The Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law was established in 1984 with an endowment from Otto and Helen Silha. Located within the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota, the Silha Center is the vanguard of the School's interest in the ethical responsibilities and legal rights of the mass media in a democratic society.
The Center focuses on the concepts and values that define the highest ideals of American journalism: freedom and fairness. It honors the importance of these ideals by examining their theoretical and practical applications and by recognizing the interdependence of ethical and legal principles. The Center mounts an endowed annual public lecture and also sponsors forums on a variety of topics. Digital privacy, national security, confidential sources, ethical issues in sports and political reporting, and the law and ethics affecting film restoration are among topics covered in recent years. The Center funds graduate student research; publishes the Bulletin, a thrice-yearly media law and ethics newsletter; and cosponsors Media Ethics, a national newsletter published at Emerson College. In 2003, the Silha Center authored an amicus brief in National Archives and Records Administration v. Favish, an important Freedom of Information Act case before the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Silha Center also provides information and comment to scholars and media professionals, both nationally and internationally. It offers audio and video copies of the annual lectures, media law and ethics bibliographies, and a number of publications from the now-defunct National News Council.
Jane E. Kirtley is the Silha Professor of Media Ethics and Law. Professor Kirtley speaks frequently on media law and ethics in the United States and abroad.
The Silha Research Assistantships provide outstanding University of Minnesota law and graduate students with the opportunity to work on a variety of projects.
The Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law was established in 1984 with an endowment from Otto and Helen Silha.
The Silha Center director and Silha research assistants compile, analyze and publish on many topics related to media ethics and law. The Center's flagship publication, the Silha Bulletin, is published online three times a year: late fall, late spring, and late summer.