A Shelby roast and a ThreeSixty smile

This is just one of those “nice work, everybody” stories.

Next month, the University of St. Thomas will roast outgoing (in all senses of the word) WCCO-TV anchor Don Shelby. I’d push ticket sales, but all 250-plus have been snapped up. The event will raise $20,000 for UST’s ThreeSixty journalism program.

It’s a damned good cause: ThreeSixty mentors high school journalists, some into their college yeas, not to just to create the next generation of fact-finders but to add diverse voices. I did a semester advising at Minneapolis’s Patrick Henry High, and the intelligence of the students and their teacher was a nice antidote to the caterwauling about educational decline.

Now in its tenth year, ThreeSixty has begun making an impact on professional news staffs. Alumna include Star Tribune reporter Emma Carew, WCCO-TV web producer Sarah Boyd, and TPT-TV assistant producer Hlee Lee. ThreeSixty’s mainstay is executive director Lynda McDonnell, a former Pioneer Press editor.

The roast will provide about a tenth of ThreeSixty’s annual budget. Everyone concerned — Shelby, McDonnell, UST, the alums and the ticket-buyers — deserve kudos.

If you’re a teacher who wants to preserve or revive a journalism program for your students — and get their work published — check out the details here.

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