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Under-Told Stories Project

Saint Mary's University welcomes noted journalist to Minneapolis campus

Fred de Sam Lazaro

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota has announced its partnership with the Under-Told Stories Project, which shares stories from some of the world’s most remote locations through PBS NewsHour and other media organizations. The partnership brings Under-Told Stories Director Fred de Sam Lazaro to the University’s Minneapolis campus, provides new learning opportunities to Saint Mary’s students, and is intended to raise awareness for the local ramifications of global issues.

A resident of Saint Paul, de Sam Lazaro is the face of the Under-Told Stories project. He has reported from almost 50 countries and has served PBS NewsHour since 1985. He regularly covers global health, poverty and development, environmental issues, and social entrepreneurship. He led the first American news crew that reported on the crisis in Sudan’s Darfur region, and he also directed films from India and the Democratic Republic of Congo for the acclaimed PBS documentary series, Wide Angle.

What the partnership means locally

De Sam Lazaro and longtime Under-Told Stories producer Nicole See will make their home at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, and specifically the university’s Hendrickson Institute on Ethical Leadership, as part of the project’s joint commitment to journalism and teaching. Students in the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs will have access to hands-on experiences in some of the world’s developing regions. Under-Told Stories content will also be incorporated into the curricula of numerous Saint Mary’s courses.

“Saint Mary’s and the Hendrickson Institute provide the ideal home for our project at so many levels,” de Sam Lazaro said. “Both foster an engagement with the major global issues of the day, and our journalism is a ‘shoe-leather’ complement to the learning and debate that come from textbooks and seminars, bringing home the relevance of these issues.”

Former President Jimmy Carter & Fred de Sam Lazaro

President Jimmy Carter, PBS NewsHour correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro, videographer Tom Adair, and producer Nicole See in Southern Sudan, February 2010 covering the campaign to eradicate Guinea Worm.

International Coverage

Recent Under-Told Stories topics include the election in Southern Sudan, Pakistan’s flood recovery, India’s strained water supply, and Iraqi refugees exiled in neighboring nations. De Sam Lazaro has also covered stories in the United States, including ancient manuscript preservation in Minnesota and technology’s impact on the patient-doctor relationship in American hospitals. Under-Told Stories segments are featured regularly on PBS NewsHour nationwide and are available to view anytime at the Under-Told Stories web site.

“Fred’s solutions-oriented stories bring hope out of despair and make issues from half a world away relevant to Americans,” said Lindsay McCabe, executive director of the Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership at Saint Mary’s University. “‘Under-Told Stories’ raises awareness of poverty, while shedding light on the opportunities and lessons to be found in impoverished places. This aligns well with Saint Mary’s commitment to diversity, accessibility, social justice, and ethical stewardship.”

About PBS NewsHour

PBS NEWSHOUR is seen five nights a week on more than 315 PBS stations across the country and is also available online, via public radio in select markets and via podcast. The program is produced by MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, in association with WETA Washington, DC, and in New York. The PBS NEWSHOUR television broadcast is seen by an audience of approximately 1.1 million viewers each evening and approximately 200,000 daily online visitors.