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Monday, May 21, 2018
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Louisiana Public Square
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Panelist Bio


Rep. Walt Leger, III
D-New Orleans, House Speaker Pro Tempore

Walter “Walt” J. Leger III was elected by acclimation in 2012 to serve as the Speaker Pro Tempore of the Louisiana House of Representatives, the youngest member to ever serve in this second highest post. He was first elected to the Legislature representing District 91 in the Louisiana House in the fall of 2007, and re-elected without opposition in 2011 and in 2015 to represent parts of Uptown, Central City, the Lower Garden District, the Irish Channel, Broadmoor, Marleyville and Hollygrove in New Orleans. Leger is an attorney at the law firm of Leger & Shaw in New Orleans where he practices in Admiralty & Maritime law and commercial, insurance, and complex civil litigation. After graduating from Louisiana State University with numerous honors, Leger attended Tulane Law School, earning a certificate of specialization in Admiralty & Maritime Law. At Tulane, Leger served as the Business Editor of the Tulane Maritime Law Journal, and the Editor-in-Chief of the Tulane Environmental Law Newsletter. After law school, Leger served as an Assistant District Attorney in New Orleans, specializing in the felony prosecution of violent offenders and narcotics traffickers.

In the Legislature, Leger serves on the Louisiana Bond Commission, the powerful Appropriations Committee, and the Joint Legislative Committee on the budget, as well as the Education Committee. He also serves ex-officio on all standing committees, and has previously served as a member of the Criminal Justice Committee, the Judiciary Committee, the House Executive Committee, the Juvenile Justice Implementation Commission, the House Committee on Homeland Security, and the Technology Sub-Committee of the House Executive Committee. Leger also chairs the Juvenile Justice Implementation Commission, as well as the Louisiana State Witness Protection Services Board. In October 2012, Leger was elected to the Chairmanship of the Southern Rail Commission formerly known as the Southern High Speed Rail Commission, which is made up of representatives of the States of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Leger continues to focus on strategic infrastructure investments particularly for our Ports and rail facilities, making our State a safer, smarter and more sustainable place to live, and ensuring economic and educational opportunities for people of all ages. Leger currently resides in New Orleans with his wife Danielle Doiron Leger.

Current Topic


     05/18 - News About the News

How can viewers distinguish between fact and fake news and is social media blurring the difference?
According to the 2018 Louisiana Survey, when it comes to trusting news organizations, more Louisiana residents put their faith in local media than national media outlets. Despite that trust, only 36 percent of the state’s news consumers say local news deals fairly with both sides.

So, why is there so much mistrust of the news media? What role has the downsizing of traditional media played in creating a gap in coverage and possibly, community trust? Where are consumers primarily getting their news? And, how can viewers distinguish between fact and fake news and is social media blurring the difference? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers to these questions and more on “News about the News” airing Wednesday, May 23 at 7pm on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE. (Recording Tuesday, May 22)

Our panelists are:
• Len Apcar, Wendell Gray Switzer Jr. Endowed Chair in Media Literacy, LSU Manship School
• Jarvis DeBerry, Deputy Opinion Editor, New Orleans Times-Picayune
• Peter Kovacs, Editor, The Advocate
• Lance Porter, Director, LSU Social Media Analysis & Creation Lab

LPB CEO, Beth Courtney and journalist and political historian, Bob Mann moderate the discussion. The program features interviews with Michael Henderson, director of the LSU Public Policy Research Lab; Ray Pingree, Associate Professor wth the LSU Manship School of Communication; John DeSantis, Senior Staff Writer for The Houma Times and Judi Terzotis, president of The Advocate.

Louisiana Public Square can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.
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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?
 

Recent Topics


     04/18 - Balancing Eldercare

How much does Louisiana spend on nursing homes versus home and community-based care?

     03/18 - Making Schools Safe

Where does Louisiana stand in this national discussion?

     02/18 - Drawing the Line: Sexual Harassment in Louisiana

How widespread is the problem in our state? Take the survey!

     01/18 - Early Education Matters

Should early childhood education be a priority?
»»» View all Topics!
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