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Communication prof to present session on presidential privacy

The former city editor of The Leaf-Chronicle and current faculty member in the Austin Peay State University Department of Communication will present the next session of APSUs 2008-09 Library Athenaeum program.

Dr. Patricia Ferrier, assistant professor of communication, will present Presidential Privacy in the Press at 2 today in Woodward Library. Students are encouraged to attend. The event is free and open to the public.
The former city editor of The Leaf-Chronicle and current faculty member in the Austin Peay State University Department of Communication will present the next session of APSU's 2008-09 Library Athenaeum program.

Dr. Patricia Ferrier, assistant professor of communication, will present “Presidential Privacy in the Press” at 2 today in Woodward Library. Students are encouraged to attend. The event is free and open to the public.

The topic of privacy in the press originated from Ferrier's professional career in journalism, but the subject gained greater significance when she began researching an idea for her dissertation.

“When I was city editor, I was surprised how many of the calls were from angry people who said the newspaper had invaded their privacy by publishing true information, such as property transfers, building permits, arrests, etc.,” Ferrier said. “When I was choosing the topic for my Ph.D. dissertation, I did some research into privacy and nearly every article I read mentioned a Harvard Law Review article written in 1890 by Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis.

“As a journalist, I wanted to know what provoked those two men to write such an article. That led me to ask whether privacy is a right and, if it is, is it a right that public people — particularly the president of the United States -- can claim?”

Ferrier said she hopes the presentation will shed new light on the issue of privacy.

“I hope that people who might attend the session will decide that, although ‘invasion of privacy' is a perennial claim and certainly one that has been made in the 2008 campaign, it actually has been around for a while — especially in terms of presidents and other public people,” she said.

Ferrier earned a Ph.D. from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Ohio University, in 2004. Both her bachelor's and master's degrees are from APSU. She previously was an instructor of journalism and student publications manager at the University of Southern Indiana, Evansville.

Ferrier was the first scholar in Ohio University's Ph.D. program in Journalism Ethics through the Institute for Applied and Professional Ethics, E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She was a member of the inaugural class of the First Amendment Institute, sponsored in 2004 by the Freedom Forum First Amendment Center, Vanderbilt University. She participated in the 2005 Institute for Journalism Excellence, the American Society of Newspaper Editors' summer program for educators.

Having presented at professional conferences, Ferrier is a member of the Indiana Collegiate Press Association Board of Directors, Society of Professional Journalists, Investigative Reporters and Editors, College Media Advisers and Student Press Law Center.

The Library Athenaeum series, launched in 2007, has three purposes:
• To conduct events that promote and enhance the intellectual life of the University and the region.
• To reach out to students and make connections with them in places other than the classroom.
• To portray the library as a place to share, explore, discuss and think about ideas and events.

The Library Athenaeum will consist of speeches or presentations, panel discussions, debates, readings and performances. Faculty, staff and students are invited to submit proposals for future presentations. Proposal forms and additional information can be found on the Library Athenaeum Web site at http://library.apsu.edu/events/athenaeum.htm.

For more information about the Library Athenaeum series, contact Joe Weber, director of library services at APSU, by telephone at 221-7613 or by e-mail at weberj@apsu.edu. -- Melony Shemberger