As part of the Baum Lecture Series at the University of Illinois College of Law, Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger delivered a lecture on September 14, 2010, on the essential role of a global free press in providing the information needed to understand the many problematic issues we face as a result of globalization. In this presentation, President Bollinger addressed the challenges of maintaining high-quality institutions of American journalism with an international reporting capacity in the face of rapidly changing market forces. He further discussed America’s interest in seeing the rise of a free and independent press in nations such as China that lack traditions of free speech comparable to those developed in the United States over the past century.President Bollinger begins with a discussion of globalization and the necessity of establishing a free and open press able to report on a globalized society. He then discusses the evolution of journalistic institutions in the United States and the alarming decline in the international reporting capacity of the U.S. media. President Bollinger offers several recommendations for how the United States may convince closed societies, such as China, to start moving towards more open communications systems as part of their economic and political development. He further recommends public support for international newsgathering operations serving American audiences and suggests that such support, in combination with private media, will be necessary to keep the United States informed about global society.
The full text of this David C. Baum Memorial Lecture is available to download as a PDF.