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‘Day in the Life of Freeman’ returning April 10, 2019

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Courier, SDSU again partnering in major journalism project

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    This photo by Frank Robertson appeared in the original “Day in the Life” that documented the Freeman community as it was on April 20, 1994. The picture shows Janette Schmeichel, then-director at Growing Dreams Learning Center, pushing Lindsay Waltner on the swing set. The building pictured was originally the St. Paul Lutheran School; today this property is occupied by Dewald and Walnut Street Villages.

Twenty-five years after the Freeman Courier partnered with the journalism department at South Dakota State University to record a “Day in the Life of the Freeman Community” for a special publication focused on photography, the project is returning.

On Wednesday, April 10, a team of SDSU journalism students will again descend on the Freeman community to capture life in Small Town, USA — in this case, Freeman. Photographers will work from sun up to sun down to document the day; broadcast students will be filming the project for a documentary that will be available online; and a social media team will be sharing about the project through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram throughout the day. 

Also participating will be five photography students from Freeman High School, as well as some of the photographers who worked on the original project in April of 1994.

The result will be a special publication issued in May showcasing April 10, 2019 as it was in Freeman, as well as a corresponding component online.

The project is being developed by Courier publisher Jeremy Waltner and SDSU photography instructor Frank Robertson. Both were photographers for the project 25 years ago; Robertson was a senior at SDSU and Waltner was a senior at Freeman Academy.

Local business support will help make this project possible and will help document what life was like in Freeman on one spring day in 2019.

Watch for more on the project in upcoming issues of the Courier.

Here is a perspective from former Courier publisher Tim L. Waltner, who in 1994 developed a plan for “Day in the Life of Freeman” alongside then-SDSU photography instructor Frank Klock.