Eagle reporter Jenn Smith will be MCLA's Hardman Journalist-in-Residence


NORTH ADAMS — The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts has named Jenn Smith of The Berkshire Eagle the Hardman Journalist-in-Residence for this spring semester.

Smith will be in residence for two days — April 10 and 11, visiting classes and meeting students and faculty.

She will also give a free public lecture, "Preserving Local Journalism: Why Your News, Your Views, Your Voice Matters," at noon April 11, in Murdock Hall's Sammer Dennis Room on the MCLA Campus. The talk will include a question-and-answer session.

A number of MCLA journalism students have gone on to work for The Eagle. Smith said she looks forward to working with potential future reporters and editors during her time in residence and that she is "extremely honored" to be part of the legacy of the Hardman program.

"It feels like a pretty great chance to give back in that regard," said Smith, who is the community engagement editor and covers education at The Eagle.

Previous Hardman Journalists-in-Residence include members of local and international media, including Kevin Moran, executive editor and chief content officer of New England Newspapers Inc., The Eagle's parent company, and Mark Kinver, BBC broadcaster.

The program is named after the Hardman family, longtime owners of the North Adams Transcript, the daily newspaper that served North County until 2014.

Smith has worked for The Eagle since 2005.

In her time as a reporter, she has covered national crises such as the Boston Marathon bombing and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, along with other topics, such as education, entertainment, politics and municipal issues.

In response to the February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., Smith convened and moderated a public panel forum in March hosted by The Eagle and Barrington Stage Company, to provide a community conversation on gun violence school shootings, gun safety and solutions. Under Smith's leadership, the forum model was then replicated twice in Vermont in association with The Eagle's sister papers, The Bennington Banner and The Brattleboro Reformer, welcoming those communities to discuss these timely issues.

Smith is a regular panelist on Wednesday mornings on "The Roundtable" and occasionally "The Media Project," both produced and broadcast by WAMC Northeast Public Radio.

She is a member of the national Education Writers Association and Society of Professional Journalists, and has been recognized by Berkshire Magazine's "The Berkshire 25" and Berkshire Community College's "40 under Forty."

Smith is a graduate of Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications, in Syracuse, N.Y.

She lives in Williamstown.

Patricia LeBoeuf can be reached at pleboeuf@berkshireeagle.com, at @BE_pleboeuf on Twitter and 413-496-6247.


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