Teacher Guides

Teacher Guide: Balancing The Right To A Fair Trial With The Right Of A Free Press

19th Century Public Trial
Maryland – Scene in the Court-House at Annapolis – Trial of Mrs. Wharton on the charge of murdering General Ketchum by poison / from a sketch by Jas. E. Taylor. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Each year, the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) convenes the New York Fair Trial Free Press Conference, which brings together a panel of journalists, judges, and lawyers to discuss a hypothetical case involving free speech, the freedom of the press, and citizens’ right to a fair trial. This teacher guide explores such topics as privacy rights, shield laws, confidential sources, and other legal concepts touched on in the hypothetical. The eight modules can be used as stand-alone lessons, noting, however, that some are more in depth than others, and some will be shorter than others, depending upon the amount of time the panelists discussed each topic.

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