Friday, October 23, 2009

Free Speech Assembly, October 24

It's short notice, but we've just received information on an upcoming journalism conference, hosted by the California nonprofit First Amendment Coalition.

The Free Speech Assembly will discuss "journalism, technology and public policy - explained and debated from the standpoint of freedom of speech and freedom of information."

Saturday, October 24 is the date. The place is Southwestern Law School's Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute in Los Angeles. The event is FAC's annual Free Speech and Open Government Assembly, jointly sponsored by the Coalition, the Biederman Institute and the McCormick Foundation.

For our colleagues in the ethnic media, some sessions will be conducted in Spanish and Vietnamese, as well as English.

The program includes panel discussions on topics ranging from journalists' use of social media for reporting, to new online tools to track the influence of money on legislation, to journalism training sessions on how to get sophisticated, insider news stories (and avoid being "spun" by government officials on one hand, or union officials on the other) about: local police and the criminal justice system; public school financing and the ranking of schools and teachers; salaries and pensions of government employees; and much more.

Attendees will have a chance to listen to featured speakers Alexandra Berzon and Alex S. Jones. Berzon was awarded the 2009 Pulitzer Prize as a reporter at the Las Vegas Sun, and currently covers Las Vegas for the Wall Street Journal. Jones, Director of Harvard University's Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, is a fellow Pulitzer winner and former host of NPR's On The Media, and PBS’s Media Matters.

Discussion panelists include: Dan Gillmor, Director, Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship; Geneva Overholser, Director of the USC Annenberg School of Journalism; Claudia Nunez, La Opinion; Evan Hansen, Editor-in-Chief,; Neil Budde, President, DailyMe; Ricardo Sandoval, Sacramento Bee; Mary Perry, EdSource; Kathryn Baron, Fellow, UC Berkeley; and LA Times reporters Mitchell Landsberg and Matt Lait.

Best of all, attendance is free. But space is EXTREMELY limited. So if you're interested in attending, please register now.

You can register to attend at the Web site.