Call for Papers:
RECLAIMING THE FIRST AMENDMENT: A CONFERENCE ON CONSTITUTIONAL THEORIES OF MEDIA REFORM
2007 will mark the 40th anniversary of Jerome Barron’s Harvard Law Review article, “Access to the Press – A
New First Amendment Right.” Although First Amendment theories of access, like First Amendment arguments for government regulation of the mass media to ensure a diversity of viewpoints, have had a mixed reception in the courts, there is growing concern today that consolidated media ownership presents a serious challenge to democracy.
To commemorate the publication and reinvigorate legal and policy work on the First Amendment as a basis
for media access and structural reform, Hofstra Law School, along with the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU
School of Law, is organizing a one-day conference on Jan. 19, 2007, titled Reclaiming the First Amendment: A
Conference on Constitutional Theories of Media Reform. The major papers from the conference will be
published in a symposium issue of the Hofstra Law Review.
The conference will be structured around four panels that will consist of one keynote speaker, one
responder, and two additional presentations. We are pleased that four distinguished scholars have agreed to
join us as keynoters: C. Edwin Baker of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Robert McChesney of the
University of Illinois, Lili Levi of the University of Miami Law School, and Ellen Goodman of Rutgers Law
School. Jerome Barron will be the luncheon speaker.
Papers may address any aspect of the First Amendment and the mass media, including cable, print,
broadcasting, and the Internet. For example:
The Supreme Court noted 62 years ago that the First Amendment ârests on the assumption that the widest possible dissemination of information from diverse and antagonistic sources is essential to the welfare of the public.â? How might this principle be harnessed to address contemporary concerns?
ô ? Is the âscarcityâ? rationale still viable? Can it form the basis for structural regulation beyond broadcasting?
ô ? Are there other theories to support a First Amendment right to diverse ownership or that provide a basis for structural regulation?
ô ? How strong is the First Amendment argument for resisting regulation?
ô ? What First Amendment standards should apply to content-neutral, content-based, and viewpoint-based media regulation?
ô ? What relevance does Barronâs article have for media reform today?
ô ? What impact do changes in communications technologies have on issues of access and how should the law respond?
This list is by no means exclusive. Papers may be of any length but should further the conference goal of
proposing innovative policy and legal approaches, and be suitable for law review publication.
We invite paper proposals of 750-1,000 words, to be submitted in electronic form to Dawn.M.Marzella@Hofstra.edu by April 1, 2006. Decisions will be made by May 1, and the authors selected
will be invited to participate as panelists. Completed papers will be due November 1, 2006.
For further information, contact:
Professor Eric M. Freedman, Hofstra Law School, LAWEMF@Hofstra.edu, tel. 516-463-5167
or Marjorie Heins, Brennan Center for Justice, Marjorie.Heins@NYU.edu, tel. 212-992-8847