Summer 2012 Silha Bulletin

Volume 17, Number 3

Below is the Table of Contents for the Summer 2012 edition of the Silha Bulletin. Click on the title to read the full article.

Volume 17, No. 3
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Cover Story: Supreme Court Strikes Down Stolen Valor Act
In a June 28, 2012 ruling that struck down a federal law known as the “Stolen Valor Act,” U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that “the remedy for speech that is false is speech that is true,” not government suppression, even when the speech “can disparage, or attempt to steal, honor that belongs to those who fought for this nation in battle.” 

Director’s Note: Scandals, Inquiries and Reform Might Leave U.K. Press Freedom Worse for the Wear
July 24, 2012 was a watershed day for journalists in the United Kingdom. 

Journalist’s Privilege: Federal Court Rulings Differ on Branzburg Interpretation, Reporter’s Privilege
The question of whether journalists or other information gatherers may refuse to reveal confidential sources of information remains a controversial and unsettled legal issue. 

Government Leaks: Leaks: New Policies Emerge; Congress Gets Involved
Although the Obama administration did not add to the list of six prosecutions it is pursuing against leakers of government secrets in the summer of 2012, the White House continued to defend the unprecedented crackdown amid claims that some leaks have been politically motivated. 

Government Leaks: Sidebar: WikiLeaks Founder Assange Seeks Asylum in Ecuador
WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange entered the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on June 19, 2012 to request asylum, refusing to leave until his request was processed. 

Government Surveillance: First Amendment Challenges to Government Surveillance and Detention Programs Will Proceed
Two federal court rulings in May 2012 allowed journalists and First Amendment advocates to proceed with challenges to U.S. government surveillance and detention policies used in the fight against terrorism. 

Freedom of Speech: Courts, Federal Government Clarify First Amendment Protection for Recording in Public
Although federal courts and the U.S. Department of Justice have clarified the basic principle that the First Amendment protects the making of audiovisual recordings in public places, cases challenging police conduct toward camera-carrying citizens and journalists are proceeding in Maryland and New York and law enforcement officials continue to face criticism for arrests and harassment. 

FCC: Supreme Court Fleeting Expletives Ruling Leaves Constitutional Questions Unanswered
In a narrow holding addressing three instances of “fleeting” expletives or nudity broadcast on television, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 21, 2012 that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) failed to give “fair notice” to Fox or ABC television in finding the networks had violated the commission’s indecency standards. 

Student Free Speech: Minnesota Supreme Court Sides with University on Punishment for Facebook Posts
The Minnesota Supreme Court held on June 20, 2012 that the University of Minnesota did not violate a student’s First Amendment rights when it punished her for Facebook posts about her mortuary science lab. 

Student Free Speech: More States Pass Anti-Bullying Legislation
Bullying in American schools remains a concern for legislators across the country. 

Media Ethics: Update: Charges Filed in British Phone Hacking Case
On July 24, 2012, the British Crown Prosecution Service announced that it would file criminal charges against eight people in connection with the “phone hacking” scandal rocking the British media. 

International: Mexico Amends Constitution to Protect Journalists and Free Expression Amid Violence
On June 6, 2012, Mexican lawmakers approved an amendment to the nation’s constitution that made attacks on journalists a federal crime in an effort to protect reporters covering the violent struggle with drug cartels and drug-related crime. 

Silha Center Events: Silha Lecture to Feature Famous Food Critics and Mystery Guest
On October 25, 2012, four food critics will discuss the ethical challenges of food and restaurant criticism at the 27th Annual Silha Lecture: “A Question of Taste: The Ethics and Craft of Restaurant Reviewing.”