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Pulitzer Prize-Winning Photojournalist Headlines Florida Tech Free Speech Week

The Crimson Welcomes New Orleans Times-Picayune’s Ted Jackson      

MELBOURNE, FLA. — Pulitzer Prize winner Ted Jackson will offer the keynote address on Wednesday, Feb. 21, as part of the annual Free Speech Week convened by Florida Institute of Technology and its student-run newspaper, The Crimson.

Running Feb. 20-23 on the Florida Tech campus, Free Speech Week features lectures, events and activities centered on and designed to help foster a better understanding of the First Amendment.

Jackson, a photojournalist working for the New Orleans Times-Picayune, will speak at 5:30 p.m. in the Hartley Room on the second floor of the Denius Student Center. The event, like all of the Free Speech Week activities, is free and open to the public.

Jackson was part of the Pulitzer Prize-winning team that produced a documentary film about the fishing industry in Louisiana. His talk will also include stories from his award-winning coverage of Hurricane Katrina and thoughts on the importance of photojournalism today.

Here’s a look at other events:

Feb. 20:

  • 4 p.m., Link Room, Evans Library: A workshop on accessing and using government documents hosted by Florida Tech journalism professor Dzmitry Yuran and media lawyer Jack Kirschenbaum.
  • 5:30 p.m., Link Room: Kirschenbaum, attorney Michael Kahn and Florida Today journalists Isadora Rangel and Bobby Block will debate whether the First Amendment goes too far.

Feb. 21:

  • 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Panther Plaza: The Crimson staff will host “Free Speech, Free Press, Free Cookies,” featuring a free-speech wall where students, faculty, staff and visitors can freely express themselves by writing whatever they want on the wall. In return, writers will receive a cookie.
  • 5:30 p.m.: Hartley Room, Ted Jackson keynote address.

Feb. 22:

  • 5:30 p.m., Link Room: a panel of Florida Tech professors will discuss academic freedom and tenure.

Feb. 23:

  • 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Crawford Building lawn: Students will get to experience life without the First Amendment. They will receive a free meal – a slice from Old School Pizza or a sub from Jersey Mike’s – and all it will cost is their First Amendment rights.

“Every year, this event feels more and more relevant and important,” said Ted Petersen, an associate professor of journalism at Florida Tech and adviser to The Crimson.

He added, “Ted Jackson’s moving photos of tragedy and celebration shape public perception and ultimately policy. His work is a strong reminder of why we need journalists.”

The event is sponsored by Old School Pizza, Jersey Mike’s Subs, and the Florida Tech School of Arts and Communication.

For more information, contact Petersen at 321-674-7201 or or Crimson editor-in-chief Mary Kozaitis at


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