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Legal

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
NEWS

Here are the journalists fighting for federal public records

Media executives are fond of making big speeches about the importance of press freedom. But which organizations are actually spending time and money on it? A new, searchable list from The FOIA project, a initiative from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, provides a partial answer. Earlier this week, TRAC published The News Media List, a sortable … Read More
NEWS

First Draft News releases guide to eyewitness media and copyright law

First Draft News released a handbook Thursday with guidance for how journalists should deal with images, videos and information captured by people who witness news. “A Journalist’s Guide to Copyright Law and Eyewitness Media,” by Sam Dubberley, includes country-specific advice for journalists in the U.S., the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Austrlia and Finland. It also looks at some … Read More
NEWS

FOIA Machine is joining MuckRock

MuckRock, the nonprofit dedicated to transparency and open government, announced Tuesday that it's adding FOIA Machine to its organization. MuckRock, which helps reporters file freedom of information requests and other services for a fee, will maintain a FOIA Machine site separately and keep it free. "The folks working on FOIA tools is a very small world, so the MuckRock and … Read More
NEWS

Why Gawker settled the Hulk Hogan dispute

In the end, proudly iconoclastic Gawker Media and founder Nick Denton raised a white flag. A new media renegade behaved very much its traditional forebears when it announced plans to scrap a long and costly appeal of Hulk Hogan's $140 million victory in the dispute over its publishing an excerpt of a sex tape. Denton formally disclosed an … Read More
NEWS

After being stonewalled for years, Carol Rosenberg is suing the government — again

Miami Herald reporter Carol Rosenberg just wants some basic facts. What she's after used to be freely available but is now kept secret by the Pentagon. It involves hundreds of millions of dollars, thousands of people and 60 prisoners. She's been chasing the information for more than two years. And now, she's going to court to get it. On Wednesday, … Read More
NEWS

How Rolling Stone might win its high-stakes libel case

Lawyers for Rolling Stone are surely playing a form of courtroom chess as the magazine defends itself in a Virginia court over its notorious University of Virginia gang rape story. In sum, they'd be smart to be thinking several moves ahead, contemplating the possibility of losing the high-stakes defamation trial, and perhaps having a possibly stronger chance of victory on … Read More
NEWS

The New York Times legal department is still waiting for a reply from Donald Trump

At The New York Times, reporters aren't the only ones who can write fast. David McCraw, an attorney for the newspaper, drew praise on social media last week after his legal rebuttal to Donald Trump's retraction request went viral. Among other things, the letter suggested Trump would not win a libel case against the The New York Times for … Read More
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