Newly unsealed court files shed more light on a contentious leak investigation.
At the Supreme Court, today’s lonely dissenting opinion sometimes grows into tomorrow’s constitutional law. So take note of Justice Neil M. Gorsuch’s 11-page dissent on the last day of the just-completed term, in which he argues that the court should have heard a challenge to its 1964 landmark holding in New York Times v. Sullivan.
Fox News filed another response to Smartmatic’s $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit, contending that its on-air personalities were protected by the First Amendment as they amplified President Donald Trump’s unfounded allegations of massive election fraud following the 2020 presidential election. “Smartmatic strains to make this lawsuit seem like a garden-variety defamation suit rather than a glaring threat to core First Amendment freedoms,” the company’s legal team, led by Paul Clement of Kirkland & Ellis, said in a brief filed in New York Supreme Court. The legal team also is representing Fox Corp., the parent company of Fox News.
In a rare case, Andrea Sahouri, a Des Moines Register reporter, was prosecuted after she was arrested while covering a protest against racism and police violence last May.
This week, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology is continuing its series of hearings on how misinformation and disinformation — the lies of the 21st century — have impacted recent events in our nation. As lawmakers explore this issue, they should be mindful of the vital role radio and television broadcasters play in our communities by exposing lies, uncovering the truth and reporting the facts.
“Murder the media” was scratched into a door of the Capitol. Violent protesters smashed equipment and punched a photographer. Above, pAssociated Press/Jose Luis Magana)
Journalism is becoming a steadily more dangerous profession around the world, including in the United States. The year 2020, with its global pandemic and widespread social unrest, continued the trend. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists’ annual survey, more journalists were in prison on Dec. 1 — 274 — than in any previous year.
Judge Fred Wilkins has given no reason for the order in a county wracked by racial justice protests. That’s causing concern for transparency advocates.
Four television stations and the Seattle Times argued in the Tuesday filing that their unpublished images are protected by the state’s reporter shield law, and a King County Superior Court judge erred when ordering their release,
A Homeland Security office has disseminated three reports on tweets written by two journalists who published leaked, unclassified documents. Current and former officials described it as an alarming use of a system meant to share information about suspected terrorists and violent actors.
Brad Kinkade, an assistant Polk County attorney, told Judge Christopher Kemp that because Des Moines Register reporter Andrea Sahouri had only been charged with misdemeanors, the case was considered a low-priority and wasn’t worth the time needed to provide evidence the defense has requested.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a threat to news media in the United States and around the world because of the financial impact from the loss of advertising. But you already knew that, didn’t you? Did you know though that it is also a threat to press freedom? Various journalism groups say politicians and government officials are using COVID-19 concerns as an excuse to restrict, and in some cases, attack the press.
The FCC — in this case comprising the chairman, the general counsel and the Media Bureau chief — has flatly, and strongly, rejected a petition by Free Press seeking a government investigation into broadcasters who aired statements by the President Trump during coronavirus briefings and “related commentary,” arguing that the investigation would itself curtail a free press.
On Wednesday evening, NATPE presented its 17th annual Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Awards at a dinner in Miami. The winners (l-r): Marcos Santana, president of NBCUniversal’s Telemundo Global Studios; Courtney A. Kemp, television creator, producer and writer; Karey Burke, ABC Entertainment president; actress Christine Baranski; and Jeff Zucker, chairman, WarnerMedia News and Sports and president, CNN Worldwide. The dinner benefits the NATPE Educational Foundation, with a portion going to the Broadcasters Federation of America.
President Trump has made two major attempts (so far) to use his power to intimidate and control independent media. The second attempt was his intervention to deny Amazon a $10 billion Pentagon contract as retribution against the Washington Post. The first was ordering the Justice Department to block an AT&T merger, in order to punish CNN. And while the courts ultimately stymied the latter move, Trump is attempting to keep up public pressure on AT&T and its ownership of CNN.
The corruption indictments issued for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week include charges that he sought to manipulate the media to secure more favorable coverage. Such interventions have become more prevalent around the world, including in democracies. As we’ve seen in places like Russia and Turkey, one of the surest signs democracy is being eroded is a crackdown on independent media.
Fifty years ago today, Spiro Agnew laid out a blueprint for attacking the press. In his attacks on television news, Agnew struck a chord with conservatives who had long regarded the media with suspicion. Nixon later called Agnew’s speech a “turning point” in his presidency.
A trial begins Monday, Sept. 23, in an unusual lawsuit in which former Davenport, Iowa, city administrator Craig Malin (above) alleges the Quad-City Times newspaper improperly interfered with his employment contract by publishing false and misleading stories and editorials about his official actions. Press freedom advocates say the case is troubling and could undermine First Amendment protections for the news media
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has appointed Shannon Jankowski its first E.W. Scripps Fellow for Press Freedom. The two-year fellowship, established through the support of The E.W. Scripps Co., focuses on supporting local enterprise and investigative journalism, including bolstering access to public records and encouraging greater government transparency. “Scripps is committed to supporting local […]
They form a partnership to advance enterprise journalism, open records.
Journalists are battling a rising tide of hatred, violence and persecution around the world, an international watchdog has warned, as authoritarian regimes clamp down on press freedom and leading democracies including the United States move down the global rankings.
The Baltimore Sun’s David Zurawik: “Sinclair is in my backyard with its headquarters in Hunt Valley. And while I suspect I have written more about it the last two years than any other media critic in the country, it’s not enough when an institution that sells itself as journalism is spreading a propagandistic message with the potential to further inflame the passions of a hyper-polarized country careening toward midterms.”
NEW YORK (AP) — Newspapers from Maine to Hawaii pushed back against President Donald Trump’s attacks on “fake news” with a coordinated series of editorials in defense of a free press on Thursday — and, not surprisingly, Trump didn’t take it silently. The campaign was set in motion by an editor at the Boston Globe, […]
On Sunday, the president reiterated his claim that “fake news” outlets are “the enemy of the people” and called journalists “very dangerous and sick” in some of his most inflammatory comments about the press.
A federal judge on Tuesday lifted a controversial order requiring The Los Angeles Times to delete information in an article published over the weekend. U.S. District Judge John Walter walked back his original decision after the Times protested with the support of newsrooms across the country, citing First Amendment concerns.
President Trump attacked the media once again on Thursday, calling them “downright dishonest” and “really bad people” during a campaign-style rally in Montana.
The RTDNA Voice of the First Amendment Task Force is offering support to journalists in Charlottesville, Va., who may have been arrested while covering Saturday’s protests involving alt-right nationalist organizations and groups opposing them.
Is Fox News a stalwart defender of the press freedoms it depends on? Well, that may depend on the year. It might even depend on who is the president.
The RTDNA Voice of the First Amendment Task Force today expressed concern regarding actions taken Tuesday by the U.S. Senate Sergeant-at-Arms and U.S. Capitol Police officers to prevent journalists from taking photos or videos of officers arresting protesters outside the Senate chamber.
How can America have a feel-good birthday when one of the pillars of our 241-year-old republic is under near-daily assault from the highest levels of the government?
On Tuesday, President Trump warmly welcomed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the White House. Just hours later, we found out that Trump would like to put reporters in jail. There’s a connection here. And it’s not good news for America’s journalists or the citizens who depend on them to hold their government accountable.