Prince Lobel Co-Sponsors “Reader Comments on Media Websites Workshop”

November 20, 2008


A Collaborative Workshop of Newspaper Editors and Media Lawyers plus a lunch address on “Change Now: How Newspapers Can Prevail in the Internet Age”

The New England Newspaper Association, (NENA) and New England Press Association (NEPA), along with the law firm of Prince Lobel, and prominent media lawyers from throughout New England, are offering the following half-day collaborative workshop.


A half-day workshop discussing your newspaper’s liability for reader comments on your website, including:

  • The current state of the law
  • Examples of reader-comment policies of newspapers in New England and beyond
  • Practical discussion of how newspapers have addressed such challenges as “gutter talk,” anonymity, subpoenas, spoofing, and online harassment.

We expect to spend approximately a third of the time discussing the legal aspects of reader comments and two thirds dealing with the practical issues editors and website administrators need to address when they allow reader comments.


  • Luncheon featuring Josh Benton, founding director of the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University, who will offer comments on: “Newspapers Online and the Changing Journalist-Audience Relationship”


This is meant to be interactive.  Please come ready to discuss your paper’s experiences and questions.  In addition, the expert panel will include:

  • Moderator:  Richard C. Gagliuso (Gagliuso & Gagliuso, Merrimack, NH)
  • Jim Bodor, Director of Online, (Worcester Telegram & Gazette)
  • Damon Kiesow, Managing Editor/Online, The Telegraph ( Nashua, NH)
  • Jessica Kosowski, Online Editor, Attleboro Sun-Chronicle (MA)
  • David Olson, Editor, The Salem News (MA)
  • David Ardia, Director, Citizen Media Law Project, Berkman Center for Internet & Society
  • Rob Bertsche, media lawyer (Prince Lobel Tye LLP, Boston, MA)  

Discussion leaders:

  • T. Barton Carter, Professor of Communication and Law, Boston University
  • Peter J. Caruso Sr. (Caruso Law Firm, Andover, MA)
  • Alan Neigher (Law Office of Alan Neigher, Westport, CT)
  • Mary-Rose Papandrea, Assistant Professor, Boston College School of Law


Thursday, November 20, 2008
Continental breakfast 8:00 am
Workshop 9:00 am – 12:00 Noon
Lunch 12:00 noon – 1:30 pm


Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza, 10 Lincoln Square, Worcester, MA 01608.

Directions:  Take Route 90 (Mass Pike) to Exit 10 (Auburn). After the tollbooth, bear left at the fork. Take Route 290 East.  Get off at Exit 17. Take a left at the top of the ramp at a set of lights.  At the second set of lights at the bottom of the hill make a left onto Major Taylor Boulevard (formerly Worcester Center Boulevard).  The Hotel is on your right.


  • $25 for the first attendee from a newspaper (includes lunch)
  • $10 for each additional attendee (without lunch), or $25 with lunch

You can pay at the door (cash or check) or by faxing this registration form with credit card information.

IMPORTANT REQUEST:  As part of the program, we would like to hand out examples of policies/rules/terms and conditions that newspapers are currently using.  If you’d like your newspaper’s policies to be included in that group, please forward them to

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