Ken Paulson

Ken Paulson is dean of the College of Media and Entertainment at Middle Tennessee State University and president of the First Amendment Center. He is also the former editor-in-chief of USA Today.

He is also the host of “The Songwriters,” a new WNPT-aired television show featuring interviews with inductees into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, set for national distribution to PBS affiliates in Fall of 2017.

Paulson is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Board and a past member of the Music City Music Council.

Throughout his career, Paulson has drawn on his background as both a journalist and lawyer, serving as the editor or managing editor of newspapers in five different states.

He was on the team of journalists who founded USA Today in 1982 before moving on to manage newsrooms in Westchester County, N.Y., Green Bay, Wis., Bridgewater, N.J. and at Florida Today in Brevard County, Fla.

He also is a former president of the American Society of News Editors, the nation’s largest organization of news-media leaders.

Paulson also was the host of the Emmy-honored 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 nation¹s campuses.

For 12 years, Paulson was a regular guest lecturer at the American Press Institute, speaking to more than 5,000 journalists about First Amendment issues. He was honored with the API Lifetime Service Award. In 2010 and 2011, he served as chair of the PBS Editorial Standards Review Committee.

In 2007, he was named fellow of the Society of Professional Journalists, "the highest honor SPJ bestows upon a journalist for extraordinary contributions to the profession."

In October 2012, he received the Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism.

He is a graduate of the University Of Illinois College Of Law and the University of Missouri School of Journalism. He also has served as an adjunct professor at Vanderbilt University Law School.

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