Penn State hosts First Amendment Festival Oct. 2-3

Thursday, September 28, 2000


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State’s College of Communications
and The Freedom Forum First Amendment Center will co-sponsor a daylong First
Amendment Festival on Tuesday, Oct. 3, featuring a keynote address by veteran
New York Times journalist and author
Tom Wicker.

Panels covering such topics as Napster, the Internet, and free
expression on campus will feature nationally recognized experts on the First
Amendment as well as local community members and Penn State University
professors. All events are free and open to the public and will be held in the
Penn State HUB’s Auditorium.

Wicker’s keynote address, “A Passion for the First,” will
run from 1:30 to 2:15 p.m. In addition to Wicker, panelists throughout the day
include Mark Goodman, executive director of the Student Press Law Center in
Arlington, Va.; Michael Gartner, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and
ombudsman for Brill’s Content
magazine; and John Seigenthaler and Kenneth Paulson, founder and executive
director, respectively, of the First Amendment Center.

“The depth of freedom of expression in America seems to run in
cycles,” notes Douglas Anderson, dean of the College of Communications.
“Freedom of expression blossomed under the Earl Warren Court in the 1960s,
but many would argue that there since has been erosion of that freedom. Only
the most optimistic would contend there has been even scant expansion.

“The presence of Tom Wicker and a group of terrific panel members
promises to make the First Amendment Festival the perfect venue to discuss this
precious freedom,” he says. The Freedom Forum First Amendment Center, with
offices at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., and in New York City and
Arlington, Va., is an independent affiliate of The Freedom Forum and the
Newseum. The Freedom Forum is a nonpartisan international foundation dedicated
to “free press, free speech and free spirit for all people.”

Penn State is only the second university to be selected by The Freedom
Forum as a site for the First Amendment Festival. The
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill hosted the first such event in