Freedom of Speech Requires a Free Press

Program Description

One of the most common complaints a newspaper editor hears is that she/he is violating a reader’s Constitutional right by not running his/her letter. Well, that’s not exactly what the First Amendment guarantees. Drawing upon real-life experiences, Ehrlick discusses what the roles and responsibilities of a free press are in light of the First Amendment, and what it doesn’t mean. He’ll also touch on the differences between journalism and media – and how the Constitutional guarantee of a free press, doesn’t guarantee the press’ existence. He’ll also discuss how social media helps and hinders journalism. During the presentation, he’ll share examples of being a newspaper editor in different states, and take questions and comments about covering the Treasure State, and the press’ role historically in Montana.

Presenter Bio

Darrell Ehrlick is a Billings native, who after spending some time as the editor at the Casper Star-Tribune in Wyoming, became the editor of the Billings Gazette in 2013. After graduating from Billings Senior High in 1994, Ehrlick earned a bachelor’s degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., and then studied divinity and literary journalism at graduate school at Emory University and Bennington College.


Darrell Ehrlick
Editor, The Billings Gazette
(406) 657-1289