Black Hills State University faculty, staff, students and community will learn about the inner workings of journalism and public radio during a panel discussion with three journalists from South Dakota Public Broadcasting.

The panel discussion, sponsored by the BHSU College of Liberal Arts and the BHSU Jacket Journal, is Friday, March 22 in the Clare and Josef Meier Recital Hall. There will be two sessions: one at 1 p.m. and one at 7 p.m.  The panel discussion is open to the public.

The panel includes: Joe Tlustos, director of radio; Charles Michael Ray, producer and reporter; and Amy Varland, BHSU student and SDPB intern.

Tlustos oversees all SDPB radio programming, including the news and music staff. He has nearly three decades of radio experience in Minnesota and South Dakota. Previous to joining SDPB, he was the Program Director for KSTP-AM Radio in St. Paul, Minn. He was named a top-five finalist for Talk Programmer of the Year by Radio & Records magazine, a top national industry information source, and was recognized as one of the top news and talk radio programmers in the United States. Tlustos is a South Dakota native.

Ray, a native of the Black Hills, began working for SDPB Radio as a reporter in 1992 at the age of 19. Ray’s won two national Edward R. Murrow awards and a National Scripps Howard News Service award. In 2009, he was selected as a Logan Science Journalist Polar Fellow and spent three weeks above the Arctic Circle at a scientific research station reporting on the impacts of climate change.  He has won 20 regional Murrow Awards and more than 40 awards from the Associated Press.

Varland grew up in Lead and has spent much of her time between there and Rapid City. She is a BHSU student majoring in mass communications with an emphasis in journalism. Varland joined SDPB in the spring of 2012 as an intern and has spent her time learning the nuances of writing and producing for radio.

Dr. Mary Caton-Rosser, BHSU assistant professor of mass communication, hopes the discussion will create an awareness of the importance and value of public media. “It is important for people to understand how the public media works as compared to the commercial, mainstream media,” she said. “I just think the way that public media operates and the material they deliver is quite different than on network television and radio.”

She also hopes people get a glimpse into the day-to-day operations of public radio.

“The general public does not realize the amount of work that goes into any particular piece, the time and the reporting,” Caton-Rosser said. “It is not simply being a good writer or speaker; it is having interviewing and research skills and knowing how to use technology.”

Caton-Rosser said the idea of a panel discussion came up last summer after Tlustos came to campus looking for a summer intern.  “We really wanted to build a relationship with SDPB, BHSU and the community,” she said. “I thought this was a great opportunity to tap their expertise.”

Tlustos will also be visiting several of the classrooms while on campus, Caton-Rosser said.