SPJ Event: Beth Bednar “Dead Air – The Disappearance of Jodi Huisentruit”

More than 30 mass communications students and faculty filled the Mass Comm. Lounge in Flora Frick for the fifth and final MSUM SPJ event of the year. Beth Bednar, former anchor for KAAL-TV and recent author, spoke to the group from 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

Bednar talked briefly about her career as a news anchor for KAAL-TV before explaining her writing process for her recently published book, “Dead Air – The Disappearance of Jodi Huisentruit.

The book is about Jodi Huisentruit, a morning news anchor from Mason City, Iowa, that mysteriously disappeared in 1995 and has never been found. Bednar decided to write the book because she was an anchor herself and knew Jodi on a professional level.  Bednar began researching the case and interviewing Jodi’s family, friends, co-workers and acquaintances in 2009. She took two years to research and write the book before publishing it in 2011. After talking to many people and writing the book, Bednar believes that there is a cover-up for the disappearance of Jodi Huisentruit in Mason City.

Bednar said the most interesting part of the research was discovering one of Jodi’s close friends, a man 20 years older than her, had been a close acquaintance of five different people that have mysteriously disappeared.

After covering the basics about the book, Bednar took time to answer some questions from the audience. Many students had questions about the investigation, as well as her ability to transition from broadcast writing to a significantly different style of writing for the book.

Bednar stuck around after the presentation for more questions and interviews before heading back to the cities.

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