Posts tagged with ‘first amendment’
Since 9/11, there’s been an incredible number of incidents where photographers are being interfered with and arrested for doing nothing other than taking pictures or recording video in public places.
It’s not just news photographers who should be concerned with this. I think every citizen should be concerned.
Mickey H. Osterreicher, general counsel, National Press Photographers Association. New York Times Lens Blog, Criminalizing Photography
Professional and non-profressional photographers need to know their rights.
If you want to jump straight into the details, the ACLU writes about photographer rights here.
Why the WikiLeaks Grand Jury is So Dangerous: Members of Congress Now Want to Prosecute New York Times Journalists Too →
Via the Electronic Frontier Foundation:
For more than a year now, EFF has encouraged mainstream press publications like the New York Times to aggressively defend WikiLeaks’ First Amendment right to publish classified information in the public interest and denounce the ongoing grand jury investigating WikiLeaks as a threat to press freedom.
Well, we are now seeing why that is so important: at a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on July 11th, some members of Congress made it clear they also want New York Times journalists charged under the Espionage Act for their recent stories on President Obama’s ‘Kill List’ and secret US cyberattacks against Iran. During the hearing, House Republicans “pressed legal experts Wednesday on whether it was possible to prosecute reporters for publishing classified information,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
In addition, the Washingtonian’s Shane Harris reported a month ago that a “senior” Justice Department official “made it clear that reporters who talked to sources about classified information were putting themselves at risk of prosecution.”
Leaks big and small have been happening for decades—even centuries—and the most recent are comparable to several others. No journalist has ever been prosecuted under the Espionage Act and it has generally been accepted, even by Congress’s own research arm, that the publication of government secrets by the press is protected speech under the First Amendment. Yet the government is actively investigating WikiLeaks and now threatening others for just that.
The mainstream media may see little in common with Assange’s digital publication methods or his general demeanor, but what he is accused of is virtually indistinguishable from what other reporters and newspapers do every day: poke, prod, and cajole sources within the government to give up classified information that newspapers then publish to inform the public of the government’s activities.
FJP: All so true. Read on.
Kent, from Keene, N.H.
One of the 16,000 messages sent to the 70 journalists arrested during Occupy protests nationwide.
via Save the News:
For too long we have taken the First Amendment for granted, but increasingly we are taking responsibility for it. In the last few months, more than 40,000 Free Press members sent letters and made phone calls to their mayors, demanding that charges be dropped for the nearly 70 journalists who have been arrested while trying to cover Occupy protests nationwide.
We then asked people to write directly to the arrested journalists themselves, to stand with them and the organizations fighting to protect the First Amendment. Sixteen thousand people responded. This week we are delivering those messages to all those who have been detained.
Frank LoMonte, Executive Director, Student Press Law Center, in a statement to the Chicago Tribune, Iowa court grants students broad free press rights.
Background: An Iowa school district disciplined the faculty advisor of a student newspaper after it ran an April Fools edition that included stories about a chemistry teacher running a meth lab, cheerleaders taking steroids and a doctored photo of a baby smoking in an article about the school’s tobacco policy.
The school contended that the articles violated state law for student-run newspapers by promoting illegal activity.
Via the Chicago Tribune:
The court ruled that an Iowa law gives students greater free speech rights than those afforded under a 1988 U.S. Supreme Court decision that granted school administrators more leeway to censor student publications. Eight other states have similar laws or rules that grant students broad press rights, but Wednesday’s decision marked the first time a U.S. court has interpreted any of them…
…While the decision only interprets the law in Iowa, it could affect debates and legal disputes in other states amid a growing movement to give students more rights, [LoMonte] said.
Not a tough call, right? But maybe more complicated than you think for the businesses involved.
David Carr, New York Times. Fighting Over Online Sex Ads.
Carr reports that Village Voice Media’s Backpage.com, a classifieds site, is under fire from a coalition of religious leaders and the country’s 51 attorneys general for its “adult” section. Each contends that the site has been used to traffic children.
Village Voice Media CEO Jim Larkin counters that the company is not responsible for the content that appears on the site, and has spent millions on human and technological resources to screen ads that feature minors.
In 2010 a similar coalition went after Craigslist about its adult section, leading the company to ban such advertising in the United States.
Last week the US Justice Department announced a crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries in California, arguing that federal law trumps state law with regard to controlled substances.
This week, a California US attorney is upping the ante, saying that she will prosecute any newspaper, radio or television station that advertises medical marijuana dispensaries.
Via California Watch:
U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy, whose district includes Imperial and San Diego counties, said marijuana advertising is the next area she’s “going to be moving onto as part of the enforcement efforts in Southern California.” Duffy said she could not speak for the three other U.S. attorneys covering the state but noted their efforts have been coordinated so far.
"I’m not just seeing print advertising," Duffy said in an interview with California Watch and KQED. "I’m actually hearing radio and seeing TV advertising. It’s gone mainstream. Not only is it inappropriate – one has to wonder what kind of message we’re sending to our children – it’s against the law."
Federal law prohibits people from placing ads for illegal drugs, including marijuana, in “any newspaper, magazine, handbill or other publication.” The law could conceivably extend to online ads; the U.S. Department of Justice recently extracted a $500 million settlement from Google for selling illegal ads linking to online Canadian pharmacies.
Duffy said her effort against TV, radio or print outlets would first include “going after these folks with … notification that they are in violation of federal law.” She noted that she also has the power to seize property or prosecute in civil and criminal court.
Marijuana dispensary ads currently appear in a wide range of alternative publications, as well as mainstream ones such as the McClatchy-owned Sacramento Bee.
Nothing like First Amendment meeting Drug War meeting States Rights meeting Federal Authority to start the day.
A recent Knight Foundation study demonstrates that the more teenagers use social media, the greater their appreciation is for the US First Amendment.
The findings are rather dramatic. Back in the early social media days of 2006, 45% of teenagers surveyed said that the First Amendment “goes too far” in protecting citizens rights. Today, that number’s down to 24%.
According to a press release accompanying the study, “There is a clear, positive relationship between social media use and appreciation of the First Amendment. Fully 91 percent of students who use social networking daily to get news and information agree that “people should be allowed to express unpopular opinions.”
For the educators out there, Knight Foundation will release a teachers’ guide for social media and the First Amendment on December 15 at the Newseum in Washington DC.