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Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law
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Past Events

Past Events

2014 Silha Lecture

A video of the 2014 Lecture is now available online. You can view it here.

October 6, 2014
7:00 pm Cowles Auditorium
University of Minnesota West Bank, Twin Cities Campus

"See No Evil:
Why We Need A New Approach to Government Transparency"

Featuring
David A. Schulz

David A. Schulz
Partner, Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz, LLP
Co-Director of the Media Freedom & Information Access Clinic at Yale Law School
Counsel to The Associated Press, The New York Times, The Guardian, and other investigative news organizations

On the 25th anniversary of Department of Justice v. Reporters Committee, one of the nation’s leading advocates for press access and the public’s right to know will explore the judicial and bureaucratic debilitation of the Freedom of Information Act since 9/11, and the critical need to broaden and enforce the First Amendment right of access to government proceedings and records. The discussion will consider the untapped potential of the constitutional access right and the role of the press in illuminating issues ranging from “secret law” articulated by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, to the government’s plans to prevent Guantanamo detainees from testifying publicly at their own trials, to a State’s ability to keep secret the formulas used for lethal injection executions.

This event is free and open to the public; no reservations are required.

For additional information, contact the Silha Center at 612-625-3421 or at silha@umn.edu

David A. Schulz was interviewed on MPR's "The Daily Circuit" on Wednesday, September 24, 2014. A recording of that interview is available here.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune covered the 2014 Silha Lecture in an article entitled, "Full Disclosure: Sounding the Alarm about Secrecy." The article is available online here.

Photos from 2014 Silha Lecture

Symposium Honoring Silha Professor Emeritus Donald M. Gillmor

“How Far from Near? 50 Years of New York Times v. Sullivan in Minnesota and Beyond: A Symposium Honoring the Legacy of Silha Professor Emeritus Donald M. Gillmor.”Donald Gillmor

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Cowles Auditorium, 130 Humphrey School of Public Affairs
301 19th Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN
West Bank, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Campus

RSVP: 612-625-3421, silha@umn.edu

Download the full brochure

SCHEDULE:

8 a.m.: Continental breakfast

8:30 a.m.: Welcome and introduction by Silha Center Director and Silha Professor of Media Ethics and Law Jane E. Kirtley

8:45 a.m.: Academic panel: "Beyond First Amendment Exceptionalism: The Multiple Legacies of Near and Sullivan"
Panel moderator: Everette E. Dennis, Dean and CEO, Northwestern University in Qatar
David S. Allen, Associate Professor, Department of Journalism, Advertising and Media Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Robert E. Drechsel, James E. Burgess Professor, School of Journalism & Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Elizabeth Blanks Hindman, Associate Professor, Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, Washington State University
Herbert A. Terry, Professor Emeritus, Department of Telecommunications, Indiana University-Bloomington

Academic Panel

10:15 a.m.: Break

10:30 a.m.: Practitioners panel: "Time After Times: Defamation Law (and Privacy, Too) in Minnesota"
Panel moderator: Marshall H. Tanick, Partner, Hellmuth & Johnson
John Borger, Partner, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP
Gary Gilson, Former Executive Director, Minnesota News Council, and retired broadcast journalist
Barbara L. Jones, Managing Editor, Minnesota Lawyer
Jack Sullivan, Attorney, Best & Flanagan LLP
Patrick Tierney, Partner, Collins, Buckley, Sautry & Haugh 

Practioners Panel

Noon: Buffet lunch with remarks by Al Tims, director, University of Minnesota School of Journalism & Mass Communication

1 p.m.: Keynote Speaker
Robert D. Sack, Senior Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit : "Thirteen Ways of Looking at New York Times v. Sullivan"

Robert SackRobert D. Sack has, since August 6, 1998, been a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit with his chambers at 40 Foley Square in New York City. He took senior status on August 6, 2009. During his 33 years in practice, he specialized in national and international press law. He was a frequent lecturer and writer on press law topics and is the author of SACK ON DEFAMATION: LIBEL, SLANDER, AND RELATED PROBLEMS (4th ed. 2010) and coauthor of ADVERTISING AND COMMERCIAL SPEECH: A FIRST AMENDMENT GUIDE (1999). His article, "Protection of Opinion Under the First Amendment: Reflections on Alfred Hill, Defamation and Privacy Under the First Amendment," was published in the 100th Anniversary issue of the Columbia Law Review. On May 1, 2008, Judge Sack was awarded the Federal Bar Council's Learned Hand Medal for excellence in federal jurisprudence.

Judge Sack was an officer and director of the William F. Kerby and Robert S. Potter Fund, which assists in funding the legal defense of journalists abroad, and a member of the advisory boards of the Bureau of National Affairs' Media Law Reporter and the ABA Forum Committee's Communications Lawyer. He is a member of the Board of Visitors of the Columbia Law School, and was a member of the Board of Trustees of Columbia University Seminars on Media and Society, and was Chairman of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency. He has since 2001 been a Lecturer in Law at Columbia Law School. He was Columbia Law School's commencement speaker in 2007. He was Adjunct Professor of Political Science and Special Guest Lecturer at the University of Rochester in 2012 and a Distinguished Visiting Jurist at the University of Chicago Law School in 2013. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the New York City Bar Association (Chair, Communications Law Committee, 1986 89), and the American Judicature Society. He is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

After graduating from the University of Rochester in 1960 and Columbia Law School in 1963, Judge Sack clerked for United States District Judge Arthur S. Lane, in the District of New Jersey. He later became an associate and partner at Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler (1964-1986) and a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher (198- 1998), both in New York City. In 1974, he served as a Senior Associate Special Counsel to the United States House of Representatives Impeachment Inquiry Staff.

Event concludes at 2 p.m.

Keynote Speech

. . . and more!

Photos from Gillmor Symposium 2014

2013 Silha Lecture: The Lessons of the Pentagon Papers: Has Obama Learned Them?

Date: October 16, 2013
Time: 7:30 pm
Place: Cowles Auditorium, West Bank of the Twin Cities Campus of the University of Minnesota
Cost: Free

Everyone has heard of the "Pentagon Papers" case. But only a few know what happened behind the scenes. The top-secret Department of Defense documents exposing U.S. government policies during the Vietnam war were only part of the story. TheJames C. Goodale; photo by JCG Litchfield strategies, decisions and negotiations between the larger-than-life characters from the worlds of law, politics, journalism and the military that shaped the outcome of one of the most important First Amendment cases in U.S. history took place behind closed doors. When the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of The New York Times and the Washington Post in 1971, it set an almost impossible standard for the government to meet to justify censoring the press -- a standard that has never been met. Yet.

