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Silha Center Bulletin

The Silha Bulletin is published three times a year: late fall, late spring, and late summer. It's available here and through the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy. Each site will allow you to read the current issue of the Bulletin, as well as search past issues.

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Our mission at the Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law is to provide high-quality, comprehensive overview, discussion, and analysis of current issues in media law and ethics. Thank you for reading the Bulletin.

2023 Summer: Volume 28, Number 3
Below is the Table of Contents for the Summer 2023 edition of the Silha Bulletin. Click on the title to read the full article.

Download full text (pdf)

Cover Story: Raid of Small Kansas Newspaper Prompts Widespread Backlash and Concerns About Press Protections
A raid on a small Kansas newspaper sparked outrage within the journalism community, which asserted that the action violated both the federal Privacy Protection Act and the First Amendment.

First Amendment: Department of Justice’s Report Addresses How Minneapolis Deprived Protesters, Journalists of First Amendment Rights 
On June 16, 2023, the Department of Justice (DOJ), issued a report, “Investigation of the City of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Police Department,” based on an investigation launched after Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) officer Derek Chauvin had been convicted of murdering George Floyd.

First Amendment: Minneapolis City Attorney’s Tactics Questioned by First Amendment, Press Advocates
In late August 2023, the Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office came under scrutiny from First Amendment advocates after it seemingly pressured journalists and open government proponents who have been investigating the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) and litigating claims that the city is inappropriately withholding information about MPD misconduct and discipline. 

Government Censorship: Federal Judge Issues Preliminary Injunction to Limit U.S. Officials’ Contact with Social Media Companies
On July 4, 2023, a Trump-appointed federal district court judge issued a preliminary injunction that limited President Joe Biden’s administration and other federal agencies from contacting social media companies regarding “protected free speech.” 

Censorship and Access: Questions of Media Censorship, Misinformation, and Denial of Access to Information Arise During the Summer of 2023
Several developments in the summer of 2023 sparked concerns about censorship of media and denial of access to information.  

Supreme Court: U.S. Supreme Court Considers True Threats, Free Expression, and Section 230
In the 2022-23 term, the Supreme Court heard cases regarding what intent is necessary for a statement to be a “true threat” that is unprotected by the First Amendment; whether a statute prohibiting, encouraging or inducing unlawful immigration is unconstitutionally broad, and whether a public-accommodation law compelled speech in violation of the First Amendment.  

Libel: Seventh Circuit Affirms “Single Publication Rule” Applies Online
On Aug. 31, 2023, the Seventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a libel lawsuit filed by the National Police Association (NPA) against Gannett and The Associated Press.   

Defamation: Three Defamation Cases Against Former President Donald Trump Continue to Play Out in Courts
Of former President Donald Trump’s many defamation cases, one involving a defamation suit with writer E. Jean Carroll is now set for trial in January 2024, while another involving CNN has been dismissed.  

Defamation: Rudy Giuliani Found Liable for Defamation in Georgia Poll Workers’ Suit
On Aug. 30, 2023, a federal judge in the District of Columbia found Rudy Giuliani liable for defaming two Georgia election workers who he accused of committing ballot fraud in 2020.  

Defamation: Dominion v. Fox Libel Suit Continues to Capture Public Attention After Settlement
On April 18, 2023, Dominion Voting Systems settled its defamation lawsuit against Fox News Network and Fox Corporation. 

Defamation: Nick Sandmann Petitions Sixth Circuit to Rehear Defamation Case
On Sept. 1, 2023, Nicholas Sandmann filed a petition in his lawsuit against various news outlets, urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit to rehear his defamation claim.  

TikTok Bans: Montana, Texas Seek to Ban TikTok, Resulting in Free Speech Concerns
Citing privacy data and safety concerns, the states of Montana and Texas sought to ban the Chinese-owned short-form video company TikTok, causing lawsuits to be filed alleging First Amendment free speech violations.  

Right to Be Forgotten: European Court Extends “Right to Be Forgotten” to Online Newspaper Archives
On July 4, 2023, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) Grand Chamber delivered its judgment in the case of Hurbain v. Belgium App no 57292/16 (ECHR, July 4, 2023), expanding the application of the “right to be forgotten” in the EU.  

Facial Recognition: Facial Recognition Used to Control or Delay Access to Entertainment, Sports Venues, and Travel
Facial recognition burst onto the scene in 2017, with Apple’s launch of Face ID on iPhones.  

Student Press: West Virginia Passes Student Journalist Press Freedom Protection Act
On March 23, 2023, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice signed SB 121, the Student Journalist Press Freedom Protection Act (the Act) into law.  

Privacy: Children’s Data Privacy Roundup: Congress Revives Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act; Kids Online Safety Act Creates Controversy Over Censorship
The issue of online data privacy for children has become a focal point as children engage with the internet more than ever.  

Silha Events: Cornell Law School Professor James Grimmelmann to Deliver 38th Annual Silha Lecture: “The Defamation Machine”
The Atlantic magazine has called ChatGPT, the large language model chatbot that generates text, one of the “Breakthroughs of the Year” for 2022.  















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