Senior vice president and executive director/First Amendment Center
Gene Policinski is president and chief operating officer of the Diversity Institute and senior vice president and executive director of First Amendment Center – programs of the Freedom Forum and affiliates of the Newseum.
A veteran journalist, Policinski has worked in newspapers, radio, television and online operations; and is a long-time proponent of diversity in journalism across as an essential characteristic of a free press. He lectures regularly to Diversity Institute programs and elsewhere on news gathering and reporting, and on journalism ethics.
Policinski co-writes the weekly, nationally distributed column, “Inside the First Amendment.” He received a regional Emmy award in 2011 as executive producer of the public television program “Speaking Freely,” and is an occasional host of the First Amendment Center’s unique “Freedom Sings” live performance program about music that has been banned, censored or served as social anthems.
Policinski came to the Freedom Forum in 1996 from USA Today, where he was one of its founding editors and held various news executive positions. He is an adjunct faculty member at Winthrop University in South Carolina; and is a member of the Board of Advisors for the Institute for Media, Culture and Ethics, at Bellarmine University, Louisville, Ky. He is a member of the national board of trustees for the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS), and a past trustee of the United States Sports Academy and the Newspaper Association of America Foundation. He was co-chair of the 2012 national convention of the American Society of News Editors.
A graduate of Ball State University, he attended classes at the Nashville School of Law.