As of 2013, President Obama has indicted more leakers of classified information than any other President. His administration has threatened to pursue espionage charges against WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. Do the government’s claims of secrecy and national security stand up to scrutiny today? Have we learned the lessons of the Pentagon Papers?

The 2013 Silha Lecture will be delivered by James C. Goodale, author of the new book, Fighting for the Press: the Inside Story of the Pentagon Papers and Other Battles.  Goodale is a leading First Amendment lawyer who was vice chairman and general counsel of the New York Times during the Pentagon Papers litigation. He has also been a TV host and producer; a partner in Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, a major New York City law firm; and has taught at Yale, NYU and Fordham law schools.

A book signing will follow the lecture.

For further information, please contact Elaine Hargrove at 612-625-3421 or by e-mail at silha@umn.edu.

Silha Center activities, including the annual lecture, are made possible by a generous endowment from the late Otto Silha and his wife, Helen.

 

Minnesota Public Radio interviewed Mr. Goodale for its program, "The Daily Circuit" on MPR News. Here is a link to that interview:

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2013/10/23/daily-circuit-james-goodale

Local Radio Station KFAI interviewed Mr. Goodale on October 15, 2013. Here is a link to that interview:

http://kfai.org/news/2013/10/39115

 

2013 SILHA CENTER SPRING FORUM/SPJ ETHICS IN JOURNALISM WEEK
Tebow, Te'o, and Tiger: Oh My!

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Keeping your Distance as an Ethical Sports Journalist

Scheduled Panelists Include:

Charlie Armitz, sports editor, Minnesota Daily

David Brauer of MinnPost

Dawn Mitchell, reporter Fox 9 Sports

Chris Long, weekend sports anchor, KSTP TV

Mike Rand, assistant sports editor, Minneapolis Star Tribune

The discussion will be moderated by Professor Jane Kirtley, Silha Professor and Director of the Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law. Questions and answers will follow.

This event is free and open to the public; no reservations are required. This event is co-sponsored by the Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law, located in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and the Minnesota Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. For further information, please contact Elaine Hargrove at 612-625-3421 or by e-mail at silha@umn.edu.

Date: April 29, 2013
Time: 7:00–9:00 p.m.
Place: 130 Murphy Hall


To view a poster for this event, click here.


SILHA CENTER SPRING FORUM
Digital Evidence: Privacy, Acquisition, Proof

Date: March 13, 2013
Time: 4:00–6:00 p.m.
Place: 130 Murphy Hall


Featuring

  • Mary Horvath, FBI Senior Computer Forensic Examiner, Quantico, Virginia
  • Dick Reeve, General Counsel/Senior Chief Deputy District Attorney, Denver, Colorado
  • Stephen Cribari, Professor of Legal Practice, UMN Law School;
    Co-Director, University of Notre Dame Law School Summer London Law Programme

This program featured Mary Horvath, FBI Senior Computer Forensic Examiner, Quantico, Virginia; Dick Reeve, General Counsel/Senior Chief Deputy District Attorney, Denver, Colorado; and Stephen Cribari, Professor of Legal Practice, UMN Law School and Co-Director, University of Notre Dame Law School Summer London Law Programme. Their discussion focused on the collection of digital evidence, verifying the usefulness of that evidence to the case in question, and the privacy rights of those from whom the evidence was gathered.

This event was sponsored by the Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law, located in the School of Journalism and Mass Communicationi at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. For more information see our 2013 Spring Forum Flier (PDF).

2012 Silha Lecture
A Question of Taste: the Ethics and Craft of Restaurant Reviewing

Date: October 25, 2012
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Cowles Auditorium
Cost: Free


Professional reviewers who write for legacy media like newspapers and magazines have long been considered the gold standard — experienced, objective, with genuine expertise about food. But do professional restaurant critics inhabit an elitist world of "foodies" who can’t relate to the ordinary diner and would never dream of panning a chef who is also a close buddy? Even if they strive to keep their identity secret, don’t traditional critics still receive preferential service that ordinary customers will never see? Will a reviewer who draws a paycheck from a mainstream media organization ever write negative reviews about its advertisers?

Or does it even matter? The traditional critic no longer holds a monopoly on restaurant reviews. Thousands of amateurs post their critiques online on blogs, social networks and web sites like Yelp and Urbanspoon, adding new perspectives to the mix. But are these reviewers the ordinary "real people" they claim to be, or do they have an agenda to promote or an ax to grind? Is someone paying them to praise or condemn a restaurant? Do they recognize fundamental media ethics principles like avoiding conflicts of interest, refusing special treatment, or correcting mistakes?

Those questions and more were the topic of the 2012 Silha Lecture. The discussion was led by Lynne Rossetto Kasper, author, co-creator and host of American Public Media’s national radio show, "The Splendid Table." She was joined by Michael Stern, known for the Roadfood.com website. Michael, together with Jane Stern, pioneered internet food reporting and photography and has written more than 40 books. The Sterns are also contributing editors of Saveur magazine and write regularly for the Sunday supplement Parade. They were joined by "Mystery Guest," a Twin Cities-based reviewer since 1998 who is also a James Beard Foundation winner — and who hopes to maintain anonymity!

2012 Silha Center Spring Forum/SPJ Ethics in Journalism Week
Focusing on the Ethics of Cameras in the Courtroom

Date: April 12, 2012
Time: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Location: 130 Murphy Hall
Cost: Free


A pilot project permitting cameras in Minnesota trial courts in civil cases is underway.  If it succeeds, the Supreme Court may extend access rights to include criminal trials.

Panelists included

  • Joan Gilbertson - Is the senior news producer at WCCO-TV in Minneapolis, where she writes and produces the 6 p.m. newscast.  Previously, she worked for CBS News in New York and Tokyo.  Gilbertson is the only TV journalist currently working with cameras inside Minnesota courts.
  • Caroline Palmer - Is the staff attorney at MNCASA (Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault), and has prior experience as Pro Bono Development Director at the Minnesota State Bar Association, Executive Director of LegalCORPS, and as a staff attorney at the Minnesota AIDS project.  She was a Policy Fellow at the Humphrey Institute in 2009-10, and is also covers the arts as a freelance writer.  
  • Abby Simons - Covers Hennepin County District Court of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Prior to joining the newspaper in 2008, she worked as a newspaper reporter in Iowa and Missouri – both states where cameras are allowed in trial courts.
  • Hal Davis - Is team leader for public safety for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, where he directs courts and crime coverage.  He did similar work for the Dayton Daily News, was an associate editor at the National Law Journal, and covered trial and appellate courts in Manhattan for the New York Post.
  • Gary Hill - Is Director of Communications at Community Action Partnership of Suburban Hennepin. Previously, he was Director of Communications for the Minnesota Senate Majority Leader. Before that, he was managing editor at KSTP-TV in St. Paul, and served as chair of the National Ethics Committee of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Professor Jane Kirtley, Director of the Silha Center and Silha Professor, moderated the panel discussion.

