Oct. 1, 2009: This panel discussion between Haley Koch, Nikhil Patel and Hugh Stevens covered the First Amendment issues raised by the protest against former Congressman Tom Tancredo’s speech last spring on campus.
Haley Koch, a UNC senior and activist, was arrested for her role in the protest that prevented Tancredo from speaking in Bingham Hall. The case against Koch was thrown out by a judge on Sept. 14, but as a result of the publicity generated by the charges, Koch has repeatedly been threatened and harassed.
Nikhil Patel is a UNC senior and the president of Youth for Western Civilization, the conservative student group responsible for organizing the Tancredo speech. YWC has struggled to remain a viable campus group since being stigmatized as a white supremacist group by more liberal students; the organization recently lost its faculty adviser for the second time since the Tancredo speech.
Hugh Stevens is a nationally known First Amendment and media lawyer who served as general counsel for the North Carolina Press Association for 20 years and continues to serve as counsel to the North Carolina Press Foundation, the North Carolina Open Government Coalition and several North Carolina newspapers, including The News & Observer. Steven’s interest in the First Amendment began as a student at UNC-CH in the 1960s.
During the discussion each panelist shared his or her perspectives of the Tancredo incident and the First Amendment implications of the protest; the state of free speech on the UNC campus more generally was also discussed during this dialogue. Panelists then participated in a question-and answer-session with members of the audience. The event was organized and moderated by senior journalism and mass communication major Sam Wardle.
Oct. 1, 2009: A panel of Carolina’s student journalists – editors from the Daily Tar Heel, the student-run campus newspaper; Carolina Review, a monthly conservative journal; and Campus BluePrint, a new publication of the UNC Young Democrats – discussed their rights, their responsibilities and whether they are fulfilling their responsibilities. Panelists took questions from the audience and engaged in a lively conversation about their editorial processes and decisions. The panel was moderated by Andy Bechtel, assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and was organized by senior religious studies major Bryan Weynand, who is the editor of Carolina Review.
Mar. 12, 2010: Miriam Nisbet, director of the Office of Government Information Services at the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, was the keynote speaker at the AEJMC Southeast Colloquium. OGIS is the new FOIA policy office and provides mediation services to resolve disputes between FOIA requesters and administrative agencies.
Sep. 15, 2010: The role of federal policy in shaping journalism was the topic of a free, public lecture by Josh Silver, president and CEO of Free Press.
Silver discussed some of the major regulatory issues facing the U.S. media today. Those issues included how to expand broadband Internet service to all American homes, whether to continue to allow Internet service providers to censor their customers’ communications and how best to fund professional news reporting.
Sep. 30, 2010: Near-universal Internet access should make this a golden age of publishing, but the ease of entry into mass communications is raising new legal challenges that the law is struggling to catch up with. When anyone can publish, who’s a journalist, and why does it matter? Keynote speaker Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center, looks at the “Media Law 2.0” issues raised when the news goes online, and how students can help shape where the law is heading.