News Gathering

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

Gene Policinski Commentary – To Trump On NBC ‘License’ Tweet: NO!

The Newseum Institute’s First Amendment expert, Gene Policinski, originally published this commentary on the Newseum blog, and have given First Amendment Watch permission to reprint. There’s only one appropriate, spirit-of-freedom response to the “Trump tweet” on Wednesday asking when it’s “appropriate” for the government to punish NBC News for a story the president didn’t like: NEVER. And yes, the repetition of “appropriate” and[Read More…]

October 12, 2017 Below the Fold, News Gathering, Threats
Criticism Escalates Over President Trump’s Threats To Revoke Network Licenses

Criticism Escalates Over President Trump’s Threats To Revoke Network Licenses

October 17, 2017: FCC Chair Stands By First Amendment In a rebuke to President Trump’s threats to revoke broadcast licenses, FCC Chair Ajit Pai said at telecom law event, “The FCC under my leadership will stand for the First Amendment, and under the law the FCC does not have the authority to revoke a license of a broadcast station based on[Read More…]

October 12, 2017 News Gathering, 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
United States Supreme Court Building

Reporter’s Privilege: Shaky Protection for Confidentiality of Sources

Reporter’s privilege is the right asserted by journalists to keep their sources confidential in the face of a court order to reveal the information. The U.S. Supreme Court considered that issue only once, in 1972, in the case of Branzburg v. Hayes, 408 U.S. 665. The Court in a 5-4 decision said that reporters did not enjoy a First Amendment[Read More…]

August 29, 2017 Legal Cases, News Gathering, Subpoenas
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
States Move to Protect Journalist Sources

States Move to Protect Journalist Sources

Journalists have recently gotten a boost to use reporter’s privilege to keep news sources confidential.

April 19, 2017 Below the Fold, News Gathering, Subpoenas