In general, the right of journalists to gather news and enter places otherwise closed to the public is
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If you request a record from a federal agency, the agency must respond to you in20 working daysThe Sunshine Act, passed by Congress in 1976 requiresCertain federal agency boards to meet in publicAfter a group of Indiana newspapers found that many counties were not obeying the state public records law, the governor created an office to educate public officials about the law and hear complaints from citizens. This official in charge of the office is called thePublic Access CounselorUnless there is an emergency, a public body in Indiana has to give notice of an upcoming meetingAt least 48 hours in advanceIf a public body violates the Indiana Open Door Law, a possible penalty isEverything that the body voted on becomes voidThe Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) requires that schools protect the education records of students from disclosure. If a school violates the law, the act states thatThe Department of Education can withhold federal funds from the schoolThe United States was one of the first countries in the world to have an access-to-information law, but now most countries have them, and the U.S. law is considered antiquated. One problem associated with the U.S. law is that it relies on passive transparency, which meansRecords are not released until someone asks for themThe first recorded case of a journalist being jailed for refusing to reveal a source in the United States involved New York Herald correspondent John Nugent, who was detained over a story aboutA Senate treaty discussion in 1848New York newspaper columnist Marie Torre made history in 1958 when she became the first journalist toArgue she had a First Amendment right to refuse to reveal sourcesIn Cohen v. Cowles Media Co.., the Supreme Court said a news organization could be sued for promissory estoppel (breaking a promise) if the organizationRevealed the identity of a source who was promised anonymityOne of the reasons the Supreme Court majority gave for ruling as it did in Branzburg v. Hayes wasIt was difficult, and legally questionable, to define who is a "journalist."Justice Powell's concurrence in Branzburg v. Hayes was important becauseHe said the decision was narrow and reporters did have some protections for sourcesJustice Stewart's dissenting opinion in Branzburg v. Hayes argued that journalists should be able to conceal their confidential sources unless the government could prove it had a compelling need for the information; the information was relevant to be a criminal investigation; and the informationWas not avalible elsewhereIn general, a reporter fighting a subpoena isMore likely to win in a civil, non-libel caseIn general, a reporter fighting a subpoena isMore likely to win in a civil, non-libel caseOne problem for journalists these days is that their sources can be discovered without their knowledge through FBI administrative subpoenas issued to phone and e-mail service providers. The subpoenas are known asNational Security LettersThere are now shield laws in the District of Columbia and41 statesIndiana's shield law protects reporters from being forced to reveal confidential sources and defines a covered person as one working for a newspaper, other periodical, news service, or TV or radio stationFor some part of their incomeAfter the Supreme Court's decision in Zurcher v. Stanford Daily regarding search warrants, served on media companies, Congress passed a law toBlock law enforcement from serving most search warrants on media companiesThere are two types of contempt of court, criminal and civil. Journalists who conceal sources are more likely to be found in civil contempt, which is designed toForce someone to obey a court order to appear or produce evidenceFive Seattle media companies battling a subpoena for unpublished protest images in 2020 made the unusual argument that complying with the subpoena wouldPut journalists' live in danger at future protestsJournalists around the world are among groups concerned about Pegasus, a spyware program created by an Israeli company thatMakes it easy to break into phonesOne example of a prejudicial statement about a criminal suspect that could make it harder to seat an unbiased jury if published isThat the defendant confessed to the crimeResearch into the effect of the pretrial publicity on jurors has found thatIt is not clear there is any effectAttorneys during voir dire can challenge the seating of some jurors for a cause or, in a limited number of instances, for no stated reason. The latter challenge is known asA peremptory challengeA judge concerned about pretrial publicity can order a trial moved to another location. This is known asChange of venueA judge may order a trial delayed, if the defense agrees, in order to let the effects of pretrial publicity die down. This is known asContinuanceSheppard v. Maxwell was important because it established thatExtensive publicity before a trial should be presumed to cause bias among jurorsIn Nebraska Press Association v. Stuart and subsequent cases, the Supreme Court made it difficult for courts toEnforce gag orders against the mediaA court can issue a gag order to witnesses, parties, attorneys, and others involved in a case to prevent them from talking to the press as long asThe order is narrow and there is no alternative to ensure for a fair trialGrand juries meet in secret. Once a grand jury term ends, a grand jurorMay usually talk to the press about a caseIn the Richmond Newspapers case, the Supreme Court stated that the press and public haveA First Amendment right to attend criminal trialsThe Supreme Court developed a two-part test to help courts determine whether judicial proceedings should be