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NEWS

Jeff Bezos gives $1 million gift to support press freedom

The Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press on Tuesday night announced a $1 million donation from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the biggest gift from an individual in the organization's 46-year history. "This generous gift will help us continue to grow, to offer our legal and educational support to many more news organizations, and to expand our services to … Read More
NEWS

Fox News hit with 3 additional lawsuits alleging racial and sex discrimination

A law firm representing current and former employees of Fox News announced Monday that it was bringing three additional cases against the embattled cable news network. The latest claims, from employees at Fox News' accounting department and Fox News Radio, allege sexual harassment and racial discrimination, asserting that employees were mocked, threatened, passed over for permanent employment and terminated without … Read More
NEWS

Journalists cry foul at White House plan to keep visitor logs secret

Journalists and open-government advocates on Friday derided the Trump administration's decision not to release visitor logs to the White House, in a break with policy established by the Obama administration. The Trump administration's refusal to make visitor logs public, which was reported first by Time, was greeted with pushback by journalists working at left-leaning and right-leaning publications as well … Read More
NEWS

How the Freedom of Information Act applies to federal agencies

Freedom of information is instrumental to journalism and essential for democracy. FOI laws grant you the right to know what your government is doing — how it spends your tax dollars, how it creates and implements policy and how it makes decisions that affect you. Before you can use the Freedom of Information Act for your research or reporting, you … Read More
NEWS

How the editor and publisher of a tiny Oregon weekly took on the state — and won

Les Zaitz‏ wasn't spoiling for a fight. After busting frauds and needling scoundrels at The Oregonian for decades, Zaitz‏ was ready for a quiet semi-retirement on his ranch in Eastern Oregon. And why not? His 1980 coverage of the eruption of Mount St. Helens was bronzed for posterity. His stories on lethal Mexican drug cartels earned him … Read More
NEWS

For the last time, President Trump can't change U.S. libel law

President Trump has repeatedly threatened to change U.S. libel law to crack down on news organizations that publish information he finds objectionable. But could he actually make good on his threat? Several First Amendment experts reached by Poynter say President Trump couldn't amend libel law simply because there is no federal statute governing libel. Further, any changes to existing libel … Read More
NEWS

What's the legal definition of "fake news?" One newspaper publisher might sue to find out.

There's a notorious American tradition of politicians lambasting — and even threatening to sue — news organizations that publish unflattering or potentially libelous stories. But what would happen if a news organization unfairly branded as "fake news" fought back? Jay Seaton might soon find out. Seaton, the publisher of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel in Colorado, made headlines in February when he … Read More
NEWS

Report: Access to government information will probably worsen in the Trump administration

Journalists will probably have to fight harder than ever for access to government information under the Trump administration, according to a new survey of 336 freedom of information experts published Monday. Nine out of 10 experts surveyed predicted that access to government information will get worse over the next four to eight years, according to the report, which was … Read More
NEWS

Juan Thompson, former Intercept writer, arrested in connection with bomb threats

Juan Thompson, who was fired from The Intercept last year for fabricating quotes, has been arrested on suspicion of making bomb threats against Jewish community centers. Thompson, who joined The Intercept at the end of 2014, stands accused of one count of cyberstalking in addition to making eight threats against Jewish community centers, according to NBC News. Read More
NEWS

Donald Trump, at Conservative conference, launches anti-media tirade

Donald Trump delivered a vehement and sometimes contradictory screed against the press during his appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference Friday, calling media reports "fake news" while expressing his support for the First Amendment. During the speech, which came on the penultimate day of the CPAC conference, Trump was especially critical of news organizations that use anonymous sources, saying … Read More
NEWS

Melania Trump settles libel suit against blogger for 'substantial sum'

Attorneys for Melania Trump say she has settled her lawsuit against Maryland blogger Webster Tarpley, who has issued an apology and agreed to pay the First Lady a "substantial sum." In August, Tarpley wrote that Trump suffered a "breakdown" after she was accused of plagiarizing portions of her convention speech from former First Lady Michelle Obama. In response, Trump jointly … Read More
NEWS

Journalists around the country are joining a Slack channel devoted to FOIA and Trump

A few days before President Trump's inauguration, MuckRock opened up a Slack channel to help journalists better cover him and his administration. As of Wednesday, 250 people signed up. Most are journalists, about half from national newsrooms and half from local newsrooms around the country. Update: As of Monday, 3,000 people have signed up. "Anytime we have a … Read More
NEWS

How far will President Trump's media blackout spread? The Sunlight Foundation is trying to find out

As news began to spread this week that some federal agencies were limiting or shutting down the flow of information to the public, Alex Howard grew increasingly concerned. As deputy director of the Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit that advocates for open government, he wondered if these were isolated incidents or a government-wide directive from the new administration under … Read More
In Case You Missed It

A prelude to President Trump’s war on the free press

"The Sundance documentary ‘Nobody Speak’ chronicles how an angry billionaire was able to take down the news site Gawker out of spite, providing a disturbing window into our future."

NEWS

Why Donald Trump doesn't have a libel case against BuzzFeed

This week, BuzzFeed roiled the media world when editors published a 35-page dossier containing explosive and unverified accusations against President-elect Donald Trump. Shortly after, Trump blasted BuzzFeed in his first press conference since the election, calling the company “a failing pile of garbage.” But does he have grounds to take his grievance from the briefing room to the … Read More
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