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THREATS TO FREE PRESS IS FOCUS OF ANNUAL JOHN B. GAINES FAMILY LECTURE

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Joel Simon, executive director of the international nonprofit Committee to Protect Journalists, will speak at Western Kentucky University’s School of Journalism & Broadcasting on April 3 at 7 p.m. in Mass Media & Technology Hall (MMTH) auditorium.

Simon will deliver the 13th annual John B. Gaines Family Lecture Series, which has hosted lectures by professional journalists at WKU since 2004. Simon, who has worked as a journalist throughout Latin American and lead CPJ for 11 years, will speak about the non-profit’s work to advocate for journalists around the world and more recent efforts examining threats to freedom of the press in the U.S. His talk, “Trump & The Truth: Defending Press Freedom at Home & Abroad,” will put the U.S. in an international context, examining parallels and patterns the organization has seen around the globe.

“Joel Simon’s presentation will provide students and the public with important international context to the discussions we are having here in the U.S. about the future of the free press,” said Journalism Professor Amanda J. Crawford, who organized the lecture. “No organization has their finger on the pulse of press freedom issues around the world more than CPJ. I think this talk will be timely and of interest to the entire WKU community and the public.”

Simon has written about press freedom issues for The New York Times, Slate, World Policy Journal, the Columbia Journalism Review and numerous other publications. His most recent book, “The New Censorship: Inside the Global Battle for Media Freedom,” was published in November 2014. Simon worked for many years as a freelance journalist in Latin America, where he covered the Guatemalan civil war and the Chiapas conflict in Mexico, among other issues. He is a graduate of Amherst College and Stanford University.   

The free lecture is open to students and the public. It is a swipeable event for students.

About the John B. Gaines Family Lecture Series

The John B. Gaines Family Lecture Series, launched in 2004 in honor of the 150th anniversary of the Gaines’ family-owned newspaper, the Daily News, has brought several award-winning international journalists to WKU. Previous lecture participants include New York Times reporter and WKU alumna Nikita Stewart, bestselling author Beth Macy, Washington Bureau Chief for the Dallas Morning News Todd Gillman, investigative freelance journalist Lucy Komisar, newspaper journalism icon John Seigenthaler, Emmy award-winning photojournalist Dai Sugano of the San Jose Mercury News, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Leonard Pitts of The Miami Herald, New Orleans Times-Picayune staff writer Mark Schleifstein, and Chicago Tribune photojournalist and former official White House photographer Pete Souza.

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 Last Modified 5/2/17