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Maury Povich attends a discussion at the Kelly Writers House Credit: Christina Wu

There will still be jobs in journalism for the students who seek them — at least, according to four Penn professors.

A group of about 50, including published journalists and students interested in writing, were invited to celebrate 1962 College graduate Maury Povich’s $1-million donation to the Kelly Writers House Tuesday night with a panel on current issues in journalism.

The event began with a reception during which Povich — who made his donation to fund journalism programs at Penn in late March — spoke a few words with his wife and fellow journalist Connie Chung. “It doesn’t matter where we’re going in this world or what devices we use. The word is ours and we want to do whatever we can to preserve it,” said Povich, who hosts his own talk show Maury.

“[Povich] wanted this to be a serious but lively discussion,” said Al Filreis, Kelly Writers House Faculty director and Kelly Writers Professor of English. The event was invitation-only and included a panel featuring four Penn faculty members involved in the field of journalism. “I invited student journalists — anyone I could reach — and also professional journalists around Philly,” Filreis said.

The four panelists — Penn professors Anthony DeCurtis, Paul Hendrickson, Dick Polman and Avery Rome — discussed issues relevant to the future of journalism.

“They’ve been telling stories ever since campfire days and that’s not going to go away,” Hendrickson said. The four agreed that the lines between written and digital reporting are becoming blurred.

The panelists also expressed the view that some online sources we read may not be accurate. “I do think that as we blur the lines, it’s important to recognize solid reporting when you read it,” said Rome.

“It’s driven by a love of what I want to do … The love is instinctive. You’ll figure out later how to land,” said Polman on pursuing a career in journalism. The other panelists and audience members nodded in agreement. “There are lots of people who’ve gone through the programs who are waiting to be supportive, “ said Filreis, regarding Penn’s alumni network in journalism.

The event was well-received by the attendees. “I think it’s an amazing opportunity and something only the Writer’s House can offer. It’s very special,” College freshman Marisa Denker said.

“I think it’s exciting and it’s not even my field,” added College senior Rivka Fogel, who works at the Writers House.

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