Seigenthalers to discuss ‘Living the First Amendment’

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — The father-son Seigenthaler journalist team will discuss how they’ve been “Living the First Amendment” on Sept. 20 at Middle Tennessee State University.

John Seigenthaler, founder of the First Amendment Center, and John Michael Seigenthaler, former NBC News anchor and reporter and CEO of Seigenthaler Public Relations – New York, will draw on their decades of print, broadcast and online journalism experience.

The free public event will begin at 1 p.m. in Room 221 of the McWherter Learning Resources Center on campus. It is sponsored by the John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies.

“The College of Mass Communication and the John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies are extremely pleased that John and John Jr. are launching this year’s First Amendment speaker series,” said Roy Moore, dean of MTSU’s College of Mass Communication.

“Both men have enjoyed extensive and highly impressive professional careers, serving as role models in living and promoting the First Amendment. Their interactive dialogue on the history, current status and future as well as the rights and responsibilities of this cornerstone of our democracy will be highly interesting and insightful.”

John Seigenthaler was a reporter, editor, publisher and CEO of The Tennessean as well as an administrative assistant for then-U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. After serving as founding editorial director for USA Today, the elder journalist established the First AmendmentCenter at Vanderbilt University, which promotes dialogue about freedoms of speech, press and religion, in 1991.

In 1986, MTSU established the John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies, honoring the veteran journalist’s lifelong commitment to free expression. The Seigenthaler Chair, housed in the College of Mass Communication, supports a variety of activities related to free speech and free press rights.

John Seigenthaler Jr. spent more than 28 years as a broadcast journalist. For nearly a decade he was the anchor of the top-rated “NBC Nightly News” weekend broadcasts. He covered some of the top stories of our time, including the 9/11 terror attacks in New York, Hurricane Katrina, the tsunami in Sri Lanka, terror attacks in Europe and the Middle East, U.S. presidential campaigns and national political conventions. As the CEO of Seigenthaler Public Relations – New York, the younger Seigenthaler now develops strategic communication plans for his clients. He also is a member of the College of Mass Communication’s Board of Professional Advisors.

Editorial contact: Deborah Gump, 615/898-5150

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