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New York Times columnist to discuss disability reporting in free webinar

portrait of journalist Dan Berry
April 30, 2014

New York Times columnist Dan Barry will discuss reporting on disability issues during a free webinar hosted by the National Center on Disability and Journalism headquartered at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

Barry will cover his recent New York Times piece, “The ‘Boys’ in the Bunkhouse,” during the May 6 webinar at 1 p.m. EDT. The investigative narrative tells the story of a group of disabled men forced to work for decades at an Iowa meat processing plant under deplorable conditions for little pay and squalid room and board.

“It’s partly a story about what we as a society see and don't see,” said Barry, whose 7,500-word story includes photography, video and audio clips.

During the webinar, Barry will explain how he developed the long-form multimedia story and offer advice for others covering disability issues or people with disabilities. He will also answer questions from webinar attendees. Cronkite graduate student Lauren Loftus, who has worked as a graduate assistant at the National Center on Disability and Journalism for the past year, will lead the online discussion.

“We are excited to have Dan share how he wrote such a dynamic and powerful story,” said Kristin Gilger, center director and Cronkite associate dean. “This webinar offers an extraordinary opportunity to interact with one of America’s top journalists.”

Barry joined The New York Times in 1995 and writes about the lives of ordinary Americans for his “This Land” column. He previously worked for the Journal Inquirer in Manchester, Conn., and The Providence Journal in Rhode Island, where he shared a Pulitzer Prize and a George Polk Award. He is the author of three books: “Pull Me Up: A Memoir,” “City Lights” and “Bottom of the 33rd: Hope, Redemption, and Baseball’s Longest Game.”

Established in 1998, the National Center on Disability and Journalism is a national organization providing resources for journalists covering people with disabilities. The center has been located at the Cronkite School on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus since 2009. It is led by an advisory board consisting of media professionals and disability experts that includes Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Leon Dash, formerly of The Washington Post; Jennifer LaFleur, senior editor for data journalism at the non-profit Center for Investigative Reporting in San Francisco; Tim McGuire, former editor of the Minneapolis Star Tribune who is now the Frank Russell Chair for the business of journalism at the Cronkite School; and Suzanne Robitaille, founder and editor-in-chief of, a consumer website that covers disability news and assistive technology. For a full list of board members, go to

Registration for the free webinar is open at