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Communication Associate: Public Relations | Lori Melton | | (218) 726-8830

November 4, 2003
Susan Beasy Latto, Director of Public Relations (218) 726-8830
Drew Digby, Instructor of History and Journalism (218) 726-8657

Former New York Times Reporter John Fountain to Speak at UMD
7 p.m. November 10

Topic is Relationship Between Faith and Reporting

The relationship between personal faith and journalism will be the subject of a lecture at The University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) by former New York Times correspondent John W. Fountain. Fountain, now a visiting scholar at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, will present "Mightier Than The Sword: The Ministry of Journalism," at 7 p.m. on Monday, November 10 in Chemistry Room 200 at UMD. Fountain's lecture will be the centerpiece of a visit to UMD to meet with journalism, sociology, and communications students. Fountain is the author of True Vine: A Young Black Man's Journey of Faith, Hope and Clarity (Public Affairs,2003). Fountain has been a Chicago-based reporter for the national desk of The New York Times and has worked at the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune. He is also working on his second book. Fountain was previously in Duluth to cover the reaction to the death of former U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone in 2002 for the Times.

Additional background and book information:
Fountain grew up on some of the meanest streets in Chicago, where drugs, crime, decay, and broken homes consigned so many black children to a life of despair and self-destruction. A father at seventeen, a college dropout at nineteen, a welfare case soon after, Fountain was on the verge of giving up all hope. One thing saved him - his faith - his own true vine. True Vine is John Fountain's remarkable story of his childhood in a neighborhood heading south; of his strong willed grandparents, who founded a church called True Vine that sought to bring the word of God to their neighbors; of his mother, herself a teenage parent, whose truncated dreams helped nurture bigger dreams in him; of his friends and cousins, whose youthful exuberance was extinguished by the burdens they faced; and of religious awakening that gave him the determination to rebuild his life.
More information is available at

For further information on the lecture or John Fountain's visit, please contact Drew Digby at (218) 726-8657. Please contact if disability accommodations are needed.

This lecture is co-sponsored by the Lake Superior Arrowhead Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, the UMD Composition Department, and the UMD College of Liberal Arts. The lecture is made possible by the substantial support of the Office of the Chancellor, the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and the College of Liberal Arts.

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