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Sunday, April 15 • 9:00am - 10:15am
One on one with Mark Saxenmeyer: Reality TV with a Purpose

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Veteran news reporter Mark Saxenmeyer dares mention the words “reality TV” and “meaningful dialogue” in the same sentence, and calls some of his recent work “reality TV with a purpose.”  Saxenmeyer produced Experiment: Gay and Straight, and The Experiment in Black and White, while working at FOX News Chicago. In each program, 10 Chicago-area residents (5 gay and 5 straight in the former example; 5 black and 5 white in the latter) lived together for a week and discussed everything (to use examples from Experiment in Black and White) from affirmative action, slavery reparations and racial profiling, to discrimination, crime, and stereotypes.

This panel will open with clips from the Experiments, and then Saxenmeyer will respond to questions from Rebecca Lind and the audience. What challenges did he face when producing these shows? How important were the ratings? What were the legal issues and how did he handle them? What about casting? Editing? Promotion? How did he turn a series of news stories aired on successive nights into a long-form documentary? What would he do differently now? How did the program use new/interactive media? Is there a place for "reality TV" on the news? What is the future of news?
Moderator: Norm Medoff, Northern Arizona University
Panelists: Rebecca Ann Lind, University of Illinois at Chicago; Mark Saxenmeyer, KSTP-TV

Sunday April 15, 2012 9:00am - 10:15am PDT
Pavilion 1

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