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Fall 2011

Fall 2011

Battles to Gain Camera/Audio Access to State and Federal Courtrooms Continue

  • Cover Story
  • For years, First Amendment advocates have fought for camera and audio recorder access to judicial proceedings. Continue reading

Occupy Wall Street Produces Legal and Ethical Issues for Journalists

  • Freedom of Speech
  • On Sept. 17, 2011 Occupy Wall Street (OWS), an ongoing series of demonstrations, was born after the Canadian activist group Adbusters organized a protest in Zuccotti Park in New York City's Wall Street financial district.  Continue reading

FCC Defends Regulatory Regimes in Court; U.K. Explores Cross-Ownership Regulations

  • Broadcast Regulation
  • Two separate cases moving through federal courts this year have left the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) trying to defend how it regulates swear words that are broadcast on television and radio and how it regulates the ownership of multiple media companies in the same community.  Continue reading

News Media Copyright Firm "Righthaven" Suffers Critical Legal Setbacks

  • Copyright
  • Following its creation in January 2010, controversial copyright holding firm Righthaven LLC, launched a campaign of lawsuits challenging what it characterized as unauthorized republication of its clients' copyrighted news stories.  Continue reading

Amid Skepticism, Uncertainty, Culture Clash, EU Eyes Online "Right to be Forgotten"

  • Privacy
  • Throughout 2011, a controversial proposal to protect privacy online sparked debate accentuating fundamental differences in European and American attitudes.  Continue reading

Cops and Citizens Clash over Recordings of Law Enforcement Activity

  • Privacy
  • A rash of recent clashes between police and citizens who are recording police activity in public has raised the eyebrows of civil liberties advocates who argue that there is a First Amendment right to record activity in public places, especially when it implicates important issues of public concern such as police conduct.  Continue reading

Dangers Faced by Journalists Extend to Social Media Users

  • Press Freedom
  • Recent high-profile incidents of violence against journalists have highlighted the dangers faced by anyone using social media to report on international events.  Continue reading

States Consider Banning Undercover Recording at Agricultural Operations

In Snyder's Wake, Protests Continue to Test Boundaries of Protected Expression, Spark Regulatory Efforts

  • Freedom of Speech
  • Following the Supreme Court's March 2011 ruling protecting funeral protestors' picketing rights in Snyder v. Phelps, legislators continue to advocate for the regulation of this controversial form of expression.  Continue reading

Social Media Laws Air to Curb Bullying and Abuse of Children Online

  • Student Free Speech
  • The bullying and abuse of children through social media services remain a concern among legislators.  Continue reading

Silha Lecture Highlights Free Speech in the Digital Age

  • Silha Center Events
  • British media lawyer Mark Stephens said a healthy debate about freedom of expression and the First Amendment eventually led notorious WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to seek him out as his attorney.  Continue reading

    Sidebar: America's Phone Hacking Scandal

    A July 28, 2011 story in The New Yorker describes the 1998 "Chiquita Banana scandal," which Stephens  said discouraged American journalists from the practice of phone hacking more than a decade before its widespread use across the Atlantic was revealed.  Continue reading

Attribution Controversies Prompt Reexamination of What Constitutes Journalistic Plagiarism

  • Media Ethics
  • Arlington, Va.-based political journalism website Politico found itself at the center of an ethics scandal in October 2011 when it was revealed that Kendra Marr, a Politico reporter for two years, plagiarized portions of at least seven news stories throughout 2011.  Continue reading

Satire Gone Too Far?: The Onion Causes a Stir

  • Media Ethics
  • American satirical newspaper The Onion sparked a mini-crisis in Washington on Sept. 29, 2011 when it posted on its Twitter page that members of Congress had taken visiting schoolchildren hostage, promoting a similar story on its website and in its print edition.  Continue reading