Veteran New York Times journalist will give First Amendment Festival’s keynote address
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Veteran New
York Times journalist and author Tom Wicker will give the
keynote address at a First Amendment Festival co-sponsored by the Penn State
College of Communications and The Freedom Forum First Amendment Center on Oct.
3. Wicker’s address, “A Passion for the First,” will be held in the HUB
Auditorium from 1:30 to 2:15 and is free and open to the public.
Wicker began working for The New York
Times in 1960 in Washington, D.C., where he covered the White
House, Congress, and national politics. As White House correspondent in 1963,
he was with President Kennedy in Dallas when the president was assassinated. He
became chief of the Washington bureau in 1964, and began writing the “In the
Nation” column for the Times‘ op-ed
In addition to his prestigious career in journalism, Wicker is the
author of nine novels, among them Unto This
Hour (1984), Facing the
Lions (1973), and Easter
Lilly (1998), as well as six works of nonfiction, including
Kennedy Without Tears (1964), JFK
and LBJ: The Influence of Personality Upon
Politics (1968), On
Press (1978), One of Us: Richard
Nixon and The American Dream (1991), and
Tragic Failure: Racial Integration in
Wicker received his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the
University of North Carolina, and later went on to attend Harvard as a member
of the Nieman Fellows’ class of 1957-58. Before that, he served in the Navy,
attending Officers’ Candidate School at Newport, R.I., and serving two years in
He is the recipient of the University of Arizona’s John Peter Zenger
Award for freedom of the press and the North Carolina Award in Literature, as
well as several honorary degrees. In addition, he was a Fellow in the Kennedy
School of Government in 1993, a James Batten visiting professor at Davidson
College in 1997, and a Freedom Forum First Amendment Center Visiting
Professional Scholar in 1998.
The First Amendment Festival is a daylong event featuring panels
covering such topics as Napster, the Internet, and free expression on campus.
In addition to Wicker, the festival will feature several 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.
For a complete listing of events and speakers, visit the College of
Communications’ Web site at www.psu.edu/dept/comm or call the First Amendment
Festival’s hotline at (814) 234-4682. For additional information about the
Festival, contact Clay Calvert, assistant professor of communications and law
and co-director of the Pennsylvania Center for the First Amendment, at (814)
863-5654 or email@example.com.