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Free Speech in Times of Crisis

Free Speech in Times of Crisis

Location: Larksfield Place Auditorium

Saturday, August 12 2017 1:30 PM


Stephen Wolgast will focus on the First Amendment to the Consitiution that grants U.S. citizens the right to express their opinions, even in times when society is under stress.  History shows that people in positions of authority sometimes actively work to close off public discussion.

"One of the jobs of the press is to hold a mirror to society," said Wolgast.  "That's why we have to report on the failings of government and institutions, even if it upsets the powers that be.  If the press can motivate people to act when things aren't going well, then by one measure the press has succeeded."

Wolgast has worked in newspaper journalism for 19 years, nine years as an editor at the New York Times and now as assistant professor of journalism and digital media at Kansas State University.  He was part of the newsroom that was awarded the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for reporting on the 9/11 terrorist attacks and their aftermath.

"Free Speech in Times of Crisis" is part of The Pulitzer Project in Kansas:  William Allen White and Freedom of Speech, a joint venture of the Kansas Humanities Council, the Pulitzer Prizes Board, and the Federation of State Humanities Councils in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Pulitzer Prizes.

This event is free and open to the public; it is coming to Larksfield Place through the efforts of Larksfield Place and the Kansas Authors Club, District 5, which meets at Larksfield every second Saturday.  Contact Susan Howell, 708-0714, for more information.