Category Archives: Freedom of Speech

Enemy Of The People

Enemy of the people: Ken Thomas writes about the impact of President Trump’s attack on the U.S. media as “fake news.

Thomas quotes Prof. Jay Rosen saying, “It’s the erosion of the common world of fact. If we can’t agree on what the facts are, if there are no facts because they are in endless dispute, there is no accountability.”

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Students: Diversity And Inclusion Over Free Speech

Students want diversity and inclusion over free speech.

Survey of college students finds support for free expression, but a willingness to restrict it in favor of inclusion.

Students see downsides of social media free expression because people can block views of others who disagree with them.

FOI Audits Reveal Flaws

FOI audits reveal flaws: Daniel Bevarly reports government FOI audits in Florida, Illinois and Tennessee find poor open records compliance.

“The independent findings from state FOI coalitions and a university disclose an ongoing challenge to government agencies to comply with their state’s open government laws and demonstrate consistent policy practices,” he writes.

Defining Free Speech For Robots

Defining free speech for robots: Jared Schroeder reports that free expression rights for artificial intelligence communicators may push the Supreme Court to define a journalist.

“Courts will soon have to explore whether AI communicators have rights as publishers — and whether a bot can be entitled to journalist protections,” he writes. This requires us to identify what is human about journalism and what is fundamental about it.

World Press Freedom Day

World Press Freedom Day: Brian Stelter reports that dozens of news organizations join forces to promote high-quality journalism.

“It’s unusual to see media companies encouraging people to check out rival brands,” says Stelter. “The New York Times, in a print ad on Tuesday, is recommending its arch-rival The Wall Street Journal.” The move encourages the public to seek other sources of news.

Muckraking In Africa

Muckraking in Africa: Andrea Gurwitt writes about what American journalists can learn from African journalists.

“American journalists should study African journalism so that Americans can understand their own future,” a source tells Gurwitt. Some of the bravest African reporters devoted their lives to hard-hitting stories while working more or less on their own.

Facebook Community Standards

Facebook publishes its community standards:

Hate speech defined as “a direct attack on people based on what we call protected characteristics — race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender, gender identity and serious disability or disease.”

The goal of its community standards “is to encourage expression and create a safe environment.”

Facebook says “we remove content, disable accounts and work with law enforcement when we believe there is a genuine risk of physical harm or direct threats to public safety.”

Report For America

Report For America: Nellie