  • How is the experiment going so far?
  • What challenges do the news media face?
  • Are cameras changing the courtroom dynamic?
  • What role should "citizen journalists" play in covering courts?

An audience Q & A followed the discussion. The event was free and open to the public - no reservations were required.

Watch a video of the event


A Virtual Bill of Rights:
Does the Constitution Protect Virtual Speech and Conduct

Date: 04/04/2012
Time: 3:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Location: Murphy Hall Conference Center, University of Minnesota, East Bank
Cost: Free

Dick Reeve: Senior Chief Deputy District Attorney and General Counsel, District Attorney's Office, Denver, CO

Mary Horvath: Senior Forensic Examiner, FBI Computer Analysis Response Team, Quantico, VA

Moderated by:
Stephen Cribari: Professor of Legal Practice, UMN Law School; Co-Director, University of Notre Dame Law School's London Summer Program

Download the PDF

26th Annual Silha Lecture
Free Speech and the Digital Challenge Around the Globe:
A Conversation with Mark Stephens

Date: October 4, 2011
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Coffman Union Theater


Stephens is the head of the International and Media department at the London-based law firm Finers Stephens Innocent. Described by The Times of London as “one of the best advocates for freedom of expression,” Stephens has appeared in many high profile cases in the United Kingdom, including extradition proceedings involving Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks.

Stephens specializes in defending free speech and freedom of information, and has advised a wide variety of media outlets around the world.  He has litigated cases in many countries including the United States, Iraq, Singapore, and Russia. Stephens has said that of all his cases, he remains proudest of his successful defense of Washington Post correspondent Jonathan Randal, who had been ordered to testify before the Hague War Crimes Tribunal concerning atrocities he observed while covering the Yugoslav War in the 1990s.  Stephens successfully argued that “Compelling journalists to give evidence at war crimes trials puts their lives at risk because they become automatic targets.”

He is a Trustee of Index on Censorship, and Chair of International Board of the Media Legal Defence Initiative. In June 2011, Stephens was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his service to the legal profession and the arts.

This year's Silha Lecture begins at 7:00 p.m. in Coffman Union Theater on the East Bank Campus of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and will include an opportunity for audience Q & A. The event is free and open to the public. No reservations or tickets are required.

Parking is available in the East River Road Garage behind Coffman Union. More information about directions and parking can be found at the Parking and Transportation Services website.

The Silha Center is based at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota. Silha Center activities, including the annual Lecture, are made possible by a generous endowment from the late Otto Silha and his wife, Helen.

For further information, please contact the Silha Center at 612-625-3421 or silha@umn.edu.

Listen to the full audio of the 26th Annual Silha Lecture (1:28:01):

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Listen to the interview between Mark Stephens and Kerri Miller of MPR's Midmorning Program:



Justice Brennan: Champion of the Free Press

Stephen Wermiel
Professor Stephen Wermiel

Listen to audio of this event.

Silha Center Spring Forum

Date: Monday, April 11, 2011
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: 130 Murphy Hall

Featuring: Professor Stephen Wermiel, co-author of Justice Brennan: Liberal Champion.

Stephen Wermiel is co-author of the critically acclaimed Justice Brennan: Liberal Champion, the definitive account of the Supreme Court jurist whose 34-year-tenure helped shape our constitutional landscape and made him one of the most important fi gures of the Twentieth Century. Wermiel has taught constitutional law for nearly 20 years after serving as the Supreme Court correspondent for the Wall Street Journal from 1979 to 1991 and as a reporter for the Boston Globe from 1971 to 1979. He is currently a Fellow in Law and Government at American University Washington College of Law.

A book signing will follow Wermiel's presentation.

The Morality of Muckraking: Journalistic Ethics from Jack Anderson to Julian Assange

Mark Feldstein
Professor Mark Feldstein

Listen to audio of this event.

Silha Center Spring Ethics Forum

Date: Monday, April 4, 2011
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: 130 Murphy Hall

Featuring: Professor Mark Feldstein, author of Poisoning the Press: Richard Nixon, Jack Anderson, and the Rise of Washington’s Scandal Culture

Professor Mark Feldstein is the author of Poisoning the Press: Richard Nixon, Jack Anderson, and the Rise of Washington's Scandal Culture. A veteran investigative journalist who has worked for CNN, ABC News, and NBC News, Feldstein has won over 50 journalism awards, including two George Foster Peabody public service awards, the duPont-Columbia award for investigative reporting, and the Edward R. Murrow broadcasting prize. He currently directs George Washington University's Journalism Oral History Project.

This year's Silha Spring Ethics Forum was cosponsored by the Minnesota Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and was followed by a book signing.

25th Annual Silha Lecture
Not Child's Play: The Misguided Effort to Regulate Violent Video Games

Paul Smith
Paul Smith

Date: Monday, October 18, 2010
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Cowles Auditorium, Hubert H. Humphrey Center
West Bank Campus, University of Minnesota

Are video games that allow players to "kill," "dismember," or "sexually assault" images of human beings protected by the First Amendment as free expression? Or do they encourage antisocial behavior, justifying government restrictions on their availability to children? In February 2009, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals struck down a California statute banning the sale of violent video games to minors as an invalid content-based restriction on speech. The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review the decision, and will be asked to uphold the California law's provisions, which are similar to those used to censor obscene speech. Attorney Paul Smith will discuss the constitutional challenges to regulating the media that minors consume at the 25th Annual Silha Lecture on Monday, October 18. Smith will argue on behalf of the video game dealers' group in Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association when it is heard by the Supreme Court this autumn.

A partner in Jenner & Block's Washington, DC office and a member of the firm's Policy Committee, Smith is also Chair of the firm's Appellate and Supreme Court, Creative Content, and First Amendment Practices. He has had an active Supreme Court practice for many years, making oral arguments in 13 cases, including Lawrence v. Texas and United States v. American Library Ass'n. Smith also represents various clients in trial and appellate cases involving commercial and telecommunications issues, the First Amendment, intellectual property, and election law.

Smith graduated from Amherst College and Yale Law School, and clerked for Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell. In 2008, Legal Times listed him as one of 30 "Champions" of the past 30 years in Washington, DC, honoring attorneys who uphold the profession's core values of public duty and client service. In 2010, the National Law Journal named him one of the 40 Most Influential Lawyers of the Past Decade. The Silha Lecture begins at 7:00 p.m. in Cowles Auditorium at the Hubert H. Humphrey Center on the West Bank Campus of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and will include an opportunity for audience Q&A. The event is free and open to the public. No reservations or tickets are required.

