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Reporters Committee names new executive director

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ARLINGTON, Va. -- Lucy A. Dalglish, a Minneapolis media attorney and former newspaper reporter, has been named Executive Director of…

ARLINGTON, Va. — Lucy A. Dalglish, a Minneapolis media attorney and former newspaper reporter, has been named Executive Director of The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

Dalglish, an award-winning First Amendment activist, will replace Jane E. Kirtley, who left the Reporters Committee in August to take a teaching position at the University of Minnesota. Dalglish, 40, assumes her new post in January.

The Reporters Committee also announced that Gregg P. Leslie, Acting Executive Director and managing editor of the organization’s numerous publications since 1994, has been named to the newly created position of Legal Defense Director. “Gregg has wonderful ideas for the Reporters Committee’s future, and I look forward to working with him to implement them,” Dalglish said.

Dalglish, an attorney with Dorsey & Whitney since 1995, was a reporter and editor for the St. Paul Pioneer Press from 1980 to 1993. She is a recipient of the Wells Memorial Key, the highest honor awarded by the Society of Professional Journalists.

“Lucy’s journalism background, legal experience and record of fighting for press rights and free speech make her the perfect choice to lead the Reporters Committee,” said John C. Henry, chair of the RCFP executive committee.

Established 30 years ago, the Reporters Committee is an unincorporated, voluntary association of journalists from around the United States devoted to protecting the First Amendment rights of the news media.

“This job is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Dalglish said. “It combines my passions for journalism and law, and gives me a chance to work with an outstanding staff to make a difference for journalists across the country.”

Dalglish is vice chair of the National Freedom of Information Coalition, a Dallas-based network of groups working to improve public and press understanding of their rights under the First Amendment and various state laws governing access to information.

Dalglish frequently appears before journalism and law groups on free speech issues. She has testified before congressional committees and Clinton administration task forces advocating greater public and press access to information compiled by the government.

Among her clients at Dorsey & Whitney, one of the nation’s 50 largest law firms, are Disney/ABC Inc., KARE-TV, the Minnesota Library Association, MSP Communications, the Student Press Law Center, the Stillwater High School “Pony Express” and the Minnesota Civil Liberties Union.

Dalglish was a board member for the Society of Professional Journalists from 1988 to 1991 and chaired the organization’s Freedom of Information Committee from 1992 to 1995, volunteer work that earned her the Wells Memorial Key.

In 1996, Dalglish was one of 24 journalists, lawyers, legislators, librarians, educators, researchers and historians inducted into the charter class of the National Freedom of Information Act Hall of Fame in Washington, D.C.

In January, she was named to the American Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom “Roll of Honor” for her volunteer legal work for libraries in the Upper Midwest.

Dalglish is a 1980 graduate of the University of North Dakota. She was a journalism fellow at Yale Law School in 1987-88 while on sabbatical from the Pioneer Press. She received her juris doctor degree from Vanderbilt University in 1995.

While attending Vanderbilt, Dalglish worked as a research assistant at the Freedom Forum First Amendment Center in Nashville. She also was an editorial writer for The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville.

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press was founded in 1970 by a group of journalists concerned about governmental encroachments on journalists’ rights guaranteed under the First Amendment.

Since its inception, the Committee has provided cost-free legal assistance to reporters and editors and has acted as an information clearinghouse on a wide range of issues of concern to the news media.

In addition to participating in press freedom cases considered by the Supreme Court, the Committee’s expertise has been sought by journalists and lawmakers in the U.S. and abroad as they wrestle with laws governing press rights and access to government meetings and records.

The Committee also operates the Freedom of Information Service Center, which specializes in freedom of information and open meetings issues at the state and federal levels.

The Committee publishes a quarterly magazine, The News Media & the Law; a biweekly newsletter, New Media Update; and various guidebooks designed to help journalists.

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