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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.

If you would like to be notified when a new issue of the Silha Bulletin has been published online, or receive an electronic copy of the Bulletin, please email us at: [email protected]. Please include “Silha Bulletin” in the subject line. Alternatively, you may call the Silha Center at 612-625-3421.

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 Fall: Volume 29, Number 1
Below is the Table of Contents for the Fall 2023 edition of the Silha Bulletin. Click on the title to read the full article.


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Cover Story: Latest Israel-Hamas War Raises Concerns About Journalist Safety, Media Bias, Freedom of Speech, and Misinformation
The latest Israel-Hamas war has raised issues related to journalist safety, media bias, free speech, and misinformation.

U.S. Supreme Court: Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor Passes Away 
On Dec. 1, 2023, former U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor died of complications related to advanced dementia.

Endangered Journalists: Small-Town Journalism Under Siege: Arrests of Alabama Reporter and Publisher Spark First Amendment Debate
A reporter and a newspaper publisher in Alabama caught up in small-town politics were arrested under allegations that an article they published revealed confidential grand jury evidence, eliciting anger from journalists and other First Amendment advocates.

Reporter’s Privilege: Nevada Supreme Court Holds Murdered Journalist’s Electronic Devices Are Covered by the State Reporter’s Privilege
On Oct. 5, 2023, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled that murdered journalist Jeff German’s electronic devices are covered by the state reporter’s privilege and that the newspaper he worked for can assert that privilege on his behalf. 

Trump and the Media: Cameras Likely to Be Banned from Most of Former President Donald Trump’s Upcoming Trials
Members of the press have requested that courts grant them access to record and broadcast former President Donald Trump’s ongoing and upcoming trials, but based on longstanding rules and judicial hostility, it is likely that most of Trump’s cases will not be broadcast to the public.  

Defamation: Former President Donald Trump’s Defamation Cases Persist Amid Campaign, Criminal Charges
Among former President Donald Trump’s many ongoing legal battles are several defamation cases.  

Defamation: Minnesota Supreme Court Rules #MeToo Facebook Post Receives Heightened First Amendment Protection as a Matter of Public Concern
On Sept. 20, 2023, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled in favor of the defendant in a defamation case involving a Facebook post containing the #MeToo hashtag that accused the plaintiff of sexual assault.

Freedom of Speech: Florida Supreme Court to Decide Whether the State’s Anti-Riot Act is Unlawfully Ambiguous
On Oct. 4, 2023, the Florida Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case challenging Florida’s “Combating Public Disorder Act” (the Act), a statute ostensibly aimed at curtailing riots, but which critics say will criminalize some peaceful protests.  

Freedom of Speech: Colorado Supreme Court to Hear Case Against Bakery that Refused to Make Cake Celebrating Gender Transition
A new case involving Masterpiece Cakeshop, the same bakery that was party to the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court case Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, has been granted certification by the Colorado Supreme Court.

Freedom of the Press: Fifth Circuit Rejects First Amendment Challenge to Texas Drone Regulations, Dealing Blow to Journalists
On Oct. 23, 2023, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled unanimously that a Texas state law restricting the use of drones does not violate the First Amendment. 

Artificial Intelligence: Open AI, Associated Press Enter Into Licensing Agreement Amid Concerns Over AI Learning
On July 13, 2023, OpenAI and the Associated Press (AP) announced that the companies had entered into a licensing agreement whereby OpenAI will have access to AP’s text archive for its AI technology training, while AP will utilize OpenAI’s technology and product expertise.  

Artificial Intelligence: Artists, Writers Sue AI Companies for Copyright Infringement
Several lawsuits have been filed against artificial intelligence (AI) companies by artists and writers who claim that the companies have violated their copyright by using their work to train their AI models without permission or license.  

Artificial Intelligence: Defamation Case Tests Legal Liability for AI Outputs
On June 5, 2023, Mark Walters, a radio host and Georgia resident, filed a defamation lawsuit against OpenAI, maker of ChapGPT, in Georgia’s Superior Court of Gwinnett County.  

Silha Center Events: 38th Annual Silha Lecture Addresses AI and Defamation
What does actual malice look like?  



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