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Power and the Press: Covering Washington in the Obama Era

Date: Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Time: 4:00 p.m-6:00 p.m.
Place: Conference Center Murphy Hall

Nearly two years into the Obama administration, reporters who cover the federal government face increased challenges in informing the public. National Press Club President and SJMC alumnus Alan Bjerga gives his perspective on what’s been happening in Washington as reporters adapt to new forms of media, the new economics of news organizations and ageold questions of reporting on political power.

Sponsored by: Journalism and Mass Communication, Silha Center

Silha Center Spring Ethics Forum
The Propaganda State: The Inordinate Influence of PR on the Press

Chris Hedges

Date: Thursday, April 15, 2010
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: 130 Murphy Hall

The Silha Center's 2010 Spring Ethics Forum was co-sponsored with the Minnesota Journalism Center, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and the College of Liberal Arts. This year's speaker was Chris Hedges, a veteran reporter who has worked in Latin America, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Hedges served for eight years as the Middle East bureau chief of The New York Times, where he shared the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Journalism, for coverage of terrorism. He also received the 2002 Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism. Hedges is a senior fellow at the Nation Institute and the Anschutz Distinguished Fellow at Princeton University. He has written nine books, including “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle” (2009).

Silha Center Special Presentation
Journalist Impairment: Identifying and Managing
the Emotional Demands of Life in Journalism

Date: Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Time: 8:15a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Place: 130 Murphy Hall

The Silha Center is proud to sponsor this program featuring Professor Donald P. Judges, J.D., Ph.D; E.J. Ball Professor of Law; Adjunct Professor of Psychology, University of Arkansas. Professor Judges has taught courses in Constitutional Law, Law and Mental Health Systems, Criminal Procedure, Professional Responsibility, Civil Rights, Jurisprudence, Evidence, and Torts. Judges graduated with highest honors from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1983, where he was editor-in-chief of the Maryland Law Review. He received his doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Tulsa in 1999. Judges clerked for Judge Alvin B. Rubin on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and practiced law with Arnold & Porter before joining the School of Law faculty in 1989.

This presentation will be free and open to the public; no reservations are required.

Silha Center Spring Forum
Criminal Conduct in the Virtual World: of Avatars and Evidence

Criminal Conduct in the Virtual World: of Avatars and Evidence

Date: Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Time: 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Place: Murphy Hall Conference Center

The Silha Center is proud to sponsor another edition of our popular program on digital privacy and law enforcement surveillance. The forum will feature presentations by: Dick Reeve, Chief Deputy District Attorney and General Counsel, District Attorney’s Office, Denver, CO; Mary Horvath: Senior Forensic Examiner, FBI Computer Analysis Response Team, Quantico, VA; and Stephen Cribari: Professor of Law, UMN Law School.

The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution That Will Begin the World Again

Date: Thursday, March 25, 2010
Time: 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Place: 130 Murphy Hall

The Silha Center is proud to co-sponsor this event with the Minnesota Journalism Center and the University of Minnesota Bookstore. The event will feature a lecture by Robert McChesney and John Nichols, followed by a book signing.

Robert W. McChesney, Ph.D. is the Gutsgell Endowed Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. McChesney has written or produced seventeen books, and was listed by the Utne Reader as one of the "50 visionaries who are changing the world."

John Nichols is The Nation’s Washington correspondent and the associate editor of The Capital Times in Madison, Wisconsin. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and dozens of other newspapers. Mr. Nichols has covered seven presidential elections and is the author or coauthor of eight books on media and politics.

Nichols and McChesney are the co-founders of Free Press, a national media reform agency. The Death and Life of American Journalism (published by Nation Books this January) is their sixth book together.

24th Annual Silha Lecture
Unspoken Realities about Investigative Journalism and the Law

Charles Lewis

Date: Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Cowles Auditorium, West Bank, University of Minnesota

With its First Amendment protections, relative transparency, and physical security afforded to all citizens, the United States should be the world's most hospitable place for investigative reporting.

But paradoxically, the Columbia Journalism Review reported that very few "investigative stories . . . confront[ed] directly powerful institutions about basic business practices while those institutions were still powerful." The major news media have been reluctant to conduct these investigations for years. They have also failed to report on the oversight and accountability functions of government. Investigative reporters who have tried to do it are thwarted by their own timid or cash-strapped employers. As a result, the public is not as well informed as it should be.

What has discouraged the traditional watchdog's inclination to bark—let alone bite?

Charles "Chuck" Lewis, executive editor of the new Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University in Washington, D.C., will address these questions in his 2009 Silha Lecture, "Unspoken Realities about Investigative Journalism and the Law" at 7:00 p.m. on October 21, 2009, at Cowles Auditorium on the West Bank of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

A national investigative journalist for the past 30 years, Lewis worked at ABC News, CBS News 60 Minutes, and was the founder and former executive director of the Center for Public Integrity. The co-author of five books, including the national bestseller The Buying of the President 2004, he is preparing a new book about truth, power, the news media and the public's right to know.

Lewis faced legal threats from many quarters while leading the Center for Public Integrity and its International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the first working network of 100 premier reporters in 50 countries. Despite warnings from the Justice Department under then-Attorney General John Ashcroft, the Center published the secret draft "Patriot II" legislation. In October 2003, the Center posted online the U.S. war contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan, first revealing Halliburton as the top war contractor. That report, Windfalls of War, won the prestigious George Polk Award. The Center also filed 73 Freedom of Information Act requests and successfully sued the Army and the State Department in federal court to obtain and publish the Halliburton and other lucrative contracts.

Lewis received the PEN USA First Amendment Award in 2004 "for expanding the reach of investigative journalism, for his courage in going after a story regardless of whose toes he steps on, and for boldly exercising his freedom of speech and freedom of the press."

The Silha Lecture will include an opportunity for audience Q&A. The event is free and open to the public. No reservations or tickets are required. Light refreshments will be served.

Fever Pitch: Does Health News Reporting Leave Consumers Out in the Cold?

Screenshot: Panel

Date: April 30, 2009
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Murphy Hall

The Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law is partnering with the Society of Professional Journalists, the Minnesota Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and the Minnesota News Council to produce this program for the SPJ's Town Hall Meeting Series. The purpose of the meetings is to increase dialogue between the public and the press.

