Sep. 24, 2013: The summer of 2013 was one of discontent. The Associated Press and Fox News learned that they have been subject to secret snooping by the Justice Department, and New York Times reporter James Risen lost a key appeal in the federal courts in his effort to protect his sources. The Obama Administration was on a tear pursuing leak investigations. These events led to some stirrings of reform, as the Justice Department revised its media subpoena guidelines, and Congress returned to a possible federal shield statute. But are there other ways out of this corrosive cycle?
Bruce D. Brown, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, explores the relationship between the Obama Administration and the media.
Brown became executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in September 2012 and is of counsel in the Washington, D.C., office of BakerHostetler, where he had been a partner in the firm’s media law practice. He has argued press cases in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.
Prior to joining BakerHostetler, Brown was a federal court reporter for Legal Times and a newsroom assistant to David Broder at The Washington Post.
Brown co-directs the First Amendment Clinic at the University of Virginia Law School and is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University in its master’s program in journalism. Brown received a J.D. from Yale Law School, a master’s degree in English literature from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Stanford University.
Sep. 27, 2011: Mary-Rose Papandrea, an associate professor in the Boston College School of Law, discussed the new challenges the digital age poses to the First Amendment rights of students and their teachers at public high schools and universities. The Supreme Court has issued a series of decisions in the last few years that are highly protective of First Amendment rights. Among other things, violent video games can be sold to minors, a religious group can say hateful things outside of a funeral, and corporations must be free to make unlimited independent expenditures during political campaigns. But when it comes to students and government employees, the Court has taken a much more limited view of the First Amendment. Professor Papandrea will argue that the Court's decisions in this area are misguided.
Sep. 30, 2010: Near-universal Internet access should make this a golden age of publishing, but the ease of entry into mass communications is raising new legal challenges that the law is struggling to catch up with. When anyone can publish, who’s a journalist, and why does it matter? Keynote speaker Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center, looks at the “Media Law 2.0” issues raised when the news goes online, and how students can help shape where the law is heading.
The 2015 keynote speaker Danielle Keats Citron, author of Hate Crimes in Cyberspace, a Harvard University Press book. Cosmopolitan and Harper’s Bazaar nominated her book as one of the top 20 “Best Moments for Women” in 2014.
One reviewer said of Citron’s book: “Citron addresses a significant, timely topic in this impressively comprehensive, expertly researched book. Drawing upon leading legal and sociological works, the author explores the nature and consequences of cyber harassment and cyber stalking. Citron’s approach is particularly effective because she introduces a series of actual cases in which victims’ lives and livelihoods have been damaged by deliberate, malicious invasions of privacy over the Internet. In addressing legal remedies for digital hate attacks, Citron invokes lessons from the civil, women’s, and employee rights movements. Moreover, she emphasizes ways in which victims can employ civil and criminal legal means of catching and punishing perpetrators of these crimes. . . . An excellent analysis of the social impact of Internet hate crimes” (Lynne Maxwell, Library Journal, Sept. 15, 2014).
Professor Citron is the Lois K. Macht Research Professor & Professor of Law at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. Her work focuses on information privacy, cyber law, automated systems, and civil rights. She has published extensively in law reviews and frequently writes for popular media, including the Atlantic, New York Times, and Slate.
The 2016 keynote speaker was Trevor Timm, co-founder and executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation in San Francisco. The Freedom of the Press Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping support and defend public-interest journalism focused on exposing mismanagement, corruption, and law-breaking in government. The organization works to preserve and strengthen the rights guaranteed to the press under the First Amendment.
Timm is a journalist, activist, and lawyer who writes a twice weekly column for The Guardian on privacy, free speech, and national security. He has contributed to The Atlantic, Al Jazeera, Foreign Policy, Harvard Law and Policy Review, PBS MediaShift, and Politico. Timm formerly worked as an activist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Before that, he helped the longtime general counsel of The New York Times,James Goodale, write a book on the Pentagon Papers and the First Amendment. He received his J.D. from New York Law School. In 2013, he received the Hugh Hefner First Amendment Award for journalism.
This is what Timm will talk about on First Amendment Day: It has been said that the top decision-makers at Facebook and Google now have more power in determining who can speak and who can be heard than the Supreme Court. From the dominance of social media, to billionaires trying to control the news, and the use of financial censorship, what happens to First Amendment issues in the digital age when the Constitution may not apply?