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September 14, 2007
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of the press and is the bedrock upon which journalism schools are founded. The Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno will examine this guarantee relative to contemporary journalism at the inaugural Cole C. Campbell Dialogue on Democracy, 7 – 8:30 p.m., Sept. 18, in the Jot Travis Student Union, ASUN Auditorium.
"Cole pushed journalists and the profession as a whole to use our First Amendment freedoms and responsibilities to the max," said Rosemary McCarthy, the Reynolds School's interim dean. "He believed that democracy flourishes when the press is vigorous and the populace is engaged through journalism in critical dialogue."
The Dialogue on Democracy will be hosted at universities and journalistic organizations nationally in tribute to Campbell, late dean of the journalism school. Campbell died last January in a car accident.
Jay Harris will present "Rights and Responsibilities: The People, the Press and the Constitution," as the first speaker in the annual series. Harris is a professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California, where he holds the Wallis Annenberg Chair in Journalism and Communications.
Harris, who was named chairman and publisher of the San Jose Mercury News in 1994, pioneered multicultural publishing with the launch of Nuevo Mundo, a Spanish-language weekly, and Viet Mercury, a Vietnamese-language weekly.
He created a sensation in the media community when he resigned from Knight-Ridder, the newspaper's parent company, over fundamental disagreements about business strategy, corporate values and priorities.
"Mr. Harris is an exciting choice for the Cole C. Campbell Dialogue on Democracy. He is the founder of the Center for the Study of Journalism and Democracy at the University of Southern California and has a professional and academic background second to none," McCarthy said. "He is one of the most distinguished speakers of our time, and his perspective about the First Amendment will inspire others to consider the obligations that we all have to honor the Constitution with our behavior as involved citizens."