"Fever Pitch: Does Health News Reporting Leave Consumers Out in the Cold?" will feature a presentation by Gary Schwitzer, Associate Professor at the University's School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and Publisher of HealthNewsReview.org

Panelists

Surveillance, Anonymity, and Privacy: Law Enforcement and your Computer

Discussion

Date: March 25, 2009
Time: 11:30-1:30 p.m.
Place: Murphy Hall Conference Center

The Silha Center is proud to sponsor another edition of our popular program on digital privacy and law enforcement surveillance.

Feature Presentations

The Curious Love-Hate Relationship Between Media Law and Media Ethics

Date: Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Time: 12:30-2:00 p.m.
Place: Murphy Hall Conference Center

Professor Robert Drechsel is visiting for the fall 2008 semester. Drechsel has taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison since 1983, serving as director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication from 1991 to 1998. Drechsel is an alumnus of the University of Minnesota, where he earned his bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees.

Drechsel's research at the University of Wisconsin has focused on tort law and constitutional law affecting mass communication, and on reporter-source interaction in state trial courts. He is the author of "News Making in the Trial Courts" (New York: Longman, 1983), and articles in a variety of legal and communication journals.

The FCC's New Media Ownership Rules: Emotion and Reason in Rulemaking

Conversation

Date: October 23, 2008
Time: 4-6 p.m.
Place: Murphy Hall Conference Center

Congressional hearings, protest demonstrations, and more than 165,000 comments set the scene in December 2007 for the FCC's rather modest, but highly controversial, relaxation of its 32-year-old ban on joint ownership of daily newspapers and broadcast stations. In her talk, Rosemary Harold, Legal Advisor to FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell, will review how the FCC balanced fears about media consolidation with facts about journalist layoffs when relaxing its joint-ownership ban, and what impact the new rules may have on the rapidly evolving media landscape.

Raise Your Hand if You're a Journalist: Does Responsible Reporting Need a Legal Defense?

Lecture

Date: October 6, 2008
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Cowles Auditorium, West Bank, University of Minnesota

Who is a journalist? What is responsible journalism? Where do media law and ethics intersect? Is self-regulation effective – or even possible—in the digital age?

Siobhain Butterworth, readers' editor (internal ombudsman) for the Guardian newspaper in London, will consider these questions in her 2008 Silha Lecture, "Raise Your Hand if You're a Journalist: Does Responsible Reporting Need a Legal Defense?" on October 6, 2008, at Cowles Auditorium at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Butterworth investigates and responds to readers' questions and complaints about the Guardian's print and online editions from a position of independence within the newspaper. She writes a weekly commentary and considers items for the daily "Corrections and Clarifications" column. Before becoming readers' editor in April 2007, Butterworth served as Legal Director for Guardian News & Media, publisher of the Guardian and its sister Sunday paper, The Observer. She qualified as a solicitor (attorney) in 1991, and was in private practice before joining Guardian News & Media in 1997.

The Guardian, founded in 1821, is an independent newspaper owned by the Scott Trust since 1936. Its guiding principle, as stated by former editor CP Scott, is: "Comment is free, but facts are sacred. The voice of opponents no less than that of friends has a right to be heard." The innovative Guardian Unlimited network of websites was launched in January 1999, and is the second-largest news destination in the United Kingdom after BBC News Online. More than four million visitors from the United States log on each month.

The Silha Lecture begins at 7:00 p.m. in the Cowles Auditorium room at the Hubert H. Humphrey Center on the West Bank Campus of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. The presentation will include an opportunity for audience Q&A. The event is free and open to the public. No reservations or tickets are required. Light refreshments will be served.

The Silha Center is based at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota. Silha Center activities, including the annual Lecture, are made possible by a generous endowment from the late Otto Silha and his wife, Helen.

Chicago 10

Date: Thursday, October 2, 2008
Time: 7:00 p.m. FREE
Place: Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

Chicago 10

"Anyone who calls us the Chicago Seven is a racist..." - Jerry Rubin

At the 1968 Democratic Convention, the Chicago Police Department violently clashed with protesters and the resulting riots were witnessed live by a television audience of more than 50 million. Eight protesters were charged with conspiracy. Chicago 10 explores the buildup to and unraveling of their trial. Filmmaker Brett Morgen (The Kid Stays in the Picture, On the Ropes) amassed 180 hours of 16mm film, 40 hours of video, 14,000 photographs, 200+ hours of audio, 23,000 pages of court transcripts—and commingled it all with motion-capture animation to craft this work of experimental cinema—a parable of hope with connections to current events. 2007, 35mm, 110 minutes.

Following the screening, join Morgen and documentary filmmaker Matt Ehling (Urban
Warrior, Security and the Constitution) for a discussion about their practices in media and their commitment to staying true to a story. Moderated by University of Minnesota media and ethics scholar Jane Kirtley.

Support provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Cogi-tations: A program of the Minnesota Coalition on Government Information

Date: June 9, 2008
Time: 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Place: SJMC Conference Center

Since 2005 Patrice McDermott has been Director of Open the Government, one of Washington DC's most effective advocacy organizations committed to transparency in government and an informed public. Previously Dr. McDermott served as Deputy Director of the Office of Government Relations at the American Library Association Washington Office and as the senior information policy analyst for OMB Watch.

Patrice earned her doctorate in political science from the University of Arizona and a Master of Science in Library and Information Science from Emory University. She is the author of several books including Who Needs to Know? The State of Public Access to Federal Government Information. Dr. McDermott is also a member of the prestigious National Freedom of Information Act Hall of Fame.

Sponsored by the Minnesota Coalition on Government Information with the
Minnesota Journalism Center,
Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law,
University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Silha Spring Ethics Forum
Journalism from the Frontlines: Remaining Independent When Covering Politics and War

Date: Thursday, April 24, 2008
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Place: Room 140 Nolte Center, East Bank, University of Minnesota

In honor of the Society of Professional Journalists' Annual Ethics Week, the Silha Center and SPJ featured Edward Wasserman, Knight Professor of Journalism Ethics at Washington & Lee University, as the speaker at our 2008 Spring Ethics Forum.

The theme of the 2008 Ethics Week was "Act Independently."

Audio Part 1

Audio Part 2

New Media, New Standards? Ethics in Online Journalism


Date: February 25, 2008
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: UBS Forum, Minnesota Public Radio

The Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists and Minnesota Public Radio's UBS Forum offered an examination of where online journalism is and where it's going. Host Bob Collins, the creator of MPR's News Cut blog will be joined by Dan Gillmor, director of the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School for Journalism and Mass Communications. This event was co-sponsored by the Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law.

