Roger Newman



More than 325 people attended the Constitution Day lecture on civil liberties presented by Pulitzer Prize finalist Roger Newman on September 16, 2011.

"The events of September 11, 2001 have cast our civil liberties in a new light," said Newman. "The existence of secret databases of all telephone calls and e-mails made by Americans along with the government’s ability to wiretap without a court order makes the matter urgent. The whole subject simply cannot be escaped. If the first casualty of war is truth, civil liberties are second."

Newman, who teaches in the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, wrote "Hugo Black: A Biography" (1994) and co-authored "Banned Films: Movies, Censors and the First Amendment" (1982). With his biography of Hugo Black, a Supreme Court Justice from 1937 to 1971, Newman became a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1995.

Newman's lecture, focused on civil liberties, the media, surveillance and terrorism, was sponsored by Bellarmine University’s Institute for Media, Culture & Ethics, and the Brown Scholars Leadership Program. He appeared in Louisville as a fellow in the Institute. He participated in several communication classes, and appeared before the Brown Scholars and the university’s pre-law organization. 

“Roger Newman has become a powerful voice on the topic of civil liberties," said Ed Manassah, director of the Institute. "When we became acquainted earlier this year it became a natural tie to the work of the Institute to connect students and the community to varied voices. With the 9/11 anniversary imminent, his lecturer topic became even more timely.”

He added, “Over the past several years, the Institute has brought a wide variety of talented people and events to campus as fellows, giving students and the Louisville community special experiences. These have included a talk by retired CBS News president Andrew Heyward, a film preview by Helen Whitney about 'forgiveness' which aired this past spring on PBS, and a musical performance and commentary about the First Amendment, among others.


Bellarmine University welcomes Roger Newman from Bellarmine University on Vimeo.