Russian politics expert offers insights of journalism career

Visit part of journalism course examining book; April 13 public talk open to all

EUGENE, Ore. – (April 7, 2014) – A journalist and author will offer perspective about the recent political turmoil between Russia and Ukraine over Crimea based on years of experience writing about the region and its leaders.

Masha Gessen, journalist and authorRussian American journalist and author Masha Gessen will offer a reading and discussion as part of the UO School of Journalism and Communication’s annual PageTurners workshop. The free event is open to the public on Sunday, April 13, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Knight Library Browsing Room.

“Having Masha Gessen here at this point in Russia’s relationship with the world is invaluable,” said Peter Laufer, James Wallace Chair in Journalism at the UO. “She is an exceptional observer, and for journalists and nonfiction writers, there is so much to learn from her about the power of providing crucial context for news and newsmakers.”

Gessen’s recently published book “Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot” follows her critically acclaimed “Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin”, which earned her international recognition as a sharp observer of Russian politics. The New York Times Book Review called Gessen “a fiercely independent journalist ... who knows the cultures and pathologies of Russia.”

The eighth annual PageTurners course features Gessen’s work “Words Will Break Cement.” The two-credit class engages students in the reading of a book chosen for its use of multiple voices, diverse points of view and rich palette of cultural experiences.

Gessen’s public reading is sponsored by the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication and a gift from the Hearst Foundation.

About the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication
The University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC) produces outstanding writers, editors, digital media makers, strategists and critical thinkers by providing a program grounded in ethics, innovation, and social responsibility. The SOJC hosts the annual Journalists- and Executives-in-Residence programs, as well as the Ancil Payne Awards for Ethics in Journalism, and the annual Johnston and Ruhl Lectures. The school counts nine Pulitzer Prize winners among its more than 9,000 graduates.

Media contact: Kellee Weinhold, School of Journalism and Communication, 541.346.2897,