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2008 Commencement: Ken Paulson

Ken Paulson

Ken Paulson, editor and Vice President/News of USA TODAY and USATODAY.com, challenged graduating SOC students to "deliver the best in news and information" at the 2008 SOC commencement ceremony.  (text / audio / video)


Ken Paulson is the editor and vice president/News of USA TODAY and USATODAY.com. On February 1, 2009 Ken will retire from this position to become president and chief operating officer of the Newseum and the Freedom Forum.

For the past 27 years, Ken has drawn on his background as both a journalist and lawyer, serving as the editor or managing editor of newspapers in five different states and in recent years as the executive director of the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University. Ken is widely known for his efforts to inform and educate Americans about First Amendment freedoms and as a strong voice for tougher confidential sourcing policies and ethics guidelines in America's newsrooms.

Ken was also the host of the Emmy-nominated television program Speaking Freely, seen in more than 60 PBS markets nationwide over five seasons, and the author of "Freedom Sings," a multimedia stage show celebrating the First Amendment that continues to tour the nation's campuses.


He is a graduate of the University Of Illinois College Of Law and the University Of Missouri School Of Journalism. He has also served as an adjunct professor at Vanderbilt University Law School and is a member of both the Illinois and Florida bars. Ken is also a member of the Board of Directors of the American Society of Newspaper Editors.

A new SOC

The new SOC building, aerial view

The architect's rendering of SOC's new home--a renovated McKinley Building.

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