Fake Fake News: Press Freedom in a Time of Twitter with David McCraw '79
It's become the morning wake-up call: The President taking to Twitter to accuse the mainstream media of "fake news!" Agree or disagree with those presidential rants, at least one thing is true: They have helped fuel a very public debate about press freedom and the future of the First Amendment. Should the laws be changed to make it easier to sue news organizations? Is the constant attack on the media not just political noise but a real threat to press freedom? As the principal newsroom lawyer for The New York Times, David McCraw finds himself in the center of that debate.
David McCraw, Deputy General Counsel of The New York Times, was described last year by one veteran reporter in an online forum as “the lawyer every journalist dreams of having. “
Mr. McCraw has spent the last 15 years at The Times, where he serves as the newspaper's top newsroom lawyer. He has been the lawyer behind virtually every major investigative story The Times has done in recent years, including its Pulitzer Prize-winning stories on workers’ deaths at a Texas foundry, the lethal aftermath of Hurricane Katrina at a New Orleans hospital, and the secret fortunes of China's political elite.
Mr. McCraw is among the nation's most prolific litigators of freedom-of-information cases. He has litigated more than 35 FOIA suits, winning the disclosure of secret documents on topics ranging from drone strikes in Yemen and terrorist investigations in the U.S. to the government’s burgeoning surveillance program. Mr. McCraw also heads up The Times's crisis management team coordinating the paper’s response when journalists are kidnapped or detained overseas.
Mr. McCraw is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Cornell University, and Albany Law School. He is an adjunct professor at the NYU Law School. In 2010, the New York City Bar awarded Mr. McCraw its Cyrus Vance Award for his international pro bono work on behalf of free expression.
6:00pm reception; 6:30pm lecture, gratis. Members and guests are invited to dine at The Club with Mr. McCraw following the lecture. The cost is $40 per person, inclusive of tax, gratuity and one glass of wine with dinner. Dinner reservations are required 48 hours prior to the program. Same-day cancellations and no shows will be charged.