30th annual Silha lecture set for Monday

The 30th annual Silha lecture at the University of Minnesota is set for 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19, at the Coffman Memorial Union Theatre.

Admission is free and open to the public. The Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law sponsors the annual event.

This year’s lecture, “Clear and Present Danger: Covering National Security Issues in the Post-9/11 World” will feature Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist James Risen and media attorney Joel Kurtzberg.

Risen is an investigative reporter for The New York Times whose work focuses on national security and intelligence issues. He has won two Pulitzer Prizes. The first was for his work in 2001 as part of The New York Times reporting team covering the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The second was for his reporting with Eric Lichtblau in 2006 that revealed the National Security Administration’s illegal wiretapping program. In 2006, Risen published State of War, which examined the George W. Bush administration’s U.S. intelligence operations after the September 11 attacks. Federal prosecutors later subpoenaed Risen, demanding that he reveal his confidential source for specific information disclosed in State of War. Risen argued that he had a First Amendment right to protect his source and refused to testify after a federal circuit court of appeals decision ordered that he must. Despite the threat of being jailed, Risen never revealed his source during the years-long battle the federal government fought in pursuing his testimony.

Kurtzberg is a partner at the law firm Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP in New York who focuses on general commercial litigation. Kurtzberg has extensive experience in legal issues related to media organizations and the First Amendment. He also teaches a mass media law course as an adjunct professor at Brooklyn Law School as well as a course on Internet law as an adjunct professor at Fordham University School of Law. Kurtzberg formerly served as the New York State Bar Association’s chair of the Media Law Committee and was an editor of the American Bar Association’s First Amendment and Media Litigation Committee Newsletter. Kurtzberg graduated from Harvard Law School in 1996 and is admitted to the bar in New York.