Our contributing experts included: Chuck Olson, MNstories.com/Uptake.org Michael Caputo, MPR - Public Insight Journalism Jane Kirtley, Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law Steve Perry, Minnesota Monitor Dave Pyle, AP Terry Sauer, Star Tribune Wendy Wyatt, University of St. Thomas Scott Libin, WCCO-TV

Event Co-sponsors:
Associated Press
Minnesota Journalism Center
Minnesota News Council
Minnesota Newspaper Association
Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law
University of St. Thomas

The Kids Are All Right: Violent Media, Free Expression, and the Drive to Regulate

Date: Monday, October 1 , 2007
Time: 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Place: Cowles Auditorium, Hubert H. Humphrey Center, University of Minnesota West Bank Campus

This year's Silha Lecture featured Robert Corn-Revere

Robert Corn-Revere is a partner at the law firm of Davis Wright Tremaine. He has served as counsel in litigation and regulatory proceedings involving the Communications Decency Act, the Child Online Protection Act, FCC Indecency Rules, Internet content filtering in public libraries, and public broadcasting and cable television regulations. Corn-Revere was the lead counsel in United States v. Playboy Entertainment Group, Inc. (2000). He is the co-author of a three-volume treatise, Modern Communications Law (West Group, Inc. 1999).

Intro Remarks, Al Tims (2:43)

Intro Remarks, Prof. Jane Kirtley (3:52)

Main Lecture, Robert Corn-Revere (55:33)

When Tragedy Strikes, What is the Media's Role?


Date: Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Time: 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Place: Ski-U-Mah Room McNamara Alumni Center University of Minnesota, East Bank

The Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law once again partnered with the Minnesota Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists to produce a program for National Ethics in Journalism Week. The theme of the 2007 Ethics Week was "Minimize Harm." The Forum featured a panel of speakers, including Amy Forliti, of the Associated Press - Minneapolis; Molly Miron of the Bemidji Pioneer; Nancy Sabin, executive director of the Jacob Wetterling Foundation; Sue Turner of WCCO-TV, and Linda Walker, mother of the late Dru Sjodin.

Digital Privacy is Not Anonymity: You Can't Hide from the Data on Your Computer

Featuring Dick Reeve, Mary Horvath, and Stephen Cribari

Date: Thursday, March 1, 2007
Time: 12:30 - 2:00 p.m.
Place: Murphy Hall Conference Center, 1st Floor, 206 Church Street SE, University of Minnesota, East Bank

The Silha Center sponsored another edition of our popular program on digital privacy and law enforcement surveillance.

The program, "Digital Privacy is Not Anonymity: You Can't Hide from the Data on Your Computer," included presentations by Mary Horvath, Senior Computer Forensic Examiner for the FBI; Dick Reeve, General Counsel/Deputy District Attorney for Computer Crimes, Denver (Colorado) District Attorney's Office; and Steve Cribari, former Federal Public Defender and Adjunct Professor at the University of Minnesota Law School.

Please contact Sara Cannon in the Silha Center at silha@umn.edu or 612 625 3421 if you plan to attend.

Without Fear or Favor: Objectivity Revisited

Featuring Stephen Ward

Listen to the audio from this event

Date: February 26, 2007
Time: 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Place: The UBS Forum at Minnesota Public Radio

The Minnesota Professional Chapter of SPJ plunged into one of journalism's most provocative topics — objectivity — at Minnesota Public Radio's UBS Forum in downtown St. Paul.

The event featured as lead panelist Stephen Ward, acting director and associate professor of journalism at the University of British Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism. Ward is author of The Invention of Journalism Ethics: The Path to Objectivity and Beyond. The forum is moderated by MPR Midmorning host Kerri Miller.

Judges in J-Schools


With Judge Rick Distaso - Prosecutor, The People v. Scott Peterson

Date: Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2006
Time: Lunch Event at 12:30 p.m. (Daylong Program - see details below)
Place: SJMC Conference Center

Free but space is limited - Please RSVP by November 22nd if you wish to attend the Lunch.

Rick Distaso has been a Judge of the Stanislaus County Superior Court since July 2005. Prior to being appointed to the Superior Court, he was a Senior Deputy District Attorney with the Stanislaus County District Attorney's Office. His assignments within the District Attorney's Office included the Homicide Prosecution Team, Crimes Against Children/Sexual Assault Unit, Felony Trial Team and Juvenile Unit. From 2003-2005 he successfully prosecuted the case of The People v. Scott Peterson. This case received worldwide publicity and was covered by every major news medium. In 2000 he received an Award of Excellence from the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Office for his role in prosecuting the first internet attempted child molestation case in Stanislaus County. In 2005, he received the National District Attorney's Association "Home Run Hitter's Award," and was named one of the California District Attorney's Association's Outstanding Prosecutors of the Year. In 2006, he was named one of California Lawyer Magazine's Attorney's of the Year in criminal law.

The Judges in J-Schools pilot program is being launched in only three Journalism Schools in the United States with the goal of developing and presenting educational programs for legal affairs journalists covering the courts. This event is being co-sponsored by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for the Courts and Media, National Judicial College. The concept for the National Center for the Courts and Media was created when journalist Rollan Melton served as trustee and secretary of the National Judicial College Board of Trustees. Rollan Melton devoted his adult working life to the field of journalism, working as a reporter, editor, public relations manager, Editor in Chief and publisher of the Reno Evening Gazette, and Vice President and President of the Speidel Newspaper Group. As president, Melton negotiated the 1977 merger of Speidel into Ganett and went on to serve on the Ganett Newspapers Board of Directors. Rollan Melton went on to author several books and, on November 30, 2001, was inducted into the Nevada Writers' Hall of Fame.

The Center brings together the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada and The National Judicial College, and aims to unite the independent judiciary and the free press.

During his visit to the University of Minnesota Judge Distaso will be visiting four SJMC classes. The schedule is listed below:

  • Electronic Newscast Producing with Prof. Ken Stone, from 9:05 am – 11:00 am
  • Magazine Writing, with Prof. Leyla Kokmen, 11:15 am – 12:30 pm
  • Intermediate News Reporting with Prof. Gayle Golden, from 2:30 pm – 3:45 pm
  • Mass Media Ethics: Moral Reasoning and Case Studies, with Prof. Gary Schwitzer, from 4:40 pm – 5:55 pm

This event is being co-sponsored by:

the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for
the Courts and Media
National Judicial College

For more information, contact the Silha Center
www.silha.umn.edu - 612-625-3421

The Freedom of the Press v. The National Security

Date: Oct. 4, 2006
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Cowles Auditorium, Hubert. H Humphrey Center,

Geoffrey Stone has been a member of the University of Chicago law faculty since 1973. From 1987 to 1993, Mr. Stone served as dean of the University of Chicago Law School, and from 1993 to 2002 he served as Provost of the University of Chicago. Mr. Stone received his undergraduate degree in 1968 from the University of Pennsylvania and his law degree in 1971 from the University of Chicago Law School, where he served as editor-in-chief of the Law Review. Mr. Stone served as a law clerk to Judge J. Skelly Wright of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and to Justice William J. Brennan Jr. of the Supreme Court of the United States. Mr. Stone was admitted to the New York Bar in 1972 .

