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Chicago Sun-Times columnist Robert Novak to discuss CIA leak, Scooter Libby trial

For Immediate Release:

Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2007

Beth King, Communications Manager, (317) 927-8000, ext. 211

INDIANAPOLIS – A 2003 CIA leak and the ensuing Scooter Libby trial put journalists in the midst of an international political scandal. And it all started with Robert Novak’s column, “Mission to Niger,” that named Valerie Plame as an undercover operative.

Although Novak was the first to publish this classified information, Matthew Cooper of Time followed suit a few days later. This prompted a grand jury to subpoena five journalists, including Novak, Cooper, Judith Miller, Tim Russert and Bob Woodward.

Novak and former Time, Inc., editor-in-chief Norman Pearlstine will be on hand during the 2007 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference to discuss the ethical questions of journalists as central players in a criminal prosecution and scandal. As part of the discussion, titled “Watching the Watchdogs: Ethical Implications of the Entangled Roles of Journalists in the Scooter Libby Case,” Novak and Pearlstine will explain how they handled the dual roles as witnesses and journalists and the lessons learned. The event takes place at 2:45 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 6 at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Ave., NW.

“The Scooter Libby case was a landmark moment in journalism that will shape the ethics and practices of the profession for years to come,” SPJ National President-Elect Clint Brewer said. “This panel at our national convention is a forum where those at the epicenter of these events can give their perspective on the increasingly complicated relationships between journalists and their government sources.”

To obtain a media credential for this event, please contact SPJ Communications Manager Beth King at (317) 927-8000, ext. 211. For more information about the 2007 SPJ National Convention & Journalism Conference — including a full convention schedule — or to register, visit SPJ's Web site.

Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. For more information about SPJ, visit .


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