News Gathering

Former U.S. President Barack Obama waves to the crowd during a campaign rally for Wisconsin democratic candidates, gubernatorial candidate Tony Evers, (far left), Lt. Governor candidate Mandela Barnes, (left), and state treasurer candidate Sarah Godlewski, (right) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S., October 26, 2018. REUTERS/Sara Stathas

Conservative Think Tank Sues Wisconsin Governor For Denying Access To Press Briefings

August 6, 2019 Democratic Governor Tony Evers is being sued in federal court by MacIver Institute of Public Policy, a conservative think tank, over allegations that Evers denied its staffers access to press briefings, a violation of their First Amendment rights. The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, alleges that since Evers took[Read More…]

August 8, 2019 Below the Fold, News Gathering
Philadelphia City Officials Sued for Ban on Audio Recording in Bail Hearings

Philadelphia City Officials Sued for Ban on Audio Recording in Bail Hearings

July 17, 2019 A Philadelphia-based nonprofit and an independent journalist have sued officials in Pennsylvania’s First Judicial District for banning audio recording in bail hearings, a restriction they say violates the First Amendment. Laws regulating audio and video recording devices vary widely by state. Even within states, individual courts generally have discretion to establish rules for cameras and audio equipment[Read More…]

July 23, 2019 News Gathering, Press Access
LAPD Sgt. Roger Nunez wears the new body cameras to be used by the Los Angeles Police Department. August 31, 2015. REUTERS/Al Seib/Pool

South Carolina Supreme Court Overturns Order That Barred Disclosure of Police Body-Camera Footage

  June 27, 2019: Breaking News Update South Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Donald Beatty vacated the order that would have prohibited lawyers from sharing police body-camera footage. The judge objected to the administrative order because it affects “the operation of the courts” and was issued without prior approval. June 26, 2019 Circuit court judges in Greenville County, South Carolina[Read More…]

June 27, 2019 Below the Fold, News Gathering, Privacy
Los Angeles Times Building (source: Wikipedia)

Judge Issues Protective Order for LA Times Reporters in Ongoing Lawsuit Against LA County

June 24, 2019 A Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled that journalists at the Los Angeles Times do not have to disclose the identities of their sources or turn over unpublished material they gathered during the course of their reporting. Under California’s Shield Law, journalists are protected from being forced to reveal confidential sources or to turn over unpublished information[Read More…]

June 26, 2019 News Gathering, Privacy
“First Amendment Auditors” Sue Boulder Police Department For Violating Their First Amendment Rights

“First Amendment Auditors” Sue Boulder Police Department For Violating Their First Amendment Rights

For an in depth examination of First Amendment Auditors and the right to film in public, click on the link below: June 13, 2019 Two self-described “First Amendment auditors” are suing the city of Boulder and its police department for violating their First Amendment right to videotape public officials in public places. On December 28, 2018, Jedon Kerr and Dean[Read More…]

June 19, 2019 News Gathering
Controversial “First Amendment Auditors” Test the Right to Film in Public Spaces

Controversial “First Amendment Auditors” Test the Right to Film in Public Spaces

Filmed interactions with police that make headlines or spread on social media is not a new phenomenon. But a growing movement of  self-described “First Amendment Auditors”—individuals who specifically film on public property and police stations to test the rights to film in a public space—has forced some police departments to review how to respond to First Amendment audits. The audits,[Read More…]

June 18, 2019 Deep Dive, News Gathering
Film producer Harvey Weinstein leaves court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., June 5, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Media Organizations Seek Access To Transcript of Closed Weinstein Hearing

Both the prosecution and the defense in Harvey Weinstein’s case want a critical hearing set for Friday to take place behind closed doors, citing Weinstein’s right to a fair trial. Now, 14 major news organizations are fighting for open access, asking a judge to keep the hearing open to the press and the public.

April 24, 2019 News Gathering
The Georgia State Capitol, in Atlanta, Georgia Photo Credit: WikiCommons

Georgia Lawmakers File Worrisome Legislation To Create State Journalism Ethics Board

April 2, 2019: Georgia Lawmakers Propose Board That Would Promote “Canons of Ethics for Journalism” A group of six Georgia Republican lawmakers introduced an “Ethics in Journalism Act,” a measure that would authorize a “Journalism Ethics Board” to create and implement ethical standards to oversee journalists’ work and penalize journalists that do not comply. If approved, the board could also[Read More…]

April 9, 2019 News Gathering
BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief and moderator Ben Smith asks questions of entertainment executives during the University of Southern California's Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy Inaugural Symposium in Los Angeles, California September 24, 2012. REUTERS/Gus Ruelas (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ENTERTAINMENT MEDIA)

Ben Smith, Editor-In-Chief of BuzzFeed News Discusses Free Press Issues

Ben Smith, the Editor-In-Chief of BuzzFeed News, discusses his decision to publish the Steele dossier, a controversial intelligence memo compiled by retired British spy Christopher Steele. Smith also talks about other issues such as President Donald Trump’s repeated attacks on the press, and journalism and the privacy rights issues that arose from the Hulk Hogan and Gawker case. The Steele[Read More…]

March 8, 2019 News Gathering, Videos and Podcasts

First Amendment Watch Teacher Guide: Recording Video and Audio of Police Officers

To view this and other teacher guides, please fill out this form.  

March 8, 2019 News Gathering, Teacher Guides