media ethics

Leading First Amendment lawyer Bruce Sanford to discuss “Trusting the Media in the Age of Trump” at SMU

Bruce SanfordSMU’s 2017 Rosine Smith Sammons Lecture in Media Ethics features one of the nation’s most influential media lawyers in a discussion of the state of the First Amendment, news, and fairness in today’s politically charged news environment.

Bruce Sanford, a partner in BakerHostetler in Washington, D.C., will speak on “Trusting the Media in the Age of Trump” at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017 in Caruth Auditorium, Owen Arts Center. The event is free, and tickets are not required.

Mentioned in The National Law Journal’s list of the 100 most influential lawyers in America (1991), and described by American Journalism Review as one of the most accomplished press lawyers in the nation, Sanford maintains a national practice as a partner in the law firm BakerHostetler, Washington, D.C. His work focuses on representing high-profile clients in cutting-edge and complex matters, frequently with high-stakes public affairs considerations.

Sanford represented President Clinton in the negotiation of a book contract, and first lady Barbara Bush and author John Grisham in libel and copyright cases, respectively. He also serves as general counsel to the Society of Professional Journalists, the largest and oldest organization of journalists in the United States, on Capitol Hill and in Washington.

He is the author of a leading treatise on libel and privacy law, Libel and Privacy (2nd edition 2004), as well as the 2000 best-seller Don’t Shoot the Messenger: How Our Growing Hatred of the Media Threatens Free Speech for All of Us.

The Sammons Lecture Series is presented by the Division of Journalism in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts.

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Coverage of July’s Dallas police ambush is the topic of SMU’s 2016 Sammons Lecture in Media Ethics, Wednesday, Oct. 19

SMU’s 2016 Rosine Smith Sammons Lecture in Media Ethics will focus on the events of July 7, 2016, when a gunman killed four Dallas police officers and a DART officer during a Black Lives Matter protest march downtown.

The 17th annual lecture, “Making Sense of a Tragedy in Real Time: Media Coverage of the Dallas Ambush,” will be a panel discussion featuring Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, Dallas Morning News editor Mike Wilson and Emmy-winning CBS 11 journalist Steve Pickett.

The event takes place at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19 in Caruth Auditorium, Owen Arts Center. Admission is free, and tickets are not required. The Sammons Lecture Series is presented by the Division of Journalism in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts.

Steve Pickett, CBS 11 NewsSteve Pickett is a two-time Emmy Award-winning journalist for CBS 11 News. He has spent 20 of his 34 years in broadcast news in the Dallas-Fort Worth market. He was on air with live reporting the night of the Dallas police ambush shootings. He has been recognized nationally for his coverage of public education, with heavy focus on the Dallas Independent School District. The Press Club of Dallas acknowledged his coverage of Hurricane Katrina. He also was embedded with members of the Texas National Guard in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Pickett has worked in newsrooms in Portland, Oregon; Fresno, California; Oklahoma City; and Wichita Falls. He is a native Oklahoman and a graduate of The University of Oklahoma.

Dallas Mayor Mike RawlingsMike Rawlings was elected mayor of Dallas in 2011 and again in 2015. He is a native of Borger, Texas, and a graduate of Boston College. Following his first election he launched GrowSouth, his signature initiative to spur economic development south of the Trinity River. He has also sought to improve public education and led a campaign against domestic violence, Dallas Men Against Abuse. On the evening of July 7 when four Dallas Police Department officers and one DART officer were killed in an ambush, Mayor Rawlings worked closely with Dallas Police Chief David Brown to assess and end the situation as well as keeping media and the public informed.

Mike Wilson, Dallas Morning NewsMike Wilson is editor of The Dallas Morning News, responsible for news coverage in print and online. Wilson began his career at the Miami Herald where he worked as a writer and editor. He joined the St. Petersburg Times (now Tampa Bay Times) in 1994, working 18 years as a writer, editor and, finally, managing editor. His staff won two Pulitzer Prizes during his tenure. In 2013 he moved to ESPN as founding managing editor of Nate Silver’s data journalism website, FiveThirtyEight. Wilson graduated from Tufts University. He has written two books, Right on the Edge of Crazy, about the U.S. downhill ski team, and The Difference Between God and Larry Ellison, about the founder of Oracle Corporation.

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