Posted by: vanhoff | March 26, 2008

Al Gore will speak at MTSU

Al Gore will be speaking to Middle Tennessee State University students and faculty this Thursday at the Keathley University Center. Located 30 minutes from Nashville, MTSU is excited about hosting Al Gore.

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Al Gore will be joined by speakers such as Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales, author Cass Sunstein, First Amendment advocate John Seigenthaler and The New York Times’ Jonathan Landman March 27 at MTSU to discuss the First Amendment and the Internet.

“Accuracy, Privacy and the World Wide Web: The First Amendment and the Internet” is free and open to the public. The event, sponsored by MTSU’s John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies, will be held in the Keathley University Center Theater.

“I am thrilled that Al Gore will be able to join us in this very important discussion about the Internet,” said Beverly Keel, director of the Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence. “The Internet is the new century’s wild, wild West, an ever-changing world not bound by laws that apply to conventional broadcast and print media. We will examine the current Internet landscape, its evolution and effect on public and private figures. We will discuss how traditional concepts of the First Amendment have transitioned into the cyber age of blogs, YouTube and chat rooms.”

At 9:45 a.m., the daylong event will begin with Cass Sunstein, author of 2.0. He will discuss the Internet’s effect on democracy and self-government.

At 10:25 a.m., veteran journalist John Seigenthaler will reveal his personal experiences with Wikipedia in “The Wonderful World of Wikipedia: Sinbad, Fuzzy Zoeller, Ann Coulter and Me.”

At 11:25 a.m., Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales will discuss “The Future of Free Culture: Challenges, Changes, and Opportunities.”

At 1 p.m., former Vice President Gore, a visiting distinguished professor at MTSU, will share his observations about the Internet. As both an early and leading proponent of the Internet and frequent subject of Internet blogs and news reports, he has a unique perspective on this technology.

At 1:45 p.m., Gore will be joined by Wales and Seigenthaler for an hourlong roundtable discussion.

At 4:20 p.m., a panel discussion will address bloggers, online defamation and the Internet’s impact on mainstream journalism. The panelists are Sunstein; Robert Cox, president, Media Bloggers Association; Dr. Karen B. Dunlap, president of The Poynter Institute; Landman, deputy managing editor of The New York Times; and attorney Charles Sizemore, who represents a couple who filed a lawsuit against bloggers for libel and invasion of privacy.

At 6 p.m., the “Frontline” documentary “Growing Up Online” will be shown. The location of this screening will be announced soon. It will be followed by “What Parents Should Know About the Internet,” a panel featuring educators (including Anna Benson of Metro Nashville Public Schools) and students that will be moderated by Dr. Becky Alexander, MTSU assistant professor of education.

For more information, contact Beverly Keel at 615-898-5150 or


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