for the Tampa Bay Times. His final investigative project before leaving in November was titled “Why Cops Shoot,” a review of six years of Florida police shootings that revealed how fear and bias breeds confusion, how order quickly dissolves into chaos and ways to avert the violence.

His third and most recent book, “The Man Who Walked Backward: An American Dreamer’s Search for Meaning in the Great Depression,” was released this month.

The professorship was created in 2001 to honor the memory of T. Anthony Pollner, a 1999 School of Journalism graduate who died in a motorcycle accident in England.

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Contact: Denise Dowling, interim dean, UM School of Journalism, 406-243-4143, denise.dowling@mso.umt.edu.