Who is a journalist? What is “responsible journalism?” How do media law and ethics intersect? Is self-regulation effective – or even possible – in the digital age? Siobhain Butterworth, readers’ editor for The Guardian in London, will consider these and other questions when she presents the 2008 Silha Lecture, “Raise Your Hand if You’re a Journalist: Does Responsible Reporting Need a Legal Defense?” on Oct. 6, 2008, at Cowles Auditorium at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
As the readers’ editor, or internal ombudsman, for The Guardian, Butterworth investigates and responds to readers’ questions and complaints about the print and online editions of the newspaper from a position of independence. She writes a weekly commentary and considers items for the daily “Corrections and Clarifications” column. Before becoming readers’ editor in April 2007, Butterworth served as Legal Director for Guardian News & Media, publisher of The Guardian and its sister Sunday paper, The Observer. She qualified as a solicitor (attorney) in 1991, and was in private practice before joining Guardian News & Media in 1997.
The Guardian, founded in 1821, is an independent newspaper owned by the Scott Trust since 1936. Its guiding principle, as stated by former editor CP Scott, is: “Comment is free, but facts are sacred. The voice of opponents no less than that of friends has a right to be heard.” The innovative Guardian Unlimited network of websites was launched in January 1999, and is the second-largest news destination in the United Kingdom after BBC News Online. More than four million visitors from the United States log on each month.
The Silha Lecture begins at 7:00 p.m. in the Cowles Auditorium room at the Hubert H. Humphrey Center on the West Bank Campus of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. The presentation will include an opportunity for audience Q&A. The event is free and open to the public. No reservations or tickets are required. Light refreshments will be served.
The Silha Center is based at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota. Silha Center activities, including the annual Lecture, are made possible by a generous endowment from the late Otto Silha and his wife, Helen.
For further information, please contact the Silha Center at 612-625-3421 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.silha.umn.edu.
– Sara Cannon
Silha Center Staff