Siobhain Butterworth, like all newspaper ombudsmen, has the pretty sweet job of telling everybody when her employer messes up. As the readers' editor at London's The Guardian, she investigates complaints from the paper's faithful readers, then opines about and examines them for her amusing weekly column. From week to week, depending on what readers are saying about the paper, she writes about grammatical gaffes, whether bloggers need to be held accountable, and protecting both privacy and the free press. But when Butterworth, who is also a lawyer, comes to the U's journalism school this week, she'll be focusing on legal issues journalists tend to get embroiled in. The title of her lecture is "Raise Your Hand If You're a Journalist: Does Responsible Reporting Need a Legal Defense?" Her work offering legal advice to The Guardian and advocating for readers puts her in a unique position to see journalism and the law from both sides. And given the number of journalists arrested and physically harmed during the RNC, let's hope officers from the Minneapolis and St. Paul police departments decide to show up and learn (after the fact, sadly) about why it is wrong to arrest journalists who are doing their job.
Mon., Oct. 6, 7 p.m., 2008