‘Or ‘Emet Lecture explores digital journalism with speaker Jameel Jaffer

Digital journalism and how it shapes society will be the topic of discussion at the 2018 ‘Or ‘Emet Lecture, hosted by York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School on Oct. 18.

Jameel Jaffer

Jameel Jaffer

Keynote speaker Jameel Jaffer will deliver the lecture “Digital Journalism and the New Public Square.” He will examine how what we once called the “public square” is now controlled, to a large extent, by social media companies and other corporations.

According to Jaffer, these entities have an immense influence on who can speak, what can be said and what speech is heard. Since these corporations shape public discourse, it should be recognized that research and journalism that focuses on them is of special social value.

Jaffer will discuss how the law affords special protection to journalism and research focused on the government. He will pose the question: “Should the law afford analogous protection to journalism and research focused on the social media platforms?”

Jaffer is the inaugural director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University. He previously served as deputy legal director at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), where he oversaw the organization’s work on free speech, privacy, technology, national security and international human rights.

He has argued civil liberties cases in multiple appeals courts as well as the U.S. Supreme Court and has testified before federal agencies and the U.S. Congress.

Jaffer also played a major part in the ACLU’s decision to take on the representation of Edward Snowden. His recent writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Guardian and the Yale Law Journal Forum.

The ‘Or ‘Emet Fund was established in 1976 to promote the study of law in the broadest sense. The fund seeks to promote through public discussion, research and scholarly writing, public and professional appreciation of the significance of religion, ethics, culture and history in the development of the legal system.

“‘Or ‘Emet” means the light of truth. In 2010, the Nathanson Centre pooled its resources with the ‘Or ‘Emet Fund to ensure the lecture would be delivered on an annual basis. As a result, the themes explored in the lecture are now also connected to the mandate of the centre.

To RSVP, visit webform.osgoode.yorku.ca/view.php?id=321528.

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