Mr. Stone teaches primarily in the areas of constitutional law and evidence, and writes principally in the field of constitutional law. His most recent book, Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime from the Sedition Act of 1798 to the War on Terrorism (2004) received the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award for 2005, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for 2004 as the Best Book in History, and was a Finalist for the American Bar Association's 2005 Silver Gavel Award. It was also hailed as among the most notable books of 2004 by the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Christian Science Monitor.

Mr. Stone is currently chief editor of a fifteen-volume series, Inalienable Rights, which will be published by the Oxford University Press between 2006 and 2010. He is working on a new book, Sexing the Constitution. His past works include Eternally Vigilant: Free Speech in the Modern Era (2001), The Bill of Rights in the Modern State (1992) (with Mr. Epstein and Mr. Sunstein), Constitutional Law (5th ed. 2005) (with Mr. Sunstein), and The First Amendment (2d ed. 2003) (with Mr. Sunstein). Mr. Stone also serves as an editor of the Supreme Court Review (with Mr. Hutchinson and Mr. Strauss).

Among his many public activities, Mr. Stone is a member of the national Board of Directors of the American Constitution Society, a member of the National Advisory Council of the American Civil Liberties Union, Vice-President of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the American Law Institute, a member of the Board of the Renaissance Society, and Chair of the Board of the Chicago Children's Choir. In the past, he has served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Association of American Law Schools, a member of the Board of Advisers of the National Association of Public Interest Law, a member of the Advisory Board of the Legal Aid Society, a member of the Board of Directors of the University of Chicago Hospitals, a member of the Board of Governors of Argonne National Laboratory, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Foundation.

This year's lecture will be followed by reception and book signing.
Copies of "Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime from the Sedition Act of 1798 to the War on Terrorism" will be available for purchase.

Silha Center activities are made possible by a generous endowment from the late Otto Silha and his wife, Helen.

The Customer is Always Right? The Assault on Media Impartiality from the Empowered American Consumer.

View the Press Release

Date: May 1, 2006
Time: 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Place: Coffman Memorial Union Theater

Seth Mnookin delivered the keynote address at the 2006 Silha Center Spring Ethics Forum to mark the Society of Professional Journalists Fourth Annual Ethics in Journalism Week. The theme for this year’s national Ethics Week is taken from the SPJ Code of Ethics: Seek Truth and Report It. SPJ chapters around the United States will host events observing Ethics Week April 24-29, 2006.

Mnookin's speech was followed by commentary by Kate Parry, Reader’s Representative at the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Jane Kirtley, Silha Professor of Media Ethics and Law, Director of the Silha Center at the University of Minnesota’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and a member of the SPJ Minnesota Pro Chapter board, moderated. The presentation included audience Q&A, and was followed by a book-signing and reception.

Mnookin is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and a former senior writer for Newsweek, where he covered media, politics and popular culture. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, New York magazine, The New York Times Book Review, Spin, Slate, Salon, The New York Observer, and other publications. He began his journalism career as a rock critic for the now-defunct webzine Addicted to Noise, and has also worked as a crime reporter (at The Palm Beach Post), a city hall reporter (at the Forward), and as a political reporter (at Brill’s Content). He graduated from Harvard College in 1994 with a degree in the History of Science, and was a 2004 Joan Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

The Silha Spring Ethics Forum is co-sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists , and the Minnesota Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Silha Center activities are made possible by a generous endowment from the late Otto Silha and his wife, Helen.

For additional information, contact the Silha Center at (612) 625-3421 or email silha@umn.edu.

Your Email is Not Yours: Government Survelliance and Digital Privacy

Date: March 28 , 2006
Time: 1:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Place: Murphy Hall Conference Center

With Special Presenters:

  • Mary Horvath, Program Manager; Senior Computer Forensic Examiner, Federal Bureau of Investigation.
  • Dick Reeve, General Counsel/Deputy District Attorney for Computer Crimes, Denver District Attorney's Office; Adjunct Professor, University of Denver College of Law and University College Graduate Program in Computer Information Systems.
  • Stephen Cribari, University of Minnesota Law School; Former Federal Public Defender, Eastern District of Washington, and Deputy Defender, District of Maryland.

Forum on Truth-Telling in Campaign Advertisements

Date: March 7, 2006
Time: 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Place: Cowles Auditorium, Hubert H. Humphrey Center

Featured Speaker:

  • Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Director of the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center, author, and CBS commentator

Panelists:

  • Pat Kessler, Journalist, WCCO Television and KTLK Radio
  • Tom Horner, Himle Horner Public Relations

Moderator:

  • Lawrence Jacobs, Director, Center for the Study of Politics and Governance

This event is co-sponsored by: Center for the Study of Politics and Governance, the Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law, and the Minnesota Journalism Center.

The End of Journalism? Why News Still Matters

Date: Monday, February 20 , 2006
Time: 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Place: Coffman Memorial Union Theater, 300 Washington Ave. SE, East Bank of the Twin Cities Campus, University of Minnesota

Opening remarks were delivered by The Honorable Paul Anderson, Minnesota Supreme Court Justice and former Chair of the Minnesota News Council

The panel was moderated by Jane Kirtley, Silha Professor and Director of the Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law

Panelists included:
Bill Kovach, Chair of the Committee of Concerned Journalists Ted Canova, former News Director for Fox-9/UPN 29 (Twin Cities) Dave Kansas, Editor, Money Section of the Wall Street Journal Nora Paul, Director of the Institute for New Media Studies, University of Minnesota

This event was co-sponsored by:
Minnesota Pro Chapter of SPJ and the Minnesota Journalism Center, Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Minnesota News Council, the Minnesota Newspaper Foundation, the Upper Midwest Chapter of the National Television Academy and the Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law. For additional information, contact the Silha Center at (612) 625-3421 or by e-mail at silha@umn.edu.

20th Annual Silha Lecture

"Confidential Sources of Journalists: Protection or Prohibition?" Featuring Floyd Abrams

Date: October 24, 2005
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Cowles Auditorium, Hubert H. Humphrey Center, University of Minnesota, West Bank Campus
Free and Open to the Public

Floyd Abrams is a partner in the New York law firm of Cahill Gordon & Reindel, and is the William J. Brennan Visiting Professor of First Amendment Law at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. He represents New York Times reporter Judith Miller in her on-going attempt to protect her sources in the Valerie Plame leak investigation.

