Free Speech Week Events

opening event Free Speech Week.jpg

Portland Media Center, along with the New England First Amendment Coalition, WMPG, and the Maine First Amendment Museum, will be hosting an opening event at 4:00 pm on Tuesday, October 23rd, at the First Amendment Museum at the Gannett House in Augusta. This will be a casual open house and social with four rooms dedicated to key topics; Political Speech, Student Speech, Online Speech and Hate Speech, facilitated by experts on the topics. Light refreshments will be included. A special feature of the event will be Robert Shetterly’s Portraits of Americans Who Tell the Truth.

There will also be a closing event on Saturday, October 27th, beginning at 2:00 pm in Studio 516 at the Portland Media Center. As part of its Free Speech Week celebration later this month, a group of constitutional advocates and media organizations are hosting a panel discussion to explore the future of the First Amendment. This will be a round table format with audience, and the public is invited!

First Amendment, Journalism Speakers Announced for Free Speech Week Panel Discussion in Portland at the Portland Media Center.

ELLEN ALDERMAN, Attorney and Author | Alderman is a former entertainment attorney who has written extensively about civil rights. She is the co-author, with Caroline Kennedy, of two books about the Constitution, "In Our Defense: The Bill of Rights in Action" and "The Right to Privacy," as well as the author of articles on a variety of civil rights topics. She most recently worked as a Voter Protection Attorney in Maine and is currently the head of the Maine State Suffrage Centennial Commemoration.

CHET LUNNER, Former Journalist, Political Consultant | A former national news correspondent and retired federal executive, Lunner has a 360-degree perspective on the First Amendment from both sides of the camera. He has been a Maine newspaper editor, U.S. Congressional chief of staff, USA Today national news correspondent, Cabinet-level press secretary, and political campaign manager. As a reporter, he covered Capitol Hill, the White House, NASA, the Pentagon and breaking news nationwide. As a press secretary he coordinated media relations, press releases, news conferences, and speeches including strategic response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

DANIEL PANICI, Professor at University of Southern Maine| Panici primarily teaches mass media and mass communication courses. He has published numerous articles on a wide variety of mass communication topics including college radio and television, new media use in classroom, media education, service learning, and writing strategies for media. Panici also serves on the Editorial Board for the journal Mass Communication and Society and reviews manuscripts for the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media.

BENJAMIN S. PIPER, Attorney at Preti Flaherty LLP | Piper's media practice includes representation of the news media in First Amendment, defamation and privacy, and freedom of information matters. Before joining Preti Flaherty, Piper served as law clerk to the Honorable John A. Woodcock, Jr. at the United States District Court, District of Maine. While in law school at the University of Wisconsin Law School, he served as Managing Editor of the Wisconsin International Law Journal.

MATTHEW STORIN, Former Journalist and Editor (moderator) | Storin was editor of The Boston Globe from 1992 to 2001. He began his journalism career at the Daily News in Springfield, Mass., and later joined the Globe's newsroom, covering Congress and the White House and serving as city editor and Asian bureau chief during his first 16 years at the newspaper. He also worked at U.S. News and World Report, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Maine Times. He now lives in Camden, Maine.

During Free Speech Week, Portland Media Center and WMPG will be airing interviews with various Maine residents about what free speech means to them and how the First Amendment right can best be exercised.

For more information: or 202-775-2900 ext 201, or follow the link below.