Microsoft executive and regional news experts to discuss nationwide crisis and collaboration in local journalism


Microsoft’s Mary Snapp highlights Northeast Wisconsin Journalism Initiative

Green Bay, WI — The UW-Green Bay Communications Department and the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation are hosting “The Role of Higher Education in Addressing the News Desert Crisis,” a panel discussion on Thursday, October 12, 2023, from 9 to 10 a.m. at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Vice President of Strategic Initiatives for Microsoft, Mary Snapp, will participate and share her insight into the unique news collaboration of the NEW News Lab, and the current state of journalism in Northeast Wisconsin and throughout the nation.

In 2021, Microsoft selected Northeast Wisconsin as one of only five local news pilots in the U.S., donating critical funding to preserve and protect local journalism through the Northeast Wisconsin Journalism Initiative and to support the creation of the NEW News Lab. The roundtable discussion will share progress of the collaboration and how UW-Green Bay is preparing students to be journalists in the modern era and contributing solutions to the crisis. As part of their investment in Northeast Wisconsin, Microsoft, along with the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation and the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, are ensuring that UW-Green Bay students and faculty can be actively engaged with the work of the NEW News Lab.

Panelists include:

  • Bryan Carr, moderator and professor of Communications, UW-Green Bay
  • Janelle Fisher, editor for The Press Times
  • Jim Fitzhenry, director of community engagement, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin
  • Mary Snapp, vice president of Strategic Initiatives for Microsoft
  • Joseph Yoo, assistant professor of Communications, UW-Green Bay

Changes in the way people receive their news have significantly impacted the industry and have created a risk of disinformation, undermining trust in all media. In turn, these changes affect how the public understands issues facing local communities. Microsoft heralds the importance of partnerships with higher education as communities look to address a crisis in journalism. As a result of these community collaborations, Microsoft developed a comprehensive guidebook focused on giving independent local news organizations the strategies, tools, and support they need to strengthen their sustainability. This guidebook is designed to create successful and sustainable local newsrooms.

Members of the media are welcome to attend. The panel discussion will be held in the TEAMS Lab Studio/Instructional Services Building, on the UW-Green Bay, Green Bay campus. Parking is available in the Laboratory Sciences parking lot. Campus Map – Instructional Services #6.

About UW-Green Bay
Established in 1965, UW-Green Bay is a public institution serving more than 9,600 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students and 80,000 continuing education learners each year. We educate students from pre- college through retirement and offer 200+ degrees, programs and certificates. UW-Green Bay graduates are resilient, inclusive, sustaining and engaged members of their communities, ready to rise to fearlessly face challenges, solve problems and embrace diverse ideas and people. With four campus locations, the University welcomes students from every corner of the world. In 2021, UW-Green Bay was the fastest-growing UW school in Wisconsin. For more information, visit


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