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Monday, May 21, 2018
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Louisiana Public Square
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Panelist Bio


Sen. Neil Riser
R- Columbia, sponsor of SB303 gun rights bill which became the “Strict Scrutiny” state constitutional amendment

Neil Riser is the state Senator for District 32. District 32 encompasses all of Caldwell, Catahoula, Concordia, Franklin, LaSalle, and West Feliciana parishes and parts of Avoyelles, Ouachita, Rapides, and Richland parishes. Sen. Riser is Chairman of the Senate Revenue & Fiscal Affairs Committee and is a member of several committees including the Homeland Security Committee. Sen. Riser was the sponsor of SB303 to strengthen Louisiana gun rights through the “Strict Scrutiny” state constitutional amendment. Chris W. Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action is quoted as saying “No other state has passed a right to keep and bear arms constitutional amendment as strong as Louisiana’s.”

Senator Riser is president and owner of the Riser Funeral Homes located in Caldwell and LaSalle parishes. He serves as a board member of the Caldwell Bank and Trust Company. He is also the past president of the Pelican State Life Insurance Company. Neil has a strong background in the timber industry and has worked in logging and timber since the age of 14

After graduating from Caldwell Parish High School in 1980, Neil obtained a B.A. in Business Management from Northeast Louisiana University in 1984.
Senator Riser is happily married to Vicki Smith Riser. Vicki, native of Franklin Parish and former teacher at River Oaks High School in Monroe, is currently managing Riser Funeral Home. Neil and Vicki are the proud parents of two daughters, Emilie and Allison Riser.

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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