First Amendment expert to speak at Ball State
January 23 @ 8:00 pm - 9:00 pmFREE
Gene Policinski, who is president and chief operating officer of the Freedom Forum Institute, which has five divisions: the Freedom Forum, the First Amendment Center, the Religious Freedom Center, NewseumED, and Newseum and diversity programming, will speak about “The Real Threats to a Free Press: Bodies, Bytes and Benign Neglect.”
Policinski, who has been a longtime proponent of diversity in journalism as an essential element of a free press, has a long list of achievements. They include being one of the founding editors of USA Today; being the founding editor of USA Today Sport Weekly; writing a nationally distributed weekly newspaper column titled “Inside the First Amendment”; authoring a number of articles for law journals and magazines; hosting a one-hour program called “Newseum Radio” on National Public Radio Worldwide for three years; and serving as executive producer of “Speaking Freely,” which aired nationwide on public television for five years and won a special Emmy award in 2010.
The First Amendment expert started his career in journalism at the Greenfield, Indiana, Daily Reporter when he was a sophomore journalism major at Ball State. After Policinski graduated from Ball State in 1972, he joined the Marion, Indiana, Chronicle-Tribune as a reporter and legislative reporter.
From 1976 to 1979, he was Indianapolis bureau chief for Gannett News Service. In 1979, he moved to the GNS Washington bureau, and in late 1981, he joined the prototype team working on USA TODAY. He was Washington editor of USA Today when it launched on Sept. 15, 1982, and held several news executive positions at the paper – including Page 1 editor and managing editor/sports before leaving in 1996 and joining the nonprofit foundation Freedom Forum.
Policinski’s presentation is part of Ball State University Department of Journalism’s 50th anniversary celebration and the university’s 100th anniversary. Ball State recognized Policinski’s accomplishments in 1996 with its Distinguished Alumni Award. He also is 1991 inductee of the Ball State Department of Journalism Hall of Fame.