Constitution Day Website Examines Future of Local News Reporting
Web Editor - Published: September 17, 2009
ConstDayPromoFour years ago, Professor Alan E. Garfield drove an initiative to observe the Constitution Day holiday with a website featuring essays on a particular topic relevant to the Constitution. Each year, Professor Garfield chooses a new theme for the celebration, and then with the help of Widener Law Webmaster Cassandra King, a website is created to host essays on the subject written by a number of distinguished authors. This year, the Constitution Day website will feature essays on the future of local news reporting to coincide with the September 17th federal observance of Constitution Day.

“The Constitution is all about self-governance, but self-governance only works if people are adequately informed,” says Garfield. With local papers downsizing or going out of business and the rise of a new paradigm in which anyone can become a news source in an increasingly connected world, there are many legitimate questions about how Americans will be informed in the future.

Designed to capitalize on Widener’s location in the first state to ratify the Constitution, the Constitution Day project serves to enlighten the public about the Constitution Day holiday and why it is important. “The website was created to give the public an opportunity to collectively celebrate Constitution Day,” Garfield said. “Widener Law is proud to lead this organized effort and we are grateful to the many distinguished authors who have contributed to our online collection over the years.”

Essay contributions this year come from a variety of distinguished authors, including, 1150 AM WDEL news anchor and interviewer Allan Loudell, Delaware 11th District Representative Greg Lavelle, Rosenberg professor of communication and distinguished journalist in residence at the University of Delaware Ralph Begleiter, Wilmington News Journal Editorial Page Editor John Sweeney, and Widener Law Professor Tonya M. Evans among others.