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Loyola mass communication professor featured at judicial conferences

November 9, 2007

S.L. Alexander, Ph.D., associate professor of mass communication, recently participated in two judicial conferences with the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for the Courts and the Media, in Vancouver and Reno.

In September, she participated in a panel discussion on the topic, “Media and the Courts: A Comparison of Canadian and U.S. Approaches” at the American Judges’ Association 37th Annual Conference, “Judicial Excellence/L’Excellence Judicaire” in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The conference opened with a dialogue between Supreme Court justices from both countries. In a subsequent session, after highlighting 10 aspects of comparison and contrast between press coverage of courts in the U.S. and Canada, panelists fielded questions and heard comments from the judges.

In October, Alexander served on the faculty of the Reynolds Center/Judicial College course, “Court Teamwork in Dealing with the Media,” presented in collaboration with the Conference of Court Public Information Offers and the UN School of Journalism, in Reno. Alexander covered such topics as gag orders, access to courts, high-profile trials, and other free press/fair trial issues.

Alexander earned a Ph.D. in communications at the University of Florida, where she was awarded freedom of information fellowships, as well as the student research award, before moving to Loyola University New Orleans in 1991. She has been active in the Society of Professional Journalists, the Press Club of New Orleans, and the Louisiana Coalition on Open Government (LaCOG), of which she is a co-founder and currently the vice president. She has written extensively on fair trial/free press concerns, including Covering the Courts: A Handbook for Journalists, Media and American Courts, and entries in the Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court and the Oxford Companion to American Law. She is a popular speaker, workshop leader, and consultant and won the faculty research award in 2005. She has recently begun work on a collection of true, live tales of New Orleans courtrooms

The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for the Courts and the Media serves primarily to provide continuing discussions among journalists and judges on the relationship between the two; to augment media relations segments of current courses at the National Judicial College; to create special seminars involving the judiciary and the media; and to serve as a resource center for journalists.

For more information, please contact Rachel Ritter in the Office of Public Affairs at (504) 861-5448 or rhritter@loyno.edu

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