presumed to be open to the press and public. The test looks at the past practices and the pros and cons of openness and is called theExperience and logic testAlthough civil trials do not raise the same constitutional issues as criminal trials, traditionallyThey have been open to the press and publicJudicial proceedings that are generally, or at least often, closed to the press and public include all of the following exceptPretrial hearingsOne type of judicial record that is often not available to the press or public isSettlements in civil suitsCameras are allowed in some courtrooms in how many states?50Reporters sometimes ask to use laptops or other devices to do live updates from inside a courtroom. The consensus on whether that is allowed isThere is no consensusIn general, the execution of a prisoner isNot open to the public and pressJudges, lawyers, and journalists get together in some states occasionally to agree to guidelines for access to court proceedings and fair and unsensational news coverage. The guidelines are known asBench-bar-press guidelinesIn speaking about sexual expression and the law, the word "pornography"Has no legal meaningU.S. regulation of obscenity began in earnest when Congress passed a law banning the mailing of obscene material at the urging of an anti-pornography crusader. The law was named after him and was called theComstock ActThe Hicklin Rule, from a British case about indecent material, stated that sexual expression was obscene ifIt would be unsuitable for childrenIn Miller v. California in 1973, the Supreme Court adopted a test that is still used today to determine whether a work was obscene. The test requires a showing that a work appeals to the prurient interest of an average person applying contemporary community values; is patently offensive; andLacks serious social, literary, artistic, or political value, when taken as a wholeIn the Miller test for obscenity, a "community" in the physical world is a geographic area such as a town or a state. On the internet, a community isNot clearly defined yet"Variable obscenity" refers to the idea thatSomething that is legal for adults may be obscene for childrenState laws vary, but generally the states do not charge minors with violating child pornography laws when one minor sends nude or highly suggestive photos to another minor in an act, usually done on mobile phones, known asSextingZoning laws that limit the hours of operation of adult businesses, their location, their ability to serve alcohol or other business practices are generally considered legal as long asThey don't ban adult businesses entirelyCongress has passed several laws attempting to regulate minors' exposure to sexual content on the internet, but most of the laws get struck down in court for being too vague or broad, or both. However, the Supreme Court did uphold the Children's Internet Protection Act, whichRequired filtering software on public library computersCongress passed a bill known as FOSTA in 2018 that removed section 230 immunity from websites that knew or should have known that their users wereEngaged in sex traffickingForty-eight states and the District of Columbia have passed laws to combat nonconsensual pornography, which is also known asRevenge pornCongress is authorized to create copyright legislation byArticle 1, Section 8, Paragraph 8 of the constitutionCopyright law generally protects original works fixed in a tangible medium, but you cannot copyrightFacts or ideasUnder the first-sale doctrine, once you buy a copy of a copyrighted workYou can do what you want with that copy within reasonThe so-called "hot news doctrine" protectsThe effort required to produce newsWhen the creator of a work holds the copyright, it lasts forThe life of the creator plus 70 yearsAfter Congress increased the length of time a person could hold a copyright in 1998, a lawsuit challenged the extension because the plaintiff alleged it violated the "limited time" provision in the Constitution. The Supreme Court saidIt would not second-guess Congress on what "limited time" meant.Of the four elements of fair use, the one that is often most important in court isEffect on the market for the originalYou do not have to register a copyright or post a notice on your work to be protected under copyright law, but registration and notice are still recommended because,You can't win statutory damages unless you registerIn a copyright infringement case, courts look at whether there was a substantial similarity between the copyrighted work and the allegedly illegal copy andDid the accused infringer have access to the original?The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 was an attempt to crack down on threats posed to copyright holders by new technology, but it also allowed website owners to escape liability if a user illegally uploaded a copyrighted material and the site responded promptly to a notice from the copyright holder called aTakedown noticeIf a person produces work as a part of their employment, that is called a work for hire and the copyright belongs toThe employerA trademark is usually a symbol or slogan associated with a product that distinguishes it from other similar products. A service markServes the same function as a trademark, but for services such as insurance instead of a consumer productThe strongest type of trademark is a made-up, unique word or phrase and is calledA fanciful markA company can lose the right to use a trademark if it abandons the mark for a length of time or if itAllows the mark to become the generic term for a product (like aspirin).Trademarks can be diluted by competitors in a couple of different ways. One of those ways is associating an identical or similar mark with an inferior product. This is calledTarnishmentIn two cases in recent years in which the Supreme Court has looked at whether the federal Patent and Trademark Office could reject trademarks it found disparaging or scandalous, the Supreme Court has ruled thatThe rejections violated the First AmendmentIn a 1976 case involving the advertising of prescription drug prices in Virginia, the Supreme Court for the first time directly said thatCommercial speech is protected by the First AmendmentThe general definition of commercial speech leaves open some doubt about what qualifies as protected commercial speech. In Nike v. Kasky, the Supreme CourtDeclined to answer the questionThe Central Hudson test for determining whether a regulation on commercial speech is constitutional examines whether the regulation directly and narrowly advances a substantial government interest, but before a court examines those questions, it must first determine whetherThe speech in question is about a legal product and is truthfulUnder the Central Hudson test, the government is generally found to have a substantial interest, but it loses some cases, like two involving alcohol marketing in the mid-1990s, becauseThe regulations do not directly advance the interestGenerally, governmental bodies can place limits on tobacco advertising to keep it away from childrenBut cannot ban all tobacco adsThe advertising industry has two self-regulating agencies, the NAD and the CARU, and appeals from those boards go toThe National Advertising Review BoardThe Federal Trade Commission maintains a Do Not Call list and the government bans robocalls, but both sets of prohibitions make exceptions for organizations engaged inPolitics and charityThe Federal Trade Commission defines a misleading ad as one that has a material representation or omission that is likely to misleadA reasonable consumerExaggerated claims in ads that are not material statements but focus on product image are not banned by the FTC and are known asPufferyThe FTC has several remedies for dealing with false or misleading advertising, including staff letters of advise that are not legally binding and are known asOpinion lettersIn some cases, the FTC will order companies to publicly admit that they lied to consumers in previous advertising. These messages are known asCorrective advertisingSome people on social media are known as influencers, in that they try to influence people to buy certain products. When influencers are paid to promote products, the FTCRequires them to disclose they are being paidCongress passed the Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) to require web sites designed to attract children toRefrain from soliciting personal information about children without parental permissionAmong other things, the Communications Act of 1934Created the Federal Communications CommissionThe government justifies regulating broadcast media in part by noting that there is not enough room in the atmosphere to handle signals from everyone who might want to broadcast. This concept is known asSpectrum scarcityWhen it seeks to adopt a new regulation, the FCC often starts with a Notice of Inquiry seeking comments about the idea. Next, it publishes an announcement that it plans to create a regulation and seeks comments. The announcement is calledA Notice of Proposed RulemakingUnder FCC ownership regulations, one company may, in a market, own how many radio stations?Five to eight, depending upon the size of the marketThe Equal Opportunities Rule requires that competing candidates for federal office have equivalent opportunities to make use of airtime to promote their campaigns, but the rule exemptsBone fide news and news interview showsSection 312(a)(7) of the Communications Act requires broadcast stations to provide political candidates withReasonable access to the airwavesA broadcast station that sells political advertising to candidates must charge themTheir lowest unit rate per adThe Children's Television Act limits advertising on children's programming to 12 minutes per hour during the week and10.5 minutes per hour on weekendsIn the 1978 Pacifica Foundation case, the Supreme CourtUpheld the FCC's right to punish indecency on the airAfter Janet Jackson's breast was exposed on TV during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show, Congress passed a law toRaise the maximum fine for indecency to $325,000 per incidentAfter the 2004 Super Bowl incident, the FCC changed its policy on so-called "fleeting expletives" on live shows and issued fines for blurted-out curse words on several awards shows. The fines were challenged, and the Supreme Court ruled thatThe FCC's rule change violated the First AmendmentThe Telecommunications Act of 1996 included a provision aimed at helping parents shield their children from violent content on television. It required TV manufacturers to install a device in all TV sets sold in the United States by the year 2000 that would allow parents to block certain shows from being seen. The device is known as theV-chipLocal governments are generally prohibited from requiring cable TV operators to provide certain types of programming or avoid other types, but they are allowed toCharge franchise feesUnder the 1992 Cable Act, local broadcast stations can require cable companies to get retransmission consent (for a fee) to carry their programs, while less-popular broadcast stations can require the cable company to pick up their programming under a rule known asMust-carryIndecency regulations generally don't apply to cable and satellite TV services, but cable companies may ban indecent shows from leased-access channels andMay not ban indecency from PEG channelsIn Reno v. ACLU, the Supreme Court struck down most of the Communications Decency Act, except for Section 230 and a few other provisions. The CDA would haveMade it illegal to transmit obscene or indecent material to minors on the internet