Farewell from Mark Goodman

As many Report readers know, at the end of 2007 I am leaving the Student Press Law Center to become the Knight Chair in Scholastic Journalism in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State University. After 22 years as executive director, I can say what a wonderful experience this has been.As the students and advisers we assist know, no work is more satisfying than defending the First Amendment. Helping young Americans understand, appreciate and practice press freedom has been the SPLC’s mission since 1974. And while I may have been the face and name most often associated with that mission, our dedicated, hard-working staff, interns and board of directors are what make our work succeed. I thank them all for their enthusiasm and support.Beyond those on the inside, many others have been crucial to the Center achieving its goals. All the national, regional and state scholastic and collegiate press organizations that allowed us to present at their conferences or distributed our materials helped our cause. And every attorney who agreed to provide pro bono representation to a student journalist in need did so, too. I owe them my thanks.Of course, it is only because of our funders — the foundations, corporations and individuals — that the SPLC exists and thrives today. There is no organization that does a better job of stretching your dollars to have the greatest impact. I hope that all Report readers, like me, will continue to make the SPLC part of your annual giving to allow this work to continue for many more years.And finally, I have to thank the people who inspired me every day of these last 22 years: the student journalists and advisers from coast to coast who are on the front lines of fighting to ensure that all voices are heard. I know the future of this nation, and of the First Amendment, is in good hands.