Northern Star alumni board to host election panel Saturday

Employee headshot, Mark Brown. (Photo by Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times)

By Hailey Kurth

NIU will welcome a panel of journalists to discuss Election 2012 and answer questions Saturday.

The panel includes Mark Brown of the Chicago Sun-Times, Bruce Dold of the Chicago Tribune, Bernie Schoenburg of the Springfield State Journal-Register and will be moderated by Jason Schaumburg of the DeKalb Daily Chronicle.

Northern Star alumnus Mike Korcek said these journalists have met highly political people and may be able to share some of their experiences.

“This is kind of like if you’re in the locker room or you’re in the dugout or something like that,” Korcek said. “So I think it’s going to be a really interesting discussion. I’m looking forward to it.”

Brown said although there is a lull in Illinois elections this year, other political campaigns are expected to be hot topics.

“I assume people will want to talk about the presidential race first and foremost because it’s the most interesting,” Brown said. “It’s not a big election year in Illinois, apart from the presidential and some congressional elections.”

At the end, the panel answer questions from the audience. Northern Star alumnus Caron Blitz said attendees will be given a card as they enter to write down their questions.

“We’re turning the mic on them, and asking the people that usually ask the hard questions what’s on their minds,” Blitz said. “These are the folks closest to the news.”

Korcek said people can expect topics ranging from super-pacs to pension reform.

“I think there will be something for everybody,” Korcek said.

The event is free to attend, and Korcek said anyone looking to can register for a seat can do so on the Northern Star website. Blitz said they’ve already had a good response to their online registration.

“We really want to encourage everybody to come,” Blitz said. “Nobody will be turned away, there’s plenty of room.”

Blitz said each panelist can be connected to DeKalb in some way. Dold’s wife is a former Northern Star editor, Blitz said, and Brown is on the Northern Star’s publications board, as well as a former Northern Star editor, himself. Blitz said Shaumburg, the moderator, is also a Star alumnus.

“And probably the most interesting connection is Bernie [Schoenburg],” Blitz said. “His interesting connection to DeKalb is he’s the brother of the owner of American Liquors—a landmark. His brother was a soccer star at Northern, also.”

The “Election 2012: What’s in it for Illinois?” discussion panel, sponsored by the Northern Star and it’s alumni board, is at 3 p.m. on Feb. 25 in the Campus Life Building Room 100.

Editor’s Note: Campus Editor Kelly Bauer contributed to this article.