D.C. symposium to discuss social media and the First Amendment

Is the First Amendment still relevant in the age of social media? How can we be sure that what we’re reading and watching is true? What can social media platforms do to curtail the spread of misinformation and lies? How can journalists make the best use of social media to gain audience and enrich their reporting while also protecting themselves from harassment? These questions and more will be explored with journalists, social media experts and legal scholars during the Missouri-Hurley Price Sloan symposium “Free Speech, Free Press or Free for All? Social Media and the First Amendment.”

The symposium will be held on Thursday, April 25 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The event is free, but registration is required.

Brian Stelter, chief media correspondent for CNN Worldwide and anchor of “Reliable Sources” is the keynote speaker during the event’s lunch, which will be held from 12:30 to 2 p.m.

“Two-thirds of Americans get news from social media, but more than half say they expect it to be inaccurate,” said Barbara Cochran, the Curtis B. Hurley Chair in Public Affairs Journalism at the Missouri School of Journalism and the event organizer. “Our speakers will explore how journalists can work with social media to improve accuracy and to reach audiences, and also what kind of regulation of social media may be needed.”

The legal panel will be moderated by Sam Halabi, Director of the Center for Intellectual Property & Entrepreneurship and Associate Professor of Law, University of Missouri School of Law. Panelists include:

  • Anupam Chander, Professor of Law, Georgetown University 
  • Jerry Ellig, Professor, The George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center
  • Jeff Koseff, Assistant Professor of Cybersecurity Law, U.S. Naval Academy’s Cyber Science Department
  • Andrea Matwyshyn, Professor of Law and Co-Director, Center for Law, Innovation and Creativity, Northeastern University
  • David Vladeck, former Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the Federal Trade Commission, A.B. Chettle Chair in Civil Procedure, Georgetown University

The journalism panel will follow, moderated by Cochran. Panelists include:

  • Manuel Garcia, Standards Editor, Gannett
  • Angie Holan, Washington Bureau Chief, PolitiFact
  • Cecilia Kang, Technology Reporter, New York Times
  • James Warren, executive editor, NewsGuard, former chief media writer, Poynter Institute
  • Hannah Wise, Audience Development Editor, Dallas Morning News

The event will also be streamed live on the Reynolds Journalism Institute’s Facebook page.

The symposium’s sponsors are the University of Missouri School of Journalism and School of Law; Reynolds Journalism Institute; Price Sloan Fund for Media, Ethics, and Law; and National Press Club Journalism Institute.

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