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The Writers Institute Delves into Truth

Famous writers gathered to assess honest reporting and the preservation of democracy in "a post-truth world." 

ALBANY, N.Y. (October 17, 2017) —  On Friday and Saturday the NYS Writers Institute, in its most ambitious multi-day program in 26 years, set out to discuss how we tell the truth in public discourse.

The Institute, led by Executive Director and founder William Kennedy and Director Paul Grondahl, assembled 30 acclaimed journalists, historians, nonfiction authors, First Amendment scholars and literary luminaries for Telling the Truth in a Post-Truth World. Over six panel discussion covering nine hours, the participants engaged in open and substantive dialogues with each other and with audience members.

The discussion were stimulating and thought-provoking, and at times contentious, among the panel members. Audiences and the panelists themselves generally praised the conversations.

Pictured here are some of those participating and attending this significant event:

  • William Kennedy: Pulitize Prize-winning novelist, founder and executive director of the Writers Institute
  • Bob Schieffer: former anchor of "CBS Evening News" and "Face the Nation"
  • Tim Wu: Columbia Law School professor and author; originator of “net neutrality”
  • David Daley: author and digital media fellow at the University of Georgia
  • Russell Banks: bestselling novelist, 2004-06 New York State Author, and founder and president of Cities of Refuge North America
  • Juan González: investigative reporter and author, and co-host of the award-winning news program "Democracy Now!" which airs on more than 1,400 public television and radio stations worldwide
  • José Cruz: author and associate professor of Political Science at UAlbany
  • Harry Rosenfeld: Albany Times Union editor-at-large and former metro editor at the Washington Post, who oversaw the paper’s coverage of Watergate
  • Amy Goodman: investigative reporter, host and producer of "Democracy Now!"
  • Douglas Brinkley: CNN presidential historian; biographer of Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford
  • Victor Asal: faculty expert in terrorism and homeland security and chair of UAlbany's Department of Public Administration
  • Kelley Beaucar Vlahos: managing editor of The American Conservative, longtime political writer for and journalist specializing in national security, war policy, and civil liberties
  • James Steiner: ex-CIA official, now Homeland Security program director at Rockefeller College
  • Gilbert King: historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author
  • Adrian Nicole LeBlanc: journalist, MacArthur Fellow and author
  • Carol Anderson: professor of African-American history at Emory University and bestselling author
  • Ashleigh Banfield: award-winning journalist and TV host of "Primetime Justice: on HLN; former anchor of CNN’s "Legal View"
  • Richard Honen: corporate attorney and commentator on WAMC’s "The Roundtable"
  • Kristina Findikyan: senior counsel at Hearst; specialist in First Amendment and libel law
  • Anthony Paul Farley: James Campbell Matthews Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence at Albany Law School
  • Floyd Abrams: the nation’s pre-eminent First Amendment attorney: author of The Soul of the First Amendment




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