Who Should be Protected by a New Federal Shield Law?

Date(s) - 09/24/2013
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Room 5052, UNC School of Law

Screen Shot 2013-09-12 at 10.09.00 AMIn May of this year, the Associated Press revealed that the Department of Justice had, without prior notice or negotiation, subpoenaed phone records from the organization’s journalists. In light of this event, Congress renewed efforts to pass a federal shield law—a piece of legislation that would protect reporters from having to reveal their confidential sources and unpublished information in courts or other governmental proceedings.

Come to room 5052 in the Law School next Tuesday (Sept. 24th) to hear a panel discussion on the pros and cons of instituting a federal shield law. The panel will also discuss whether the shield law should be limited to reporters working for traditional news outlets or whether it should also protect bloggers, student journalists and other non-traditional reporters.

Professor David Ardia will moderate the panel that will include Frank LoMonte, Executive Director of the Student Press Law Center; William P. Marshall, UNC’s Kenan Professor of Law; and Dean Smith, assistant professor at High Point University. This event is being organized by the UNC-CH Media Law Society.

Here are the panelists’ biographies:

  • Frank LoMonte is the Executive Director of the Student Press Law Center. LoMonte has expertise in first amendment and media law and specializes in how those areas impact the student media. Prior to entering the legal profession, LoMonte was an award-winning investigative journalist. He holds a law degree from the University of Georgia School of Law.
  • Bill Marshall is the Kenan Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina. Prior to beginning his teaching duties at UNC, Marshall served as Deputy White House Counsel and Deputy Assistant to the President of the United States during the Clinton Administration. Among other fields, Marshall is an expert in first amendment law and media law. He holds a law degree from the University of Chicago.
  • Dean Smith teaches media law at High Point University and is the author of “A Theory of Shield Laws: Journalists, Their Sources, and Popular Constitutionalism.” He earned his Ph.D. from the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2012. Prior to attending UNC, Smith worked as a professional journalist for more than 15 years for The Charlotte Observer and the (Raleigh) News and Observer.

Tagged: 1AD2013, First Amendment Day, MLS, Panels, Shield Law, Student Speech
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