For more than 30 years, the Kansas City Media and the Law Seminar has been at the forefront of important discussions in the media bar. As this year’s committee chair, I may be a bit biased, but I think the focus of the seminar coming up on May 3-4 is one of the most important topics we have tackled to date: The impact of technology, culture, and politics on media freedoms. There’s no doubt that our media and political climate has changed dramatically over the past few years, and technology continues to push the envelope as laws struggle to keep up. It’s fascinating to think that at least half of this year’s panels involve topics that didn’t even exist when this seminar started — things like “social media,” “fake news,” and “Tweets.”
Much of this year’s seminar will focus on how statutes and case law designed for newspapers and TV can be applied to blogs, Tweets, and Facebook. We’ll also look at some of the harrowing attacks on free speech that exist in today’s polarized climate, including online death threats, trespassing, damage to equipment, and even physical harm. And we’ll look at how some of the most robust attacks on the press are coming from the government. It’s sure to be a memorable seminar, and I encourage everyone to attend.
*Vedder Price is a sponsor of this year’s seminar. Bryan Clark is a co-chair of the planning committee. He and Vedder Price shareholder Blaine Kimrey have a combined 30 years of involvement with the seminar.