Northwest Media Fest: A first for Linfield

Linfield University’s first ever Northwest Media Fest debuted this week starting on Wednesday, Nov. 9, and coming to a successful end on Friday, Nov. 11. Linfield hosted investigative journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner Steve Kurkjian, editor and vice president of the Oregonian Therese Bottomly, celebrity chef Susan Feniger, filmmaker Liz Lachman, and lastly, Liz Albl and Anne Toole, who are both accomplished entertainment writers.

Although a first-time event for Linfield, this festival was a success, drawing people of all ages to the events. Many were eager students attending speakers that reflected their major, such as senior Mikayla Minton. Minton is a pre-law student who had the opportunity to listen to Bottomly speak about the post elections that took place on Tuesday, Nov. 7. 

When asked how attending this event helped shape her learning, Minton said it “helped me to understand not only more about journalism as a JAMS minor but about policy and law as a pre-law major as well.” She continued, “law and policy are created by the US government, which means that to understand law and to be a good lawyer, one needs to understand the government and elections. The speaker gave an unbiased and educational overview of how The Oregonian covers politics and elections and emphasized the importance of civic engagement and the media’s role in engagement.”

A similar response was seen when journalism minor Emma Libby was faced with the same question. Libby had the chance to listen to Steve Kurkjian speak about his novel “Master Thieves,” and his own experience with investigative journalism. 

“As a journalism major it was an honor to be able to hear such a successful figure speak on his work and experience in the field,” she said. “This just integrated other things I’ve learned on what it takes to be a journalist and see how it’s been used in the real world.”

Wednesday’s events came to an end with Kurkjian as the final speaker of the night. 

While Thursday’s events were canceled, the festival picked back up on Friday, bringing a multitude of entertainment to Linfield. Susan Feniger and Liz Lachman brought experienced insight regarding business, specifically within the film and restaurant industry.

Closing out the festival was Liz Albl and Anne Toole, experienced writers in both the gaming industry and the TV business. This event was perfect for students who have an interest in this career path. 

Colin Bellairs, a Linfield student, spoke about how interesting this event was, stating, “I think video game writing does a good job of setting itself apart from other types of writing.” 

Not only was the Northwest Media Fest a successful event full of entertainment, it was also jam-packed with lots of learning opportunities that the Linfield community had the privilege of attending.