Law School to Co-Host First Amendment Symposium at National Press Club

2018 Missouri-Hurley and Price Sloan Symposium Comes at Critical Time for Constitutional Protection

The School of Law will co-host a First Amendment symposium, “Truth, Trust and the First Amendment in the Digital Age,” at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on April 6. Washington journalists, legal scholars and media attorneys will discuss the questions they face every day about the state of the First Amendment. How severe are challenges to the First Amendment in the digital age? Is it strong enough to continue to protect a free press?

The keynote address will be delivered by First Amendment attorney Floyd Abrams, who represented The New York Times in the landmark Pentagon Papers case.

The day will kick off with a panel of media attorneys and legal scholars moderated by law school dean Lyrissa Lidsky. Members of the panel will be Chris Buskirk, American Greatness; Amy Gajda, Tulane University School of Law; RonNell Andersen Jones, University of Utah College of Law; Mary-Rose Papandrea, University of North Carolina School of Law; Charles Tobin, Ballard Spahr LLP; Sonja West, University of Georgia School of Law; and Kurt Wimmer, Covington & Burling LLP.

Professor Barbara Cochran of the Missouri School of Journalism will lead a journalists’ discussion with Peter Baker, The New York Times; Dan Balz, The Washington Post; Major Garrett, CBS News; Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune; Brian Stelter, CNN; Margaret Talev, Bloomberg News, and Greta Van Susteren, Voice of America.

“Polls show that many Americans have lost faith in the ability of the news media to act as government watchdog and supply us with information vital to our understanding of public events,” Dean Lidsky says. “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to gather such a distinguished lineup of journalists and lawyers to discuss pressing matters such as how the media can rebuild public trust and how the law might help, how lawyers and journalists might address the many types of ‘fake news,’ and how citizens can get the information they need to exercise self-governance – from both new media and old.”

Thanks to the generosity of a donor, the incoming and outgoing editorial boards of the law school’s flagship journal, the Missouri Law Review, will attend to participate in the symposium before taking a tour of the United States Supreme Court.

The symposium will be presented by the School of Law, the Missouri School of Journalism, the Reynolds Journalism Institute and the National Press Club Journalism Institute, with support from the Price A. Sloan Fund for Media, Ethics & Law at the School of Law.