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Brown bag lunch with Robert Leger, opinions editor, Arizona Republic

MADISON – Robert Leger, opinions editor at the Arizona Republic, will discuss editorial writing and opinion pages at a brown bag luncheon at Capital Newspapers, 1901 Fish Hatchery Road, Madison, on Wednesday, March 26, starting at 11:45 am.

Leger is in Madison this week to serve as public affairs writer-in-residence at UW-Madison.

As opinions editor, Leger is responsible for the paper’s daily editorial pages. He joined the Republic’s editorial staff in 2006, and moved into his current position in June 2012.

He was national president of the Society of Professional Journalists in 2002-03. He spoke often against government attempts to close access to public information, returned SPJ to financial stability, and opened an exchange relationship with the Journalists Association of Korea.

Leger currently serves as board president of the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, a 501(c)(3) supporting SPJ. In 2012, he was honored with the group’s Wells Key, the highest award for service to SPJ. It is named for SPJ’s second president, Chester Wells from the University of Wisconsin.

Leger also has served as president of the Arizona First Amendment Coalition and on the steering committee of OpenTheGovernment.org, a national coalition of open government advocates.

A native of New Mexico, Leger earned his journalism degree at the University of Missouri. He began his newspaper career in Coffeyville, Kan., then moved to the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader. He spent the next 25 years there, half that time as editorial page editor, before going to the Valley of the Sun.

He has won numerous state and national awards for his writing, including recognition from the Gannett Co. as the best editorialist and best column writer among its larger papers in 2004.

All area journalists are invited to attend the brown bag luncheon. RSVPs are appreciated, but not required. Send an RSVP to mpitsch@madison.com. Based in Indianapolis, SPJ is a national membership organization that promotes high professional and ethical standards among journalists, First Amendment principles and the belief that a free and vigorous press is vital in a representative democracy. The Madison professional chapter was formed around 1990. Membership costs $75 annually, and it is open to journalists who spend at least half of their professional life writing or editing work for publication.

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