‘The Marriage Amendment: Meaning Behind the Messages’ kicks off new series

Thursday, April 12, marks the launch of MinnPost Asks Presented by LearningLife, a new series produced by MinnPost in partnership with the U of M’s College of Continuing Education.

The bi-monthly series will focus on hot-button issues, addressed by one or two newsmakers, a MinnPost journalist, and a U of M faculty expert. A moderated public Q&A will follow each panel’s discussion.

For the April 12 kick-off event, The Marriage Amendment: The Meaning Behind the Messages, Richard Carlbom, executive director of Minnesotans United for All Families (the anti-amendment coalition), will be interviewed by MinnPost journalist Beth Hawkins and University of Minnesota Communications Studies Department Chair Ed Schiappa.

An invitation to participate was extended to Minnesota for Marriage, the pro-amendment coalition. The invitation was declined but remains open. Other pro-amendment groups were also invited to participate, but did not respond.

The discussion will focus on messaging being used in Minnesota and elsewhere by groups fighting for and against the amendment. Video clips will be shown and analyzed.

Said Margy Ligon, director for the College’s personal enrichment programs, “This format will allow people to hear about the issues from several angles. The newsmakers, obviously, and then the journalist and the faculty member who will be serving in the ‘interviewer’ roles. The reporter will typically tackle the issue from the ‘right now’ perspective — he or she will have the latest information and breaking news on the topic. The professor offers a historical perspective and brings the academic insight.”

“The goal is to gather experts and newsmakers together for a real discussion, for a civil debate on the issues. We want to tackle those issues from a local level, and see how they are affecting our region and our lives.”

Joel Kramer, CEO and editor of MinnPost, said about the partnership with LearningLife: “We encourage civil discussion from many points of view — as does LearningLife. Our audience cares about Minnesota — as theirs does. Together, we’ll combine the resources of a high-quality news site and a great university, for the benefit of a wider community.”

Tickets are $25 ($15 for MinnPost and Learning Circle members). All events will begin at 7 p.m. and will be held at the Continuing Education and Conference Center on the U of M St. Paul campus. Seating is limited. Call (612) 624-4000 or click here to purchase tickets.

Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 03/09/2012 - 09:51 am.

    I commend MinnPost

    …for extending invitations to both sides, but no one should be surprised that they were declined.

    Minnpost is a leftist propaganda operation; granted, it’s got superior production values to most, but it’s bias is clear and can be counted upon to provide a southpaw shade to conservative messages.

    How about asking them for a written statement, withthe promise to publish them complete and unedited?

    • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 03/09/2012 - 02:31 pm.

      The reason for declining the invitation was probably less about not wanting to be censored (this being an event, not a publication), but more about not airing their views in front of a group of people they actually would have to convince. It’s the same reason various politicians only interview on “friendly” news–they’re unable to answer the hard questions.

      • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 03/09/2012 - 06:04 pm.

        Not so much

        It’s not censorship they need worry about; it’s “literary license”.

        I’m in no position to speak for anyone but myself, Rachel. But I don’t think I’m too far afield when I say that given the tone of Minnpost, people with conservative views need to have a care when engaging one of their columnists.

        Written give and take is a much better bet than a recorded interview that is transcribed by someone with an agenda.

  2. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 03/09/2012 - 11:52 am.


    you could just go to the event and judge for yourself.

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