The Friends of the North Platte Public Library are bringing a special evening program to the library at 7 p.m. Oct. 21.

Dr. Carol Lomicky and Chuck Salestrom will present “Nebraska Press Association v. Stuart: In Defense of the First Amendment.”

The program is free to the public and focuses on the time preceding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision as The Telegraph covered the crime and the capture of killer Erwin Charles Simants. It will also cover the courts’ orders to restrict the dissemination of information, which landed The Telegraph and a coalition of Nebraska media in a legal battle culminating in the landmark decision. Also included is information about a conflict that followed the decision between editor Keith Blackledge and a vindictive judge whose name forever will be linked to this significant First Amendment case.

Lomicky and Salestrom have spent the last six years researching the life and newspaper career of Blackledge, editor of the North Platte Telegraph from 1967-92 and the Nebraska Press Association Hall of Fame Award winner in 2005. A biography will soon be published.

Lomicky, professor emerita of journalism from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, and Salestrom, formerly of North Platte, retired vice president at Mid-Plains Community College, have collaborated on numerous research projects.

They have published work in scholarly journals and received a national research award from the Broadcasters Education Association.

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