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Legal

NEWS

Will the Knight Institute win its lawsuit against President Trump? It's complicated.

In an act of defiance against Donald Trump's Twitter obsession, the Knight First Amendment Institute sued the president last week on behalf of seven people he's blocked. That makes for a good headline, but what's the likelihood of the Knight Institute actually winning the case? It's complicated. While some legal experts think there's a good chance the court will rule in the … Read More
NEWS

Knight Institute sues President Trump over Twitter blocking

The Knight First Amendment Institute has filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump and his communication teams, alleging that they're violating the Constitution by blocking people on Twitter. The lawsuit, which was filed in the Southern District of New York today on behalf of seven individuals blocked by the @realdonaldtrump account, seeks to have the court determine that Trump's exclusion of … Read More
NEWS

Snopes is locked in a legal battle for control of its website

The owner of Snopes is locked in a legal battle with a small digital services company for control of the popular debunking site. Proper Media — a company that owns, operates and represents web properties  — has issued a legal complaint and demand for a jury trial with Snopes owner Bardav, Inc. for what it calls "a lengthy scheme of concealment … Read More
NEWS

U.S. Court of Appeals sides with First Amendment right to video-record police

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of journalists and ordinary bystanders video recording police. The three-judges appellate panel ruled in the cases of a Temple University student, Richard Fields and Amanda Geraci, who was a member of a police watchdog group in Philadelphia called Up Against the Law. It was a case that drew a … Read More
NEWS

Sarah Palin sues The New York Times over Virginia shooting editorial

Former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin filed suit against The New York Times on Tuesday evening, alleging the newspaper defamed her by publishing an editorial that connected rhetoric from a Palin political action committee to the shooting of former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. The lawsuit, which began circulating on Twitter Tuesday evening, alleges that The New York Times published … Read More
NEWS

Does President Trump's Twitter blocking violate the First Amendment? This man wants to find out

Earlier this week, a First Amendment group based at Columbia University sent a letter to President Trump demanding that the commander in chief unblock two of his critics on Twitter or face the possibility of legal action. The letter, which was published by the Knight First Amendment Institute, quickly garnered coverage from The New York Times, Wired … Read More
NEWS

First Amendment group threatens to sue President Trump unless he unblocks Twitter critics

The Knight First Amendment Institute, a nonprofit advocacy group based at Columbia University, threatened to take legal action against President Trump if he does not unblock critics on Twitter. The demand, made in a letter to President Trump, was sent on behalf of Holly O'Reilly and Joseph M. Papp, two Twitter users who were blocked by the president's account after … Read More
NEWS

Department of Justice charges government contractor for leaking to The Intercept under Espionage Act

The Department of Justice on Monday announced that it had filed charges against a government contractor named Reality Winner for providing a news outlet with a classified document. The charges were announced shortly after The Intercept published a report, based on a highly classified intelligence report, that alleged Russian military intelligence carried out a cyberattack against a U.S. Read More
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
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