SPLC appoints new slate of board leaders

Reginald Stuart, an executive with the McClatchy Company who has more than 40 years of experience in the journalism profession, has been elected chairman of the Student Press Law Center’s Board of Directors.

The Board also unanimously selected as its vice chairman Patrick Carome, a communications and media lawyer based in Washington, D.C., and as treasurer Kevin Corcoran, program director for the Indianapolis-based Lumina Foundation for Education and a longtime journalist.

The Student Press Law Center is a Washington, D.C.-area non-profit whose mission is to advocate for free-press rights for high school and college journalists. It provides legal information and attorney referral assistance at no charge to students and the educators who work with them.

“Reflecting the diversity of the SPLC’s constituency, we’ve got a leadership team in place that draws from the highest levels of of journalism, law and philanthropy. This is a powerhouse lineup that will propel the organization forward as we tackle the new challenges that technology is bringing to the student media,” said Frank D. LoMonte, executive director of the SPLC.

The SPLC Board of Directors consists of 15 volunteers from across the fields of journalism, education, law, philanthropy and nonprofit management. The new slate of officers was announced at the Board’s Jan. 25 meeting in Washington, D.C.

Over a distinguished reporting career spanning both print and broadcast journalism, Stuart’s work includes stints with The New York Times, where he served as a business writer, national desk correspondent and bureau chief, and at Knight Ridder newspapers as a national affairs correspondent and assistant news editor in the Washington bureau. He became director of corporate recruiting at McClatchy, the nation’s third-largest newspaper publisher with 30 daily papers in 29 cities, in June 2006.

Stuart is the author of a book on the federal bailout of the Chrysler Corporation and was a contributing writer to three other books. He has given many years of volunteer service to the Society of Professional Journalists, including a term as national president, and in 2006 was one of three honorees named to the exclusive honor of Fellow of the Society. A resident of Silver Spring, Md., he holds a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.

Carome is a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, LLP in Washington D.C., where he represents leading communication and media companies in complex litigation and counseling matters. Carome’s areas of expertise include defamation, privacy, copyright, trademark, press freedoms, trade secrets and general tort and contract laws. He has represented a broad range of clients that include AOL, Time Warner, eBay, Google, Yahoo!, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, ABC and Cable News Network.

Carome has formerly worked as a staff attorney for the The Washington Post and served as staff counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran. He holds a JD, magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School where he served as editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Communications from Boston College.

Corcoran leads a team at the Lumina Foundation that is focused on increasing gains in higher education. He directs a portfolio of grants related to Lumina’s communications and state and federal policy advocacy outreach. He worked as a newspaper reporter for nearly 20 years and has received dozens of local, state and national awards, including the George Polk Award and the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel.

Corcoran holds a master of business administration degree in corporate finance from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Indiana University School of Journalism.

Stuart thanked departing board chairman Mark Stodder of The Dolan Company for his dedicated years of service, and leadership in revising and updating the organization’s five-year strategic plan and mission statement. Stuart announced that Stodder has agreed to serve as chairman of the SPLC’s Development Committee, a blend of current Board members and external SPLC supporters whose charge is to raise funding to solidify and expand the Center’s operations.

Since 1974, the Student Press Law Center has been devoted to educating high school and college journalists about the rights and responsibilities embodied in the First Amendment, and supporting the student news media in covering important issues free from censorship. The Center provides free information and educational materials for student journalists and their teachers on a wide variety of legal topics on its website.

Beverly Keneagy