Dan Abrams spoke tonight at the Carolina Theater in Greensboro as part of Elon Law’s 2022-23 Distinguished Leadership Lecture Series. The media entrepreneur touched on media law, defamation and bias throughout his lecture.
Abrams, a graduate of Columbia Law School, has amassed a number of accomplishments in the fields of journalism and law throughout his career. In addition to writing for the New York Times and Wall Street Journal and co-anchoring ABC’s Dateline, Abrams is also known for his work on programs such as Dan Abrams Live, On Patrol: Live, and the his radio show, “The Dan Abrams Show: Where Politics Meets the Law.”
Tonight, he spoke to Elon law students and the Greensboro community about his career and the importance of knowing the facts in today’s ever-changing and polarizing media landscape. Abrams addressed the audience directly, telling personal stories and sharing his thoughts on the subject of free speech, prejudice and the law.
Elon Law professor Enrique Armjio, a fellow at Yale Law School’s Information Society Project and UNC Chapel Hill’s Center for Information, Technology and Public Life, opened the conversation by asking Abrams about his thoughts on bias. They discussed court cases and the battle between lawyers and the media.
“Prejudice is a very different response today than it was 15 years ago. Today, people have the ability to do their own research, but they are too quiet to admit that they are wrong sometimes,” Abrams said.
The conversation then shifted to Abrams’ opinion on social media and the role it plays in the lives of young people today.
“Social media has made it worse. Social media is worse in the sense that people get all their information from there. There’s no filter,” Abrams said.
To close the Nov. 2 lecture, audience members were able to ask Abrams questions. Many asked for advice he would give to future law and journalism students.
LaTaylin Maxwell, a senior at Guilford College, said he is Dan Abrams’ “biggest fan” and was looking forward to the session. He hopes to pursue a career in law enforcement after graduation and attended the lecture curious as to whether law school might be a good option for him.
Maxwell had the chance to ask Abrams about law school and said he was surprised when Abrams suggested he look at more affordable paths.
“I had a lot of professors at Guilford College tell me it was a good idea. So here’s someone who actually went to law school,” Maxwell said. “So I think listening to him and actually getting the answer to the question answered me. I was surprised by his answer.”
However, Abrams encouraged the audience to be bold in pursuing their passions.
“If you want it, do it… go out there and just do it. If you see a story that your station isn’t covering, go cover it and give it to them,” Abrams said. “Put yourself out there.”