Winter/Spring 2011 Silha Bulletin

Volume 16: Number 2

Below is the Table of Contents for the Winter/Spring 2011 edition of the Silha Bulletin.  Click on the title to read the full article.

Winter/Spring 2011, Volume 16, Number 2
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Cover Story: Open Government Advocates Criticize Obama’s Prosecution of Leakers
The federal government’s prosecutions of leakers of government information have stirred advocates of free speech and open government to criticize the Obama administration for promising transparency while chilling freedom of speech.

Director’s Note: Outrageous Speech, ‘Trash Torts’ and the First Amendment
March 2011 was an interesting month for freedom of expression.  

Freedom of Information: Supreme Court Addresses FOIA Exemptions; Utah Legislators Pass, Repeal Law Limiting Openness
In March 2011, two U.S. Supreme Court rulings reaffirmed the presumptive disclosure of public information embodied in the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in cases that focused on the proper judicial interpretation of the terms “personal” and “personnel” in the statute’s exemptions. 

Freedom of Speech: Supreme Court Ruling Protects Funeral Picketers
Quoting from many of the U.S. Supreme Court’s most important decisions protecting freedom of speech, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in a March 2, 2011 ruling that the First Amendment protects the “hurtful” picketing of military funerals by the Westboro (Kan.) Baptist Church. 

Media Ethics: Prank Phone Call, Hidden Camera Spur Ethical Controversies for News Media
Deceptive journalistic practices punctuated two political controversies in early 2011, embarrassing powerful public figures and drawing additional media coverage and condemnation from journalists and commentators.

Access: Courts, Police Beginning to Address Issues Raised by Citizens with Cameras
Technology  has allowed more citizens to record government officials—especially police—doing their jobs in public places. 

Journalist’s Privilege: Second Circuit Rationale for Denying Privilege to Filmmaker: Failure to Maintain Independence
On Jan. 13, 2011, a panel of the 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals issued its rationale for a July 2010 ruling in which it limited but upheld a subpoena for raw footage from a documentary about a lawsuit between Chevron Corp. and a group of Ecuadorian citizens. 

International Press Freedom: Journalists Face Challenges in Covering Revolution in North Africa, Middle East
As popular uprisings unfolded across North Africa and the Middle East in early 2011, journalists on the ground faced many challenges in covering the story. 

Access: Minnesota Senate Expands Floor Access; State Supreme Court Approves Cameras
In Spring 2011, both the Minnesota Senate and the state judicial branch changed policies regarding media access. 

Media Ethics: Minnesota News Council Closes after 41 Years
On Jan. 27, 2011, the Minnesota News Council (MNC) announced that it was shutting down after 41 years of adjudicating complaints about media coverage in Minnesota. 

Silha Center Events: Silha Spring Events Highlight Paradoxical Heroes of Press Freedom
The spring 2011 events hosted by the Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law highlighted two important and contrasting figures in the American history of freedom of the press: Jack Anderson, a controversial muckraking journalist, and William Brennan, the Supreme Court justice widely considered to be one of the First Amendment’s greatest champions.