Mr. Abrams has argued frequently before the U.S. Supreme Court, and was co-counsel to The New York Times in the "Pentagon Papers" case. He is a widely-quoted commentator on media law, and has appeared on television programs ranging from Nightline to Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show.

Mr. Abrams is the author of a new book, Speaking Freely: Trials of the First Amendment (Viking 2005), which recounts highlights from his career as a First Amendment attorney.

Copies of Speaking Freely will be available for purchase at a booksigning that will be held immediately following the lecture.

Join us on October 24th, 2005 for the 20th Annual Silha Lecture featuring Floyd Abrams. The Silha Lecture is free and open to the public. No reservations are required. For further information, contact the Silha Center at (612) 625-3421 or silha@umn.edu.

19th Annual Silha Lecture


View Lecture Transcript (DOC)

Date: October 13, 2004
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Coffman Memorial Union Theater, 300 Washington Avenue S.E. University of Minnesota, East Bank

Free and Open to the Public

A live broadcast of the presidential debate will follow in the Coffman Memorial Union Theater

Geneva Overholser holds the Curtis B. Hurley Chair in Public Affairs Reporting, for the Missouri School of Journalism, in its Washington bureau. She is a frequent print and broadcast media critic.

Ms. Overholser was editor of the Des Moines Register from 1988 to 1995. She has also been a syndicated columnist for the Washington Post Writers Group, ombudsman of the Washington Post and columnist for the Columbia Journalism Review. She has been a member of the editorial board of the New York Times, deputy editorial page editor and editorial writer for the Des Moines Register and reporter for the Colorado Springs Sun. She spent five years overseas, working and writing in Kinshasa and Paris.

She holds a bachelors in history from Wellesley College , a masters in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and a French language certificate from the Sorbonne. She has honorary doctorates from Grinnell College and St. Andrews Presbyterian College, and alumnae achievement awards from Wellesley, Northwestern and Medill.

Ms. Overholser was a Nieman fellow at Harvard and a Congressional fellow with the American Political Science Association. She was named "Best in the Business" in the American Journalism Review, and "Editor of the Year" by the National Press Foundation. Under her leadership, the Register won the 1990 Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal for Public Service for a series on the rape of an Iowa woman. She was elected a fellow of the Society of Professional Journalists and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and received the 2002 Anvil of Freedom Award.

Ms. Overholser is a member of the board of the Knight Fellowships at Stanford and a trustee of the Stanley Foundation. She serves on the steering committee of the Committee of Concerned Journalists, the Journalism Advisory Committee of the Knight Foundation and the advisory boards of the Aspen Institute Global Interdependence Initiative and the Fund for Independence in Journalism. She was for nine years a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board, the final year as chair, and is a former board member and officer of the American Society of Newspaper Editors. She is a former trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and former member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She is a frequent lecturer on journalism issues, across the United States and abroad.

The annual Silha Lecture is supported by a generous endowment provided by the late Otto Silha and his wife, Helen.

18th Annual Silha Lecture

18th Annual Silha Lecture
"Political Liberty: Campaign Finance and the Freedoms of Speech and Association"
Featuring Kenneth Starr

Date: November 6, 2003
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Place: Ted Mann Concert Hall, 2128 4th St. S. University of Minnesota, West Bank

Starr speaks on Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act

The 18th Annual Silha Lecture featured Kenneth Starr, whose presentation, "Political Liberty: Campaign Finance and the Freedoms of Speech and Association" provided a unique perspective on the controversial Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, also known as McCain-Feingold.

McCain-Feingold, which President Bush signed into law on March 27, 2002 , amends the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971. Starr is a member of the legal team representing Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in his constitutional challenge to the Act.

In May 2003, a three-judge federal court panel in Washington , D.C. , issued a 1,638-page opinion striking down parts of the statute, including the ban on national party committees raising "soft-money" from corporations, unions and others. Other sections of the law were upheld, including a ban on soft money solicitation by federal officeholders. The panel later stayed the ruling, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to lift that stay pending its own review of the case. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Sept. 8, 2003 . Starr said he expects a decision by the end of the calendar year.

The legal team argued that McCain-Feingold violates the First Amendment rights to free speech and association by restricting political spending by individuals and groups. "It has taken our nation into territory previously viewed as off limits to governmental regulation," Starr said.

Starr discussed Buckley v. Valeo , the first campaign finance case brought to the Supreme Court in 1976. The Court's decision effectively overruled two parts of the 1974 Federal Election Campaign Act, which imposed mandatory spending limits on all federal races and limited independent spending on behalf of federal candidates.

The Court ruled that such restrictions violated the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of expression, finding that spending limits on political campaigns reduce the quantity of expression by restricting the number of issues discussed, the depth of their exploration, and the size of the audience reached.

Starr said that the Supreme Court treats matters of political campaign financing carefully. "This is political regulation of activity that goes to the heart of representative government," he said.

Starr contrasted McCain-Feingold with the Supreme Court's 1964 ruling in New York Times v. Sullivan . In Sullivan , Starr said, ordinary citizens pooled their resources to buy an ad in The New York Times in order to increase national exposure to the struggle for civil rights in the South. This, Starr said, was a perfect example of political speech and free association as guaranteed by the First Amendment. Under McCain-Feingold, a similar ad could, under some circumstances, constitute a crime, he suggested.

Starr used the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as an example of the broad spectrum of groups whose speech would be affected under McCain-Feingold. Under the statute, it would be a crime for the ACLU to broadcast an ad on radio or television advocating a particular civil liberties issue if the ad mentioned a candidate for public office by name and were broadcast close to the election.

Starr also pointed out that the new Act only covers television and cable. The law exempts print media and the Internet. "McCain Feingold has abruptly reversed the trend of deregulation of the media itself and more precisely citizens' use of the media to convey citizens' messages and to express their views and concerns," Starr said.

The University of Minnesota bookstore sponsored a book signing for Starr's new book First Among Equals: The Supreme Court in American Life . The book examines the influence of the Supreme Court on American culture.

Starr has been a partner at the Washington , D.C. office of Kirkland & Ellis since 1993. From 1989-1993, he served as the Solicitor General of the United States and was a U.S. Circuit Judge, D.C. Circuit from 1983-1989.

Starr spoke to a crowd of approximately 470 at the Ted Mann Concert Hall on the West Bank of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus on Nov. 6, 2003 . University faculty, staff and students, as well as media and legal professionals and members of the general public, attended the lecture.

The Silha Lecture Series is supported by a generous endowment provided by the late Otto Silha and his wife, Helen.

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