Gene Policinski

Gene Policinski, chief operating officer of the Newseum Institute, also is senior vice president of the First Amendment Center, a center of the institute. He is a veteran journalist whose career has included work in newspapers, radio, television and online.

A veteran journalist, Policinski has worked in newspapers, radio, television and online operations; and is a long-time proponent of diversity in journalism as an essential characteristic of a free press. He lectures regularly to Diversity Institute programs and elsewhere on news gathering and reporting, and on journalism ethics.

Policinski co-writes the weekly, nationally distributed column, "Inside the First Amendment." He received a regional Emmy award in 2011 as executive producer of the public television program "Speaking Freely," produced by the First Amendment Center; and is an occasional host of the First Amendment Center's unique "Freedom Sings" live performance program about music that has been banned, censored or served as a call to social action.

Policinski came to the Freedom Forum in 1996 from USA TODAY, where he was an one of its founding editors and held various news executive positions. He is an adjunct faculty member at Winthrop University in South Carolina; and is a member of the Board of Advisors for the Institute for Media, Culture, and Ethics, at Bellarmine University, Louisville, KY. He is a member of the national board of trustees for the National Academy of Television and Arts and Sciences (NATAS), and a past trustee of the United States Sports Academy and the Newspaper Association of America Foundation. He was co-chair of the 2012 national convention of the American Society of Newspaper Editors.

A graduate of Ball State University, he attended classes at the Nashville School of Law.

Posts by Gene Policinski:

Featured Post | | February 11, 2015

First Amendment Center Archive

Welcome to an archival site of the Newseum Institute’s First Amendment Center. Content on this site is not being updated. For current commentary, programs, information and discussion of news events and First Amendment legislation, judicial rulings and issues, please visit

Media and Missouri: What the heck is going on?

Freedom to report the news necessarily means the freedom to gather it, and police in Ferguson, Mo., have blatantly tried to stop journalists from doing their jobs.

Examining the new importance of ‘where’ we speak

Supreme Court will look at question of whether threats made in social media can be considered ‘true threats.’

‘-45-’ — Remembering a man who championed freedom

A great man, a great journalist, a great lover of freedom has died, leaving a lasting legacy.

It’s vital to know how to use — and defend — our freedoms

Although this year’s State of the First Amendment survey shows some disturbing results, it also indicates more Americans back free expression in areas of society that have not always enjoyed popular support.

‘Abracadabra!’ Judge says Teller’s trick is protected

‘The mere fact that a dramatic work or pantomime includes a magic trick, or even that a particular illusion is its central feature, does not render it devoid’ of protection, district judge writes.

Celebrating two First Amendment landmark moments

CBS News’ Edward R. Murrow’s crusading broadcasts and the Supreme Court’s Sullivan decision helped reshape contemporary American life and how as a nation we perceive and apply our core freedoms of free press and free speech.

FCC study: Necessary report or ‘national news nanny’?

The government’s record on good intentions and the news media provides enough cause to worry.

A ‘flash’ of insight on just how free is our free speech

Case involving flashing headlights to warn motorists of speed traps reminds us that government can’t override our free speech without good reason rooted in law.

A time for more speech in the face of bias, bigotry

One of the hardest times for the image of the First Amendment is when its protection means sheltering speech that most people find offensive, degrading or vile.

Protests over the protests at clinics that perform abortions

Nothing about the national debate over abortion is simple — and that applies at times to even the words and manner we use in talking about it.

Civility: Let’s try that free-speech option in 2014 in public life

To reshape public debate in a more civil manner, truth, independence and transparency are a good place for a free press to start.

Speech Commentary | | December 20, 2013

Here are 3 ‘Duck Dynasty’ free-speech lessons

Phil Robertson’s adventures in free speech remind us that, as long as government doesn’t intervene, there’s no First Amendment issue.

When and why we need to hear 911 calls

There are strong First Amendment reasons for disclosure of 911 calls, including those recently released from last year’s school massacre in Newtown, Conn.

Reporting JFK’s death – 50 years of facts, conspiracy theories

Outside of the most rabid conspiracy circles, it’s fair to say we know a great deal about the assassination of President Kennedy thanks to a half-century of news and information brought to us unfettered by government censorship.

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