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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.

2024 Winter/Spring: Volume 29, Number 2
Below is the Table of Contents for the 2024 Winter/Spring edition of the Silha Bulletin. Click on the title to read the full article.

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Cover Story: Tik Tok Challenges Federal and State Attempts to Ban the App Based on Data Privacy and Propaganda Concerns
On May 7, 2024, TikTok filed a petition for review with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit challenging the constitutionality of recently passed federal legislation which could ban the app in the United States.

Data Privacy: Children’s Data Privacy Update: Kids Online Safety Act Gains Momentum in the Senate 
After a series of Congressional hearings, the latest version of the Kids Online Safety Act (“KOSA”), introduced in 2024, is gaining momentum.

Reporter’s Privilege: “Protect Reporters from Exploitative State Spying (PRESS)” Act Awaits Senate Action, Again, After Unanimous Passage in the House
On Jan. 18, 2023, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Protect Reporters from Exploitative State Spying Act (PRESS Act) by unanimous consent, marking the second congressional session in a row that a version of the PRESS Act had done so.

Reporter’s Privilege: D.C. Judge Holds Former Fox News Reporter in Contempt for Refusing to Reveal Sources in Civil Case
On Feb. 29, 2024, Judge Christopher R. Cooper of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia held former Fox News and CBS News journalist Catherine Herridge in civil contempt of court for refusing to reveal her confidential sources in a federal Privacy Act case. 

Reporter’s Privilege: Minnesota Court of Appeals Rules That Alternative Media Nonprofit Unicorn Riot Does Not Need to Produce Privilege Log in Dakota Access Pipeline Case, Protected by State Reporter’s Privilege
On May 6, 2024, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled that Unicorn Riot, a Minnesota-based alternative media nonprofit, does not need to produce a privilege log to the Hennepin County District Court in a case related to 2016 protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).  

Reporter’s Privilege: U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Rejects Project Veritas’s First Amendment Arguments in Ashley Biden Diary Case
On Dec. 21, 2023, Judge Analisa Torres of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York rejected Project Veritas’s First Amendment arguments in a case involving Ashley Biden’s stolen diary. 

Protests: Government Bodies Around the Country Settle Claims with Journalists Related to Law Enforcement Tactics at Racial Justice Protests in 2020
Numerous government bodies around the country have settled claims with journalists related to law enforcement tactics employed at protests in 2020 in the wake of George Floyd’s murder by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

Prior Restraints: Supreme Court Considers First Amendment Liability for Government Officials Who Block Users from Social Media Accounts
On March 16, 2024, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Lindke v. Freed.  

Prior Restraints: Texas Act Requiring Book Rating System Blocked by 5th Circuit
On Jan. 17, 2024, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit ruled that Texas’s “Restricting Explicit and Adult-Designated Educational Resources Act” (the READER Act), a statute aiming to keep explicit content out of school libraries, is unconstitutional under the First Amendment.

Endangered Journalists: American Journalists in Russia Face Arrest, Censorship
As Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich continues to be held in a Russian prison, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reporter Alsu Kurmasheva faced arrest and charges of failing to register as a “foreign agent” and for reporting on Russia’s war with Ukraine, which is a criminal offense in Russia. 

Endangered Journalists: Ukraine Journalists Injured Covering the War in Russia
Since Russia first attacked Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, Ukrainian journalists have reported on the war despite threats to their well-being and safety.  

Israel-Hamas War: Journalists Face Issues Covering the Israel-Hamas War and Related Protests in the U.S. and Abroad
Reporting on the latest Israel-Hamas war and related protests continues to be challenging for journalists.  

WikiLeaks: Julian Assange’s Extradition Appeal Granted; President Joe Biden Announces United States Is Considering Dropping Charges Against Assange
Julian Assange, WikiLeaks founder, has been incarcerated in London and facing extradition to the United States since 2019 on charges that he conspired to disclose documents passed to him by former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in 2010.  

European Union: European Union Passes Landmark Media Freedom Act to Protect Media and Journalists’ Rights
On March 13, 2024, the European Union (EU) passed the European Media Freedom Act (EMFA).

Artificial Intelligence: European Union Passes Comprehensive Artificial Intelligence Act
The Artificial Intelligence Act (AI Act), passed by the European Union, is the most comprehensive approach yet to artificial intelligence (AI) regulation.  

Student Press: Minnesota Becomes 18th State to Enact Student Journalist Protection
On May 17, 2024, Gov. Tim Walz (D-Minn.) signed an omnibus education bill into law which included protection for public and charter school student journalists in sixth through 12th grades.



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