Conference to explore media indecency, violence
WASHINGTON — To commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in FCC v. Pacifica, the First Amendment Center will host a conference on June 26, 2008, in the Knight Conference Center at the Newseum. The conference will explore how the law and culture have changed since the Court issued its historic ruling.
“Indecency and media violence very much remain hot-button topics in our culture,” said Gene Policinski, vice president and executive director of the First Amendment Center. “This conference will discuss issues and methods of finding common ground by which laws can protect children and yet safeguard our First Amendment freedom.”
The program, “Indecency & Violence in the Media: FCC v. Pacifica 30 Years Later,” opens with remarks by Federal Communications Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate; and by former FCC chairman Richard E. Wiley, who was on the commission when the complaint in the Pacifica case was filed.
There will be a brief recognition, also at the opening of the program, of the career of comedian George Carlin, who died June 22. A radio broadcast of a recording of one of Carlin’s best-known routines, “Seven Dirty Words You Can’t Say on Television,” was at the heart of the Pacifica case.
There is no charge to attend the conference, which begins at 8:30 a.m. and is open to the public. To register, call 202/292-6288. The Knight Conference center is located above the Newseum, at Sixth and Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. Enter through the Sixth Street doors; the conference is on the 7th floor.
Professor Lili Levi of the University of Miami School of Law, a noted communications-law scholar, will discuss the salient points of a First Report she prepared for the First Amendment Center. The report, “The FCC’s Regulation of Indecency,” examines the law and issues that have developed since the Pacifica decision.
“The new media explosion of communicative devices, ranging from cell phones with Internet access to e-books, makes the issue of government regulation of content more important than ever before in our history,” said Ronald Collins, First Amendment scholar at the First Amendment Center.
The issue of government regulation in this area will be the focus of a roundtable discussion moderated by Robert Corn-Revere, a renowned First Amendment lawyer at the firm of Davis Wright Tremaine. He will lead a discussion with Judge Jane R. Roth of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Professor Glen O. Robinson, a professor of law at the University of Virginia and former FCC commissioner, and Kenneth Robinson, a media lawyer and former senior legal adviser to former FCC Chairman Al Sikes.
ContactsCovering press: Please contact Ron Collins, 202/292-6292, or Ashlie Hampton, 202/292-6288.