From Campus to the Capitol and Beyond: The Future of Free Speech and the First Amendment

MADISON — Shutting down hate speech. Revamping libel laws. Expanding intellectual diversity on campus. The First Amendment and the principle of free speech has emerged as a contentious topic of debate in recent months – in Wisconsin and across the country. The fatal violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, at a white nationalist rally has heightened attention on free speech.

The Madison chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the UW-Madison Center for Journalism Ethics invites students, campus employees and members of the public to a discussion of these important topics. It will take place 7:00-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 12, 2017, at Union South in the Industry room on the third floor [Note: event location updated].

The discussion features Kathleen Culver, assistant professor, James E. Burgess chair in Journalism Ethics and director of the UW-Madison Center for Journalism Ethics; Savion Castro, UW-Madison student and One Wisconsin Now research assistant; and James Friedman, an attorney with Godfrey & Kahn representing the Wisconsin Newspaper Association.

The event is free and open to the public, who will have an opportunity to hear from representatives from both sides of this issue, and ask questions. All area journalists are especially encouraged to attend, and membership in SPJ is not necessary.

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.

Founded in 1905, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication strongly supports the First Amendment and believes in the principles of a free and responsible press. Its curriculum is anchored in the truthful, fair and ethical practice of communication, which can contribute to a healthy and vibrant democracy.

The Center for Journalism Ethics, founded in 2008, encourages the highest standards in journalism ethics worldwide. It seeks to foster vigorous debate about ethical practices in journalism and provide resources for producers, consumers and students of journalism. More information and resources are available at ethics.journalism.wisc.edu or via @UWJournEthics on Twitter.

Contact: Mark Pitsch, mpitsch@madison.com; 608-252-6145

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About spjmadisononline

The Society of Professional Journalists Madison Pro Chapter
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