Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter John Branch will speak at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2, in the auditorium of O’Shaughnessy Educational Center on the St. Paul campus of the University of St. Thomas.

The program is the first of three speakers this fall in Minnesota Public Radio News’ Broadcast Journalist Series, which is co-sponsored by the St. Thomas College of Arts and Sciences, its Communication and Journalism Department, and by Thomson Reuters.

John Branch

John Branch

Branch will be interviewed on stage that evening by Tom Weber, co-host of “The Daily Circuit” for Minnesota Public Radio News.

Branch covers sports for the New York Times. His first book, Boy on Ice: The Life and Death of Derek Boogaard, spun out of his three-part newspaper series “Punched Out,” which examined hockey’s embrace of potentially brain-damaging violence.

Boogaard, who played for the Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers, was regarded as among the toughest enforcers in the National Hockey League. His death in 2011, from an overdose of alcohol and painkillers, was front-page news and brought national attention to the violence and concussions in professional sports.

Students, staff and faculty from the five Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities (including St. Thomas) are admitted for free at the door on the evening of the program. Just present your college or university ID to the usher at the entrance of the O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium.

General Admission tickets are $12 for Minnesota Public Radio members and $15 for nonmembers. Ticket information, along with directions for parking on or near the St. Thomas campus, is available here.

Now in its 20th year, Minnesota Public Radio’s Broadcast Journalist Series commissions renowned journalists for a 24-hour residency four times a year. They share insights on their craft and issues that affect our world.

Other speakers in the Broadcast Journalist Series this fall are National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” host David Greene on Oct. 30 and National Public Radio’s television critic Eric Deggans on Nov. 13.

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