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Labunski, Richard E. (Richard Labunski)

PERSONAL:

Education: University of California, Berkeley, B.A., 1975; University of California, Santa Barbara, M.A., 1977, Ph.D., 1979; Seattle University School of Law, J.D., 1994.

ADDRESSES:

Office—School of Journalism and Telecommunications, University of Kentucky, 144 Grehan Bldg., Lexington, KY 40506-0042. E-mail—[email protected]; [email protected]

CAREER:

Journalist, educator, and writer. Worked for ten years in radio and television news as a reporter, producer, and editor at WTOP Radio, Washington, DC; KCBS Radio, San Francisco, CA; KGUN-TV, Tucson, AZ; and KTVN-TV, Reno, NV. Pennsylvania State University, State College, faculty member, 1982-84; University of Washington, Seattle, faculty member, 1984-1995; University of Kentucky, Lexington, associate professor of journalism and telecommunications, 1995—, professor of journalism and telecommunications, 2007—.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Great Teacher Award, University of Kentucky Alumni Association, 2005.

WRITINGS:

The First Amendment under Siege: The Politics of Broadcast Regulation, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1981.

Libel and the First Amendment: Legal History and Practice in Print and Broadcasting, Transaction Books (New Brunswick, NJ), 1989.

The Second Constitutional Convention: How the American People Can Take Back Their Government, Marley & Beck Press (Versailles, KY), 2000.

The Educated Student: Getting the Most Out of Your College Years, Marley & Beck Press (Versailles, KY), 2003.

James Madison and the Struggle for the Bill of Rights, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2006.

Contributor to professional journals, including the Pepperdine Law Review, Book Research Quarterly, American University Law Review, Duquesne Law Review, Comm/Ent, Communication Law and Policy, and the Newspaper Research Journal; contributor to periodicals, including the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Washington Post, Cincinnati Enquirer, Newark Star-Ledger, Lexington Herald-Leader, Louisville Courier-Journal, Seattle Times, Baltimore Sun, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Los Angeles Times, Atlanta Constitution, Denver Post, Detroit Free Press, Chicago Tribune, Newsday, and Philadelphia Inquirer; contributor to Web sites and news services, including History News Network and History News Service.

ADAPTATIONS:

James Madison and the Struggle for the Bill of Rights was adapted as an audiobook by Recorded Books in 2006.

SIDELIGHTS:

Richard E. Labunski began his career as a radio and television journalist and then moved on to academia where he has written several books on his primary areas of interest, which include the First Amendment, constitutional law and history, American politics, the media, and the Internet. In his book The Second Constitutional Convention: How the American People Can Take Back Their Government, Labunski makes the case for holding a constitutional convention based on local and national meetings in which people can discuss potential amendments to the U.S. Constitution. He also suggests the use of the Internet to broaden the discussion. In his book, the author presents eight amendments focusing on areas such as campaign finance reform, equal rights, congressional term limits, and direct election of the president and vice president.

The Second Constitutional Convention received wide interest from reviewers. "Even readers turned off by the concept will find useful information in Labunski's defense of his radical proposal," wrote Mary Carroll in Booklist. Writing in the Law and Politics Book Review, Paul J. Weber commented: "The major thesis, spelled out in the most interesting and innovative section of the book, is that the Internet finally gives the American people an effective, inexpensive means to ‘take back their government’ by organizing local, state and national meetings for the purpose of calling a national constitutional convention."

James Madison and the Struggle for the Bill of Rights explores James Madison's changing political views concerning the need for amendments to be added to the U.S. Constitution, going from strong opposition to amendments to eventually become a key political supporter of them. In addition, the author explores how, following his election to the first congress, Madison was faithful in seeing the Bill of Rights become part of the Constitution.

Referring to James Madison and the Struggle for the Bill of Rights as an "engaging study," a Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that Labunski "makes it an interesting story, full of sonorous oratory and colorful details." Writing in the New York Times Book Review, Gary Rosen noted: "Labunski's presentation of these events is solid and well-researched." Several reviewers also commented on the importance of Labunski's book in relation to what some see as modern-day assaults on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. For example, Charles P. Pierce, writing in Esquire, commented that the "book is valuable in describing in close detail that which we today seem so hell-bent on tossing idly away."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, January 1, 1983, review of The First Amendment under Siege: The Politics of Broadcast Regulation, p. 188; July 1, 1989, Dwight L. Teeter, review of Libel and the First Amendment: Legal History and Practice in Print and Broadcasting, p. 154.

Booklist, October 15, 2000, Mary Carroll, review of The Second Constitutional Convention: How the American People Can Take Back Their Government, p. 394; July 1, 2006, Gilbert Taylor, review of James Madison and the Struggle for the Bill of Rights, p. 13.

Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, January 1, 2001, R.A. Carp, review of The Second Constitutional Convention, p. 986.

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, July 24, 2006, Gary Rosen, review of James Madison and the Struggle for the Bill of Rights, p. 2.

Columbia Journalism Review, September 1, 2006, "Sleeping with the Fisheries," review of James Madison and the Struggle for the Bill of Rights, p. 62.

Contemporary Sociology, September 1, 1988, Charles Winick, review of Libel and the First Amendment, p. 650.

Esquire, December 1, 2006, Charles P. Pierce, "Big Important Book of the Year: James Who?," review of James Madison and the Struggle for the Bill of Rights, p. 66.

Federal Communications Law Journal, February 1, 1988, Jonathan W. Emord, review of Libel and the First Amendment, pp. 143-150.

Journal of American History, September 1, 1988, Rodney A. Smolla, review of Libel and the First Amendment, p. 582.

Journal of Broadcasting, June 22, 1982, Phyllis Zagano, review of The First Amendment under Siege, pp. 737-738

Journal of Communication, December 22, 1989, review of Libel and the First Amendment, p. 190.

Journalism Quarterly, September 22, 1988, David Pritchard, review of Libel and the First Amendment, p. 777.

Law and Politics Book Review, January, 2001, Paul J. Weber, review of The Second Constitutional Convention, pp. 9-10.

Library Journal, December 15, 1981, review of The First Amendment under Siege, p. 2389; June 15, 2006, Steven Puro, review of James Madison and the Struggle for the Bill of Rights, p. 82.

New York Review of Books, November 30, 2006, "Without Him, No Bill of Rights," review of James Madison and the Struggle for the Bill of Rights, p. 54.

New York Times Book Review, July 16, 2006, "The Federalist," review of James Madison and the Struggle for the Bill of Rights, p. 15.

Political Science Quarterly, June 22, 1988, Burke Marshall, review of Libel and the First Amendment, p. 361.

Publishers Weekly, May 8, 2006, review of James Madison and the Struggle for the Bill of Rights, p. 55.

Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, September 22, 2006, Stuart Leibiger, review of James Madison and the Struggle for a Bill of Rights, p. 503.

Wake Forest Law Review, February 1, 1983, James A. Albert, review of The First Amendment under Siege, pp. 141-150.

ONLINE

Richard E. Labunski Home Page,http://www.richardlabunski.com (June 24, 2007).

University of Kentucky School of Journalism Web site,http://www.uky.edu/CommInfoStudies/JAT/Journalism/ (June 24, 2007), faculty profile of author.

Labunski, Richard E. (Richard Labunski)

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