LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 13, 2023) — The Bluegrass Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) will host First Amendment attorney Michael Abate for a discussion about current legislation, court decisions, lawsuits and attorney-general opinions and rulings about open government 7 p.m. Thursday, March 16, in the Brockman Senate Chamber in the University of Kentucky Gatton Student Center.
Abate, who represents the interests of the Kentucky Press Association, is a partner in the Louisville firm of Kaplan Johnson Abate & Bird. He leads a team of lawyers who advise news media members across Kentucky by way of a KPA hotline when potential legal issues arise. They also testify before legislative committees considering bills that affect not just the media industry but the public at large.
SPJ has long promoted March 16 as Freedom of Information Day because it is the birthday of James Madison, chief author of the First Amendment. Freedom of Information Day is a highlight of Sunshine Week, March 12-18, sponsored by SPJ and the News Leaders Association. The town hall is co-sponsored by UK’s Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues.
The town hall is open to the public and will include questions from the audience. Parking in the student center lot and nearby lots will be available at $2 per hour.
As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.
In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.