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Deadline for Oct. 23 News Law seminar is noon Thursday

Newspapers can request invoicing for staff members’ attendance

MORGANTOWN — The registration deadline for the  “News Law Training”  seminar being hosted by West Virginia University on noon on Thursday, Oct. 17.

Don Smith, executive director of the West Virginia Press Association, said that WVPA member newspapers have the option of registering by telephone or email with the WVPA — as opposed to the online website (To register on line, visit https://wvpress.wpengine.com/newslaw/) —  and requesting an invoice so they can pay by check for all employees attending the seminar. “Several newspapers have said that system works better for their accounting departments,” Smith explained, “so we made that option available.”

Registration after Thursday is not guaranteed.

“With the event open to journalists in both the broadcast and print fields, students, bloggers and anyone with a need to know or interest in news law, the interest has been very good, Smith said,noting that the affordable cost, one-day format and limited seating has prompted the early registrations.

Sponsored by the West Virginia University School of Journalism, WVU School of Law and West Virginia Press Association, the four workshops provide key information about the following topics:

  • Defamation law, avoiding lawsuits and handling complaints
  • Privacy considerations for newspeople
  • How to use FOIA and other laws to access government
  • Special legal issues for online and social media
  • Avoiding and handling subpoenas

The training is Wednesday, Oct. 23, from 10 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. in Martin Hall, 1511 University Ave., on WVU’s downtown campus. The cost is $10 per person for WVPA member organizations and WVU students; $15 for all others. That cost includes lunch and continental breakfast.

The deadline for registration is noon, Thursday, Oct. 17; however, Smith said he expects the workshops to fill before that date. All registration must be paid in advance and space is limited.

“Professor Tom Stewart, who organized this training, wanted to keep it affordable and convenient. I think it’s both,” Smith said.

To register, visit https://wvpress.wpengine.com/newslaw/

Anyone with questions, should contact Smith at [email protected] or 304-342-1011, ext. 160.

Smith said the panel of experts for the workshop also helps registration. “I’ve been in the newspaper industry for 25 years, and I know I’m excited to attend the workshops and hear these presentations. There’s an incredible collection of knowledge.”

Presenters include:

Robert M. Bastress Jr. is the John W. Fisher II Professor of Law at the West Virginia University College of Law, where he has taught since 1978. Bastress’s teaching and scholarly interests have concentrated on constitutional law, employment law and local government law. He is author of The West Virginia Constitution: A Reference Guide (Greenwood Press 1995), with a forthcoming second edition to be published by the Oxford University Press, along with numerous articles, course materials and presentations.

Patrick McGinley is the Judge Charles H. Haden II Professor of Law at West Virginia University. He is the co-author of the Open Government Guide: Access to Public Records and Meetings in West Virginia published by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. McGinley has served as a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists’ First Amendment Task Force, has taught courses in public access to government information and has litigated West Virginia FOIA cases on behalf of West Virginia newspapers and the Associated Press.

Sean McGinley is a member of DiTrapano Barrett DiPiero McGinley & Simmons, PLLC, regularly ranked as a Tier 1 Law Firm by U.S. News-Best Lawyers.  For two decades he has represented journalists and media companies in First Amendment reporters’ privilege matters as well as in FOIA and defamation cases. He successfully has prosecuted many appeals before the Supreme Court of West Virginia. McGinley has received the highest peer rating given by Martindale-Hubbell, which provides peer reviews of lawyers for consumers and professionals. He regularly presents lectures to media organizations on First Amendment and defamation issues.

Ken Ward Jr., a reporter for The Charleston Gazette, is a native of Mineral County and a graduate of West Virginia University. Since starting at the Gazette in 1991, Ward, 45, has received numerous regional and national reporting awards for his coverage of strip mining, pulp mills, timbering and medical waste incinerators. He is a three-time winner of the Scripps Howard Foundation’s Edward Jr. Meeman Award for Environmental Reporting, received the prestigious Livingston Award for Young Journalists, and an Investigative Reporters and Editors medal.


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