Gene Policinski

Gene Policinski


  • First Amendment
  • News gathering and reporting
  • Newsroom diversity
  • Journalism Ethics
  • International press freedom
  • New technology and newsgathering

Gene Policinski

Senior fellow for the First Amendment

Freedom Forum

Gene Policinski is Senior Fellow for the First Amendment for the Freedom Forum, where he contributes to the weekly “First Five” commentary on First Amendment issues, responds to news media inquiries and participates in various Freedom Forum programs.

One of the founding editors of USA Today, he also is a trustee of the First Amendment Museum being developed in Augusta, Me. A longtime proponent of diversity as an essential element of a free press, he is a member of the board of directors of Journal-isms, a regular news column on diversity in the news media. As a veteran multimedia journalist, he writes, lectures and is interviewed regularly on the news media and First Amendment issues.

Policinski joined the Freedom Forum in 1996 after a 27-year daily journalism career, mostly with Gannett Co. Inc.; and retired in 2020 as president and chief operating officer of the Freedom Forum Institute. He has hosted, produced and directed a variety of online, audio and video programs and series throughout his career; and was director and narrator for more than ten years of a touring multimedia, live musical program, “Freedom Sings,” about free expression in music, supported by the Freedom Forum. He is a graduate of Ball State University, in Indiana and is a member of the Dean’s Council for its College of Communications, Information and Media. He also has been a regular lecturer at Winthrop University, in Rock Hill, S.C., and served on various boards and organizations, including the United States Sports Academy; tthe education committee of the U.S. Olympic Committee; the Newspaper Association of America Foundation; Watkins College of Art and Design, Nashville, Tenn.; and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

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