2015 SCSU First Amendment Forum

2015 SCSU First Amendment Forum

Everette Dennis

Everette E. Dennis is the 2015 Defense of the First Amendment Award honoree.

St. Cloud State University’s Department of Mass Communications will honor Dr. Everette E. Dennis with its 2015 Defense of the First Amendment Award on April 24 during the 2015 First Amendment Forum.

Dennis is dean and chief executive officer of Northwestern University’s sole international campus in Doha, Qatar, and established a media research program as part of the World Internet Project that probes freedom and censorship in the Arab world.

The forum will begin at 9 a.m. in Atwood Memorial Center’s Little Theatre on the campus.

This year’s theme is “Under Fire: Media Coverage of Community Outrage.” The daylong program will focus on news coverage of public protests, rallies and confrontational displays, including coverage of policing and security situations that arise in conjunction with those events.

It will feature two panel discussions. The first begins at 9:30 a.m. with a panel of news sources who have experienced such coverage. Guests will include:

  • Cloud Police Chief William “Blair” Anderson;
  • Stephen Philion, professor of sociology and director of the SCSU Research Group on Immigrant Workers in Minnesota;
  • Abdul Kulane, a language and cultural translator who sought election to the St. Cloud City Council and has worked to bring together community members to discuss tensions at one of St. Cloud’s high schools; and
  • Adam Hammer, director of media relations and publications for St. Cloud State’s University.

The second panel begins at 1:30 p.m. and will include several members of Minnesota’s broadcast, digital and print media communities.

Dennis will address the group at 11:15 a.m. via pre-recorded message because of the time difference on the two campuses.

The First Amendment Forum on the St. Cloud State campus dates to the early-1970s, when it was known as Media Day.

Recent recipients of the First Amendment Award include Mark Anfinson, Donald Gemberling, Gary Gilson, Lucy Dalglish, Michael Vadnie, Paul Hanna, John Bodette, Ron Nixon, Reed Anfinson and Rene Kaluza.

For more information contact Rene Kaluza, coordinator, First Amendment Forum, 320-293-8907, nokaluza@stcloudstate.edu

About Everette Dennis

Dennis spent a decade in Minnesota where he was professor and director of graduate studies in the School of Journalism at the University of Minnesota — and came to know St. Cloud State faculty and students. Much of his work on freedom of the press was produced while he taught media law and ethics at the U of M and published 15 of his now more than 45 books.

His books on media freedom include “Media & Democracy,” “The Cost of Libel and Justice:  “Justice Hugo Black and the First Amendment.” He is also co-author of “Understanding Media in the Digital Age” and “Media Debates: Great Issues for the Digital Age.”

He served advanced fellowships at Harvard Law School, Harvard’s Institute of Politics and Nieman Foundation.  His wife, the author and journalist Emily Smith grew up in St. Cloud where her father was chair of the English Department at St. Cloud State.

He also has served as dean and professor at the University of Oregon and founding director of the former Gannett Center for Media Studies at the Columbia University. He was founding president of the American Academy of Berlin, executive director of the International Longevity Center and holder of the Felix E. Larkin Distinguished Professorship at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Business in New York.