Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost. – Thomas Jefferson, 1786.
Fast forward to Saturday, March 2nd, 2019, 2:00-4:00 p.m., in the Theater Room at the Moore Community Center in Ellsworth, when the League of Women Voters – Downeast and WERU Community Radio will present a panel discussion on the importance of a free press in a functioning democracy and the challenges facing us today.
The panel discussion will address the question: Is the Free Press the Enemy of the People? Several veteran journalists and scholars will share their experiences and views on this topic.
The panelists will be:
- John Christie: Veteran journalist and co-founder of the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting.
- Irwin Gratz: Host of Morning Edition, Maine Public Radio
- Liz Graves: Managing Editor of the Mount Desert Islander
- Joseph Reisert: Professor of American Constitutional Law, Colby College
- Ann Luther, the host of Democracy Forum on WERU, will serve as moderator.
The event is free and open to the public, with a reception to follow.
This event is produced in partnership between the League of Women Voters – Downeast, WERU Community Radio, the Ellsworth American, and the Mount Desert Islander under a grant from the Maine Humanities Council.
Join us on Friday, February 15, 10:00 a.m. for another edition of Democracy Forum, when we’ll talk about democracy, journalism, the state of play in American news. Can fact-based journalism survive? Can democracy survive otherwise? We’ll take listener questions by email at email@example.com with “Democracy Forum” in the subject line. This program is being produced with support from the Maine Humanities Council, and through an ongoing partnership between the League of Women Voters – Downeast and WERU Community Radio.
- Earl Brechlin was the founding editor of the award-winning weekly newspaper, the Mount Desert Islander, and former editor of the Bar Harbor Times.
- Burt Neuborne is the Norman Dorsen Professor of Civil Liberties and founding Legal Director of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law School.
- Judy Woodruff is the anchor and managing editor of the PBS NewsHour.
- What was the founders’ conception of the first amendment? Why did they put it first? And why was it important to protect the free press?
- What business, cultural, and technological changes are altering the journalistic landscape in the 21st century?
- Disinformation campaigns and yellow journalism go back to the founding of democracy. Is it different now or more dangerous?
- What can ordinary citizens do?
To learn more, follow these links to related content:
- Does Journalism have a Future? Jill Lepore in The New Yorker, January 28, 2019
- Is journalism’s `pivot to dust’ arriving? Megan McArdle in the Washington Post, January 26, 2019
- How We Know Journalism is Good for Democracy, Josh Stearns, posted at Medium, a publication of PACE: Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement, June 26, 2018
- Local newspapers have already been gutted. There’s nothing left to cut. Steve Cavendish, the Washington Post, January 25, 2109.
- Madison’s Music: On Reading the First Amendment, Burt Neuborne, 2015.