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Legal Controls & Freedom of Expression

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Greg Shields

on 8 February 2017

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Transcript of Legal Controls & Freedom of Expression

Legal Controls & Freedom of Expression
Did you know?
Nation poll in 2014 found:
75% of Americans think "wealthy Americans have a better chance than others of influencing the election process."

First Amendment
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the
freedom of speech
, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Implications of the 1st Amendment
Between 1992 - 2014 - over 1000 journalists killed for reporting in other countries
We as Americans take for granted our constitutional freedom of speech
As of 2014, 66 nations allow virtually no freedom of press
1 in 7 people live in a country with a free media system
Models of Expression
Authoritarian - guided by elite highly educated ruling class - operate in developing countries like Asia, Latin America and Africa
Communist or State - controlled by government, very little criticism - seen in Myanmar (Burma), China, Cuba and N. Korea
Social Responsibility - created by Hutchins Commission - press watchdogs to oversee powerful media to enforce social responsibility - encourage comprehensive news reports for better coverage
Libertarian - encouraging vigorous government criticism - highest degree of free speech (seen in alternative newspapers)
Image by goodtextures: http://fav.me/d2he3r8
History of the 1st Amendment
John Milton (1644) - published
opposing licensing for printers and defended a free press
1791 - Bill of Rights adopted
Prior Restraint - courts and govs. cannot block publication or speech before it actually occurs
Pentagon Papers - leaked report
History of U.S. Decsion Making Process on Vietnam Policy (Watergate Scandal)
Progressive Magazine Case - 1st time a prior-restraint order imposed in name of national security stopped the initial publication
Important Terms
Copyright -
legal protection for authors and producers of published or unpublished works
Public Domain -
free public access to works
- defamation of character in written or broadcast
- different, spoken language that defames a person's character
Actual Malice
- reporter or editor knows of false statement and prints or broadcasts it anyway
Right to Privacy
- right to be left alone. short and sweet.
1st vs 6th
6th Amendment - "... the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury"
Sam Shepard - accused of murdering his wife, press put him in negative light, persuaded jury, retried - overturned conviction
Gag Order
- moving a courtcase to other jurisdiction, limiting number of reporters & placing restrictions
Shield Laws
- oppose gag orders, protect reporters from revealing their sources
Social & Political Pressures on Film
Public pressure
Conservatives - saw potential threat to the authority of traditional institutions
Progressives - worried children and adults would attract to movie houses rather than civic organizations
Political Pressure
Supreme Court ruled motion pictures are not a form of speech but "a business pure and simple" like a circus
MPAA Rating System
G, PG, PG-13, R, NC-17, X ;)
The Internet
Scrutiny over harmful images and information online
Net Neutrality - 2014, courts argued that since the internet isn't a essential utility (everyone has access to), it can't be regulated = happy ISP
by mid Sept. 2014 3 million comments flooded FCC in favor of Net Neutrality
Internet seen as a democratic forum w/ very little government interaction
Full transcript