BookExpo and PEN America Explore the Publishing Industry’s Responsibility to the First Amendment in Exclusive Panel Discussion


Moderated by On the Media host Brooke Gladstone, Panel Takes on Age of Fake News and Polarization with Zoë Quinn, Patrisse Cullors, John Podhoretz and Scott Turow

NORWALK, CT – May 2, 2017 – ReedPOP, the world's leading producer of pop culture events, today announced that PEN America will present a BookExpo 2017 panel discussion entitled “PEN America Presents The First Amendment Resistance” featuring a diverse range of voices to tackle today’s age of fake news and viral provocation and the role that the publishing industry can play within it. As North America’s largest gathering of book industry professionals from around the globe, BookExpo offers members of the book industry a platform to address essential topics related to both the industry and the world at large such as this one. In today’s political and social climate, the First Amendment continues to be a central topic of debate, making this a timely discussion that will be fueled by the unique opinions and experiences of the panelists.

Taking place on Thursday, June 1, at the Javits Center in New York City, WNYC’s On the Media co-host Brooke Gladstone will moderate a panel that will discuss the publishing industry’s position as a neutral or more values-driven voice in today’s age. Panelists include video game developer Zoë Quinn – who unintentionally became a central figure in the Gamergate controversy in 2014, - activist and Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, New York Post columnist and editor of Commentary magazine John Podhoretz and author and lawyer Scott Turow. The aim is for each to provide a unique perspective for the conversation.

“A fast-consolidating publishing industry is grappling with thorny dilemmas in its role as gatekeeper with powerful influence over what stories and ideas make it into mainstream discourse.  We need frank conversation about the tension that can arise between a publisher standing for particular values, and their serving as a more neutral enabler of an open marketplace where all views are aired.  These are high-stakes decisions that can shape what people read, think and believe,” said Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director at PEN America. “PEN America is glad to be working with BookExpo to engage the whole industry in this conversation.”

“In the current political climate, this is an incredibly important discussion that needs to be had and we are thrilled to be working with PEN America to bring these voices together for what is sure to be a thought-provoking event,” said Brien McDonald, BookExpo Event Director.

Full program information can be found below:

THURSDAY, JUNE 1 - 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM
(Room 1E14)
In an age of fake news, viral provocation and heightened awareness of difference, what responsibilities do publishers have when it comes to books by controversial writers professing what seem to be unpopular opinion? Is it wrong to provide a platform for someone who has been criticized for political views outside the acceptable norm? And is there an acceptable norm—or is this a conceit of an elitist, left-leaning publishing industry?

With this latest panel announcement, BookExpo 2017 continues to focus more on politics as the participants joins previously announced political guests including Senator Al Franken, MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell and American attorney and Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law & Justice Jay Sekulow.

BookExpo, North America’s largest gathering of book industry professionals from around the globe, and BookCon, the consumer extension of the show, combine to make the ultimate event destination for the publishing industry and booklovers worldwide. BookExpo is widely known as the leading business event for publishers, booksellers, librarians, digital content creators, traditional and self-published authors, media, bloggers, rights professionals and movie and television executives who attend to discover new voices, learn about trends shaping the book industry and network with those who have a passion for books and reading. BookCon is the ultimate fan event where storytelling and pop culture collide – offering fans unprecedented access to authors, publishers, celebrities and creators of content that influence everything we read, hear and see.

To register or for more information, please visit


BookExpo is North America’s largest gathering of book trade professionals attracting an audience from around the globe. The event is designed to lead the global publishing industry to its consumer driven future and celebrate storytelling in all its forms. It’s the place where industry, authors and readers converge to define the direction of the publishing industry for years to come. BookExpo provides a focused professional environment to discover emerging authors and the next blockbuster titles, engage with the world’s most influential publishers and learn from industry leaders and peers. BookExpo is organized with the support of association partners including the Association of American Publishers (AAP), the American Booksellers Association (ABA) and the Association of Authors’ Representatives (AAR).

ReedPOP is a boutique group within Reed Exhibitions exclusively devoted to organizing events, launching and acquiring new shows, and partnering with premium brands in the pop culture world. ReedPOP is dedicated to celebrations of popular culture throughout the globe that transcend ordinary events by providing unique access and dynamic personal experiences. The ReedPOP portfolio includes: New York Comic Con (NYCC), Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2), Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) West, East, South and Australia, Emerald City Comicon (ECCC), BookCon, Oz Comic-Con, Comic Con India, Paris Comic Con, Star Wars Celebration, Star Trek: Mission New York, TwitchCon, ComplexCon and more. The staff at ReedPOP is a fan-based group of professionals uniquely qualified to serve those with whom they share a common passion. ReedPOP is focused on bringing its expertise and knowledge to world communities in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, India and Australia. (

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world.  Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.  PEN America is the largest of more than 100 centers of PEN International. For more than 90 years, we have been working together with our colleagues in the international PEN community to ensure that people everywhere have the freedom to create literature, to convey information and ideas, to express their views, and to make it possible for everyone to access the views, ideas, and literatures of others. Our strength is our membership—a nationwide community of novelists, journalists, editors, poets, essayists, playwrights, publishers, translators, agents, and other professionals, and an even larger network of devoted readers and supporters who join with them to carry out PEN America’s mission.

ReedPOP Contact:
Brian Reinert/Nikki Liberatore
(212) 685-4300 /


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