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University of Wisconsin–Madison

NBC News’ Pete Williams to discuss journalism ethics and covering the U.S. Supreme Court

Breaking Precedent: Journalism Ethics & the US Supreme Court: a conversation with Pete Williams, December 7 @ 6:30 PM,

The Center for Journalism Ethics will host a public event –  “Breaking Precedent: Journalism Ethics & Covering the US Supreme Court” – at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7, at the Memorial Union Play Circle on the UW–Madison campus. In conversation with Kathleen Bartzen Culver, director of the Center for Journalism Ethics, NBC News’ Pete Williams will engage in a public discussion of media ethics and the challenges of covering the U.S. Supreme Court in turbulent times. 

This event is free. To attend virtually, please watch our livestream.

  • Pete Williams covered the U.S. Supreme Court and the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security for NBC News for 29 years. Among the stories he covered were the Oklahoma City, Olympic Park and Boston Marathon bombings, as well as the federal government’s massive investigation following the 9/11 terror hijackings. He is the recipient of four national news Emmy awards, as well as two Edward R. Murrow Awards and the John F. Hogan Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association. 
  • Kathleen Bartzen Culver is the James E. Burgess Chair in Journalism Ethics, director of the Center for Journalism Ethics and an associate professor in the UW–Madison School of Journalism & Mass Communication. Culver is interested in the implications of digital media on journalism and public interest communication and focuses on the ethical dimensions of social tools, technological advances and networked information. She combines these interests with a background in law and free expression. 

“We’re talking about the Supreme Court more now than at any point in my lifetime,” Culver said.  “With political polarization influencing  perceptions of news coverage, I can think of no better time to sit down with Pete Williams, who brings an entire career of experience and integrity to our urgent questions.” 

Williams will be visiting the Center for Journalism Ethics the week of Dec. 5 as part of the Center’s journalist in residence program, an initiative now in its seventh year. The program brings renowned journalists to campus to promote engagement with UW–Madison students and the public. 

The Center for Journalism Ethics, housed in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at UW-Madison, provides an international hub for the examination of the role of professional and personal ethics in the pursuit of fair, accurate and principled journalism. Founded in 2008, the Center offers resources for journalists, educators, students and the public, including internationally recognized annual conferences exploring key issues in journalism.

For information, contact Krista Eastman, Center for Journalism Ethics administrator, at