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Center for Policy Studies

Public Affairs Discussion Group

Press Freedom and the Edward Snowden Affair

Jim Sheeler, M.A. - Shirley Wormser Professor of Journalism and Media Writing at Case Western Reserve University
Friday November 1, 2013
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Dampeer Room
Kelvin Smith Library
Case Western Reserve University

Dear Colleagues:

It's a bit scary when, compared to the U.S. government, Vladimir Putin starts looking like a defender of freedom of information.

"In the Obama administration's Washington," writes former Washington Post executive editor Leonard Downie Jr., "government officials are increasingly afraid to talk to the press. Those suspected of discussing with reporters anything the government has classified as secret are subject to investigation, including lie-detector tests and scrutiny of their telephone and e-mail records."

In the U.K., meanwhile, the Guardian's Editor was ordered to return or destroy all material related to its reporting on the NSA surveillance program that Snowden revealed. The Guardian destroyed hard drives in the presence of British Intelligence agents – but maintains documents in other countries. Meanwhile Snowden is stuck in Moscow, after the U.S. government pressured all other countries not to accept him.

The NSA's surveillance may be less of a concern than the attempts to intimidate journalists and sources. Join Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Jim Sheeler to discuss these and other issues that have been highlighted by the Snowden affair

All best regards,
Joe White
Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy and Director, Center for Policy Studies

About Our Guest

As a young boy, reading late at night with a flashlight under the covers, Jim Sheeler reveled in stories of darkness and light. As a journalist and teacher, he continues to search for stories in the shadows, revealing everyday philosophy and wisdom hidden in people and places that are too often overlooked. As a young newspaper reporter, Jim Sheeler specialized in narrative obituaries of people whose names had never before appeared in the newspaper, but whose stories were often more fascinating than any celebrity or politician. Those lives and the lessons they taught (collected in his first book, Obit), largely guided his coverage of the war in Iraq, which began in 2003 with the first casualty from Colorado and continued as he followed a U.S. Marine Casualty Assistance Calls Officer and the families he touched while saddled with one of the most difficult duties in the military. That coverage led to a 12,000 word newspaper story that won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing, and later a book, Final Salute, which was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award in nonfiction. As the Shirley Wormser Professor of Journalism and Media Writing Jim Sheeler teaches his students to find hidden stories. In that search, he teaches his students to use traditional reporting tools – a pen, a notebook and heaps of curiosity - but his classes also use digital techniques including audio, video and still photography on the Web. Whichever medium they choose for publication, students' work is expected to remain rooted in a simple request that hasn't changed for centuries: tell me a story.

Where We Meet

The Friday Public Affairs Lunch convenes each Friday when classes are in session, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. We usually meet in the Dampeer Room of Kelvin Smith Library. The Dampeer Room is on the second floor of the library. If you get off the elevators, turn right, pass the first bank of tables, and turn right again. Occasionally we need to use a different room; that will always be announced in the weekly e-mails.

Parking Possibilities

The most convenient parking is the lot underneath Severance Hall. We regret that it is not free. From that lot there is an elevator up to street level (labeled as for the Thwing Center); it is less than 50 yards from that exit to the library entrance. You can get from the Severance garage to the library without going outside. Near the entry gates - just to the right if you were driving out - there is a door into a corridor. Walk down the corridor and there will be another door. Beyond that door you'll find the entrance to an elevator which goes up to an entrance right inside the doors to Kelvin Smith Library.

Friday Lunch Upcoming Topics and Speakers:

November 8: Is It or Is It Not Cancer? Is That the Question? With Nathan A. Berger, Distinguished University Professor and Director, Center for Science, Health and Society.

November 15: The Opportunity Corridor and Beyond: Transportation Issues in University Circle. With Debbie Berry, Vice President of Development, University Circle Inc.

November 22: Economic Effects of Health Care Reform: The Massachusetts Experience. With Mark Votruba, Associate Professor of Economics.

November 29 : No Session - Thanksgiving Break

December 6: TBA
October 28, 2013

If you would like to reply, submit items for inclusion, or not receive this weekly e-mail please send a notice to:

Upcoming Events

Terry v. Ohio – Fifty Years of Pat Downs and Suppression Hearings

Yuri R. Linetsky, J.D., Senior Instructor, CWRU School of Law, Bob Meader, J.D., Adjunct College Professor and Police Commander, R. Kelly Hamilton, J.D., College Professor and Retired Sergeant Columbus Ohio Division of Police, Lewis Katz, J.D., John C. Hutchins Professor CWRU School of Law, Timothy McGinty, J.D., Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, Ian Friedman, J.D., Criminal defense attorney, Friedman and Frey, Thursday, October 31, 2013, 8:30 a.m - 3:30 p.m., Moot Courtroom (A59), CWRU School of Law, 11075 East Boulevard, Cleveland, OH 44106-7148. Sponsored by the CWRU School of Law. Co-sponsor Bryant & Stratton College – Law Enforcement Division.

Who was Detective Marty McFadden and how did his legal tactics on Halloween 1963 forever change the course of law enforcement in the United States? Did you know that the "Terry Stop" came within four bullets of a different name? If a law enforcement officer stops a suspect in January are the legal tactics different from July? Find out the answer to these questions and more as two law enforcement professionals and attorneys with thousands of Terry Stops of experience unveil case law of old and new. This class is most often called "entertaining training" as the instructors will guide the law enforcement professional and attorneys through the evolution of Terry Stops up to and including the newest criminal weapons of the 21st Century.

Interpreting Capitalism Film Series: Garbage Dreams

Introduction to the film by Pete W. Moore, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Political Science at Case Western Reserve University, Monday November 11, 2013, 6:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M., Wolstein Building Auditorium - 2103 Cornell Rd., Cleveland OH 44106. Sponsored by the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities.

On the outskirts of Cairo lies the world's largest garbage village, home to 60,000 Zaballeen--Arabic for garbage people. The Zaballeen have survived for centuries by recycling Cairo's waste. Following the international trend to privatize services, however, Cairo sold contracts to corporations to pick up the city's garbage. As these foreign companies came in and began carting garbage to nearby landfills, the Zaballeen watched their way of life disappearing. This extraordinary film documents--with often surprising humor--the daily struggles, frustrations, and friendship of three teenage boys born into the Zaballeen trash trade. Sponsored by the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities

November 2013






































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