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University Relations

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March 15, 2006
Contact: Ann Fahrbach Branden, Continuing Education, (785) 864-7889.

Universal Press Syndicate editor will speak at 19th annual media law seminar

LAWRENCE — You can imagine how representing such controversial cartoonists as Garry Trudeau, Pat Oliphant and Aaron McGruder could leave you a little shell-shocked.

As the editor and executive vice president of Universal Press Syndicate, Lee Salem has more than one story to tell about dodging legal bullets while working more than 20 years with purveyors of provocative opinion.

Salem will share his stories in a luncheon presentation, “Cartoons and Comments: Observations from the Battleground of Opinion,” during the 19th Annual Media and the Law Seminar on April 7 at The InterContinental Kansas City at the Plaza (formerly The Fairmont) in Kansas City, Mo.

In addition to discussing his experiences navigating the minefield of his writers’ and artists’ opinions and the flak from the people they offend, Salem will share samples of some of his cartoonists’ work in the past year.

Salem’s presentation is part of the seminar’s “Media and Mayhem: The BTK Investigation as a First Amendment Case Study.”

The conference’s five expert panel discussions will explore how the BTK case has woven itself into the fabric of the First Amendment. Topics include: the risks of reporting on publicity-hungry perpetrators, be they serial killers or international terrorists; First Amendment considerations relating to the media’s relationship with government officials, from warm and cozy to frozen out; and the government’s power to subpoena journalists as witnesses. Each panel discussion will be followed by a 10-minute session on ethics related to the panel’s topic.

The seminar, planned by the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association Media Law Committee, regularly draws about 300 members of the legal and journalism professions from throughout the country.

Continuing legal education will be available for Kansas and Missouri lawyers. Lawyers from other states will be assisted in obtaining CLE units in their states. The Missouri CLE Commission and the Kansas CLE Commission have approved seven credit hours, including one hour of ethics.

The seminar is sponsored by the University of Kansas School of Law; the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association Media Law Committee; the American Bar Association TIPS Media, Privacy, and Defamation Law Committee; and University of Kansas Continuing Education. Contributors are Media/Professional Insurance, the Kansas City Star and First Media Insurance Specialists Inc.

For complete details and registration, contact KU Continuing Education at (785) 864-5823 or or visit


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