On April 12, Suffolk University Law School is bringing together a group of experts to discuss the relationship between the press and democratic governance, the role of investigative journalism in facilitating reform and exposing abuses of power, and the distinct role of the Press Clause within the broader structure of the Constitution.

The discussion, “Defending Democracy? Professional Journalism in an Age of Distrust,” is part of the Masterman Lecture Series.

Thursday, April 12, 2018
Suffolk Law, Sargent Hall
Fifth Floor Commons |
Start time: 2 p.m.


Florence George Graves is founding director of The Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, the first independent investigative reporting center based at a university. Reporting for the Washington Post, she broke the Sen. Bob Packwood sexual misconduct story. Her work has led to congressional hearings, government investigations, passage of state and federal laws, public/corporate policy reforms and the exoneration of two wrongfully convicted men. Graves founded Common Cause Magazine, which won the National Magazine Award for General Excellence.

Thomas (Tom) Patterson is Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. His most recent book is Informing the News (Vintage, 2013). A previous book, The Vanishing Voter (Knopf, 2003), examined the causes of declining electoral participation. His book on the media's political role, Out of Order (Knopf, 1993), received the American Political Science Association's Graber Award for best book in political communication of that decade.

Sonja West is the Otis Brumby Distinguished Professor of First Amendment Law at the University of Georgia School of Law. Her research focuses on the First Amendment and the U.S. Supreme Court. She is a former journalist and practiced media law in Los Angeles.

Please click here to RSVP.
No charge for admission.

About the Masterman Speaker Series
Some of the most polarizing and provocative issues of our time involve matters rooted in the First Amendment. Edward I. Masterman, JD '50, LLD '90 and his wife Sydell, established the Masterman Speaker Series on the First Amendment and the Fourth Estate to provide a forum for robust debate and exchange of ideas on freedom of the press and its attendant responsibilities. The Speaker Series brings together representatives from government, the legal profession, and the press for the purposes of informing, educating, and engaging those who care deeply about these issues.