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May 2016

Carl R. Ramey
From Kennedy-Nixon in 1960 to the presidential campaign of 2016, we’ve come a long way in candidate debates and the interplay of media and politics. Carl R. Ramey, a retired Washington, D.C. communications attorney and regular opinion writer for the Gainesville Sun, highlights the major changes that have occurred and the challenges presented by this new media landscape.

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September 2016


Shaney T. Livingston
How does Censorship happen? Who attempts censorship and what are the most frequently censored materials?

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October 2016


Jon Mills
Mills will discuss how human impulses interact with modern technology, raising novel legal and ethical issues in the context of digital media, commerce, and cybersecurity. Legal systems may lag behind technological advances, but we can still use policy tools to define a right to privacy in a culture of intrusion.

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November 2016


Ralph Wilson
Ralph Wilson has spearheaded open records requests in the sunshine state and elsewhere, illuminating the efforts of one of the world’s largest oil and gas conglomerates to dictate who teaches and what is taught at America’s public universities, including Florida State University.

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December 2016


This competition honors and remembers Horance G. “Buddy” Davis, the Pulitzer Prize-winning editorialist for The Gainesville Sun and Distinguished Service Professor in the College of Journalism at the University of Florida. The competition is held each fall, with a call for essays going out to each of our local high schools. At this meeting, the three finalists will present their essays.

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January 2017

This will be a discussion of journalism today, the First Amendment and what the internet has done to rewrite the game plan. Mike Foley will include in his discussion the example of the Hulk Hogan v. Gawker case.

Mike Foley
Mike Foley is a veteran newspaper editor with 30 years at the Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Petersburg Times). He served as executive editor, managing editor, metropolitan editor and city editor. He also worked on the business side of the paper as vice president of Community Relations.

Mike Foley has been involved in a variety of industry and community service, including serving as a juror for the Pulitzer Prizes, president of the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors, judge for the Hearst Foundation College Writing Awards and as a trustee of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Florida.

In 2013, he received the Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2012, he was selected by the Princeton Review as one of The Best 300 Professors. College Magazine rated him one of the top 10 professors at UF in 2016.

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February 2017


David Barkey, Anti-Defamation League’s Southeastern Area Counsel
Although hate speech is generally protected in the U.S., the federal government and 45 states enhance penalties for bias-motivated criminal conduct. This interactive presentation will provide an overview of federal and state hate crimes laws, examine the First Amendment implications of these laws, and discuss frequency and key characteristics of hate crimes.

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March 2017


Ken & Linda McGurn
Ken McGurn recently ran for Congress and they both have a few interesting stories to share from the campaign trail.

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April 2017


Clay Calvert
Brechner Center for Freedom of Information at the Univ. of Florida serves the public with information about the First Amendment, freedom of information, and access to government information issues.

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May 2017


How Americans can build and flex their citizenship muscles to make government respond.

Chris Hand
Chris Hand is an attorney with a long record of public service. He previously served as a speechwriter, press secretary, and campaign press secretary for Senator Graham and as campaign manager for Florida’s former statewide elected chief financial officer, Alex Sink. In 2008, Hand served as one of 27 Florida electors in the United States Electoral College.

With former Florida Governor and United States Senator Bob Graham, Hand is the co-author of America, the Owner’s Manual: You Can Fight City Hall – and Win, a guide to helping citizens make their voices heard and influence government.

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