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Noted Communications Attorney Bruce W. Sanford To Head First Amendment Advisory Council of The Media Institute

FOR RELEASE: September 13, 2006

Contact: Richard T. Kaplar
The Media Institute


Arlington ,Va., Sept. 13, 2006 - Distinguished media attorney Bruce W. Sanford is the new Chairman of The Media Institute's First Amendment Advisory Council, it was announced today by Institute President Patrick D. Maines.

Mr. Sanford is a partner with the Washington office of Baker Hostetler. He serves as General Counsel to the Society of Professional Journalists, and has represented most of the leading national news media and book publishers. Mr. Sanford has defended more than 1,000 libel, intellectual property, and First Amendment cases throughout the United States, Canada, and abroad.

As head of the First Amendment Advisory Council, Mr. Sanford also becomes an ex-officio member of The Media Institute's Board of Trustees.

Mr. Sanford has been described by American Journalism Review as one of the most accomplished press lawyers in the nation. National Law Journal listed him among the 100 most influential lawyers in America, and a Washingtonian article on "The 50 Best Lawyers in Washington" noted he was "without peer" in First Amendment Law.

Mr. Sanford wrote the best-selling trade book, Don't Shoot the Messenger: How Our Growing Hatred of the Media Threatens Free Speech for All of Us. Mr. Sanford also authored the 40-page Sanford's Synopsis of Libel and Privacy and the 900-page treatise Libel and Privacy.

Mr. Sanford replaces Kurt Wimmer as head of the First Amendment Advisory Council. In August Mr. Wimmer left Covington & Burling, where he was a partner in the Washington, D.C., office, to become Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Gannett Inc. He will remain on the First Amendment Advisory Council, a group of 16 communications attorneys, constitutional scholars, and First Amendment experts.

"We are delighted to welcome Bruce Sanford as Chairman of the Council," said Patrick Maines, "and we're very pleased that Kurt Wimmer will remain active in our affairs."

A list of Council members and information about The Media Institute, including National Freedom of Speech Week, can be found at