Access

Ballard Spahr: Cosby Case Highlights Role of Public Access to Court Records

Ballard Spahr: Cosby Case Highlights Role of Public Access to Court Records

Reprinted with Permission from Ballard Spahr The April 2018 criminal trial of iconic entertainer and “America’s Dad” Bill Cosby has ended with a guilty verdict. Rarely has the importance and power of public access to the courts—and the unique role of the media in securing access—been on such full display as during the more than 10 years of civil and[Read More…]

May 3, 2018 Access, Below the Fold
The Feeling of Being Watched Debuts at Tribeca Film Festival Highlighting the Need For FOIA And Open Records Access

The Feeling of Being Watched Debuts at Tribeca Film Festival Highlighting the Need For FOIA And Open Records Access

FAW attended the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival screening of the documentary of “The Feeling of Being Watched” which details the quest of Assia Boundaoui to uncover information on the FBI’s “Operation Vulgar Betrayal,” a wide-ranging pre-9/11 FBI counterterrorism investigation, conducted during the 1990s and 2000s, that aimed to track Middle Eastern terrorist funds but ended in sweeping surveillance of Muslim communities. Boundaoui pushes the government for transparency using FOIA and later suing the Department of Justice.

April 26, 2018 Access, FOIA, Top Stories
Are Media Blackouts the New Norm?

Are Media Blackouts the New Norm?

Gag orders or standard practice of administrations in transition?

Gene Policinski, Chief Operating Officer, Newseum Institute and First Amendment Center of Newseum Institute

Gene Policinski Commentary: The White House is Wrong. A Free Press Is ‘The People’

The Newseum Institute’s First Amendment expert, Gene Policinski, originally published this commentary on March 8, 2018, in the Austin American-Statesman, and then Newseum blog, and has given First Amendment Watch permission to reprint.   _________________________________________________________________________________ An angry U.S. president feels hounded by the news media and is infuriated and discouraged with the intense and personal criticism of his domestic and international policies. I[Read More…]

March 12, 2018 Access, Below the Fold, Press
Eric Greitens

Missouri Governor Faces Lawsuit Over Secret Messaging App

February 1, 2018: Are Messaging Apps That Delete Content A Threat to the First Amendment? Two lawyers have brought a suit against Missouri Governor Eric Greitens for using an encrypted-messaging app, Confide, that makes records of his administration difficult to archive. According to the complaint which asks for a temporary restraining order against the app’s use, “the use of automatic[Read More…]

February 2, 2018 Access, Top Stories
Jason Aldean

Country Music Association Backtracks on Reporter Ban At Awards Gala

November 3, 2017: Under Pressure, the Country Music Association Apologies For Attempting to Silence Reporters The Country Music Association first told reporters covering the annual awards event next week that questions about “the Las Vegas tragedy, gun rights, political affiliations or topics of the like” were to be avoided. The penalty: a “security escort” out of the event. The Association[Read More…]

November 3, 2017 Access, Censorship, Top Stories
The President’s Mar-A-Lago Retreat and Presidential Access

The President’s Mar-A-Lago Retreat and Presidential Access

Throughout history, U.S. Presidents have relied on private retreats to recharge during the trials of governing. George H.W. Bush had a “Summer White House” in Kennebunkport, Maine, FDR  built a “Little White House” in Warm Springs, Georgia, and Harry S. Truman had his own Florida “Little White House” before President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach. Mar-a-Lago, once the Marjorie Merriweather Post estate, is[Read More…]

October 9, 2017 Access, News Gathering
EPA Attacks Associated Press Reporter Over Hurricane Harvey Story

EPA Attacks Associated Press Reporter Over Hurricane Harvey Story

President Trump has often and vociferously vilified the press as the “enemy.” Now the Environmental Protection Agency has taken the cue and singled out an Associated Press reporter for an article on Houston Superfund sites affected by Hurricane Harvey. In a strongly worded statement, the EPA said reporting it wasn’t doing all it could to serve affected areas would be “yellow journalism.”

September 6, 2017 Access, Threats, Top Stories
The End of White House Press Briefings?

The End of White House Press Briefings?

Truncated, often truculent, and now off-camera, White House Press Briefings no longer provide a link to the Administration’s thinking, so what’s their worth?

July 12, 2017 Access, Leaks, News Gathering
The Chilling Effect of Public Broadcasting Funding Cuts

The Chilling Effect of Public Broadcasting Funding Cuts

Does the government have a role to play in public broadcasting?

July 11, 2017 Access, News Gathering