Otterbein hosts “citizen journalist’ panel May 4


In observance of World Freedom Press Day, Otterbein College and Columbus International Programs will host a panel entitled, “The Citizen Journalist: The Internet as a Tool for Freedom of Speech.” The U.S. mission to the United Nations will present the program, according to a media advisory sent out by the college.

The panel will take place Friday, May 4 from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Room 114 of Roush Hall. Bloggers are invited to connect via wireless Internet and blog live during the panel discussion

Panel members will represent a variety of sectors from media and bloggers in countries with press freedom restrictions (whose friends have been arrested for blogging), to government and non-government organizations serving as proponents of freedom of expression.

Those expected on the panel are:

  • Lucie Morillon, Washington Director, Reporters Without Borders
  • Nora Younis, Blogger and Human Rights Activist, Egypt
  • Watson Meng, Founder, Boxun News, China
  • James Viray, Director, Office of International Labor and Corporate Social Responsibility, U.S. Department of State
  • Bridget Johnson, Columnist and Blogger, LA Daily News

Kirk Lawson of the Columbus International Programs will moderate the panel discussion.

According to the advisory, Internet freedom is a key component of press freedom in the 21st Century. The U.S. State Department documents press freedom worldwide in its annual Country Reports on Human Rights. The 2006 report includes a section on Internet repression documenting concerns the U.S. government has with countries having poor conditions for press freedoms. The report available on

The panel is open to the public. For more information, contact Jennifer Pearce at [email protected]. If you plan to attend, please email [email protected].