Lorri Davis and I to speak about media and the WM3 at The University of Memphis on Mar. 24

Lorri Davis and I will be part of a panel to be held at The University of Memphis on the evening of March 24. Chelsea Leigh Boozer, president of the university’s Society of Professional Journalists, posted the following announcement and poster on Facebook. (The comments are getting interesting.)
 “The Media’s Role in the West Memphis Three Case” is the 2011 Freedom of Information Congress hosted annually by The Society of Professional Journalists at The University of Memphis.

The West Memphis Three is the name given to three men (Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelly and Jason Baldwin) who were tried and convicted of the murders of three eight-year-old boys in West Memphis, Arkansas in 1993 when they were teenagers.

The prosecution suggested their motive for the slayings was that it was part of a Satanic ritual. Much evidence has come forth since then that would suggest that the three men in jail were in fact not the murders. The case is currently up for appeal.

The case has grown national attention and several celebrities such as Johnny Depp and Natalie Maines from The Dixie Chicks have become advocates for the three men in jail.

Guest speakers and panelists of the 2011 FOI Congress include Mara Leveritt, author of Devil’s Knot (a detailed book about the WM3 Case), Lorri Davis, wife of Damien Echols, and other local journalists who have covered the case then and now.

Some topics to be discussed are the access of public information during research of the case and the difficulties surrounding that, the media’s coverage of the case and the ethical issue of journalists serving as advocates for their stories.

Our keynote speaker Mara Leveritt will give an introductory speech and afterwards she and our panelists will discuss topics surrounding media coverage of the case.

This event is scheduled for Mar. 24, 2011. There will be a light reception at 6 p.m. and we will start at 7 p.m. on The University of Memphis campus in the University Center Theater.

It is free and open to the public. Seats are limited to 300 and are available on a first come first serve basis. A limited amount of standing room is available in the chance of over-attendance.

Attendees will be enlightened about the case and how media coverage has been handeld over the years. There will be an opportunity to propose questions or comments to the panelists at the end of the event. 

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