FAC panel Dec. 6 to discuss info-glut

The informational sessions are all lined up for the 141st Annual Winter Meeting of the California Press Foundation, coming up Dec. 6-7 in San Francisco.

Just added is the Thursday afternoon presentation, produced by the First Amendment Coalition, “What Happened to The ‘Golden Age of Free Speech’?”

Here’s the description: The Internet was supposed to usher in a “Golden Age” of free expression. In this new digital world, public debate would flourish and anyone, anywhere could reach an audience of millions, unburdened by government censorship or traditional media gatekeepers. Some of these heady predictions have come true – but as old barriers to expression have fallen, a whole new set of problems has emerged. Today, we face a glut of information, policing of speech by social media companies, as well as attacks from trolls, bots and well-financed bad actors that make it hard to determine what’s real and what’s false.

Join us for a conversation that explores how to promote and protect free expression in this environment. What role should the new “gatekeepers”—Google, Twitter and Facebook—play? What ways can people sort through the chaos to find reliable information?

How can we protect the rights and values guaranteed by the First Amendment in an era when public speech has essentially become privatized?

The FAC session is followed by cocktails and a performance by the Irish Newsboys.

The Cal Press evening program then follows. Jim Boren, executive director of the new Fresno State Institute for Media and Public Trust, will present “From Watergate to Fake News: How the media lost their luster, and why they must come to grips with the fact that so many Americans hate the news business.”

Boren, a former VP and executive editor of The Fresno Bee, will return to moderate the Friday luncheon discussion “How Newsrooms Serve Readers in Today’s Media Environment.”

Panelists will be Audrey Cooper, editor in chief, San Francisco Chronicle; Lauren Gustus, editor, The Sacramento Bee, and regional editor, McClatchy Co.; and David Lesher, editor and CEO, CALmatters.

The Winter Meeting also will include presentation of Cal Press’ annual awards: Justus Craemer Newspaper Executive of the Year, Philip N. McCombs Achievement Award, Mark Twain Award, Jack Bates Award for distinguished service to the California Press, and two inductions into the California Newspaper Hall of Fame.

FAC presents its Free Speech & Open Government Award at the Cal Press event. Nominations are still being sought.

Registration is now open for the Winter Meeting. Please plan to join us.

A limited number of discounted hotel rooms ($213 per night Standard, $243 per night Deluxe, single or double occupancy) are available to Cal Press attendees at the Marines’ Memorial Club & Hotel. Please call 1/800-5-MARINE (800/562-7463) and ask for the CAL PRESS 2018 room block code in order to receive the group rate. In addition, reservation requests may also be made via e-mail to reservations@marineclub.com or sent via fax to (415) 441-3649.

For more about the California Press Foundation, and how to join, please visit cal-press.org.