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2021 Media Law Conference Plenary Videos

We are very pleased to make available to our membership videos of the five plenary sessions which were presented at the Virginia Media Law Conference, as well as the First Amendment Leadership Award presentation to Lee Levine and Kurt Wimmer (posthumously).


This set of videos has been approved for six hours of general legal education in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, and Texas. Applications are pending in California and Washington. (NY and other states grant reciprocity for approved FL programs. Please check your local rules.)  

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Why Doesn’t the Public Trust the Media? A New Survey Suggests It’s Because They Don’t Understand Journalists’ Mission, a very timely and lively discussion of the poor public perception of the media, and what can be done about it, featuring Tom Rosenstiel of the American Press Institute (pictured); new Washington Post Executive Editor Sally Buzbee; Maribel Perez Wadsworth, President News at Gannett; and media critic Erik Wemple of the Washington Post; moderated by Barbara Wall

The Attack of the Supreme Court on Times v. Sullivan, discussing whether Justices Thomas and Gorsuch’s recent dissents are warranted, if the votes are there to reconsider Sullivan, and whether the Rosenbloom standard might be a reasonable solution, starring Prof. RonNell Andersen, U. of Utah Law School; Tom Hentoff, Williams & Connolly; Prof. David Logan Roger Williams School of Law (cited in Justice Gorsuch’s dissent); Liz McNamara, Davis Wright Tremaine; Prof. Jonathan Turley, George Washington Law School; and moderated by Amy Howe, SCOTUSblog

The 50th Anniversary of the Pentagon Papers, a riveting retrospective featuring three Times journalists who actually worked on the historic series 50 years ago, Fox Butterfield, Linda Amster and Hedrick Smith, as well as Janny Scott, who wrote the obituary of Neil Sheehan, to whom the Papers were leaked, and a sidebar on his relationship with source Daniel Ellsberg

Bills to amend Section 230, Disinformation and Social Media Content Moderation, a searching interview by MLRC Deputy Director Jeff Hermes of Anna Edgerton, Bloomberg DC tech reporter

The Dominion and Smartmatic Libel Cases v. Fox News, Rudy Giuliani, Sydney Powell, et. al., a thorough and nuanced discussion of the republication, neutral reportage and fair issues central to these cases which have, quite fascinatingly, split the media bar’s allegiances, with an all-star cast of Floyd Abrams, Cahill Gordon; Tom Clare, plaintiffs’ attorney in a number of these cases, Clare Locke; Lee Levine, Ballard Spahr (retired); Prof. Mary Rose Papandrea, UNC Law School; and moderated by MLRC Deputy Director Dave Heller

The First Amendment Leadership Award Presentation featuring Jim McLaughlin, Washington Post, presenting the award to Stephanie Wimmer, Kurt’s widow, and her talk, and Barbara Wall presenting the award to Lee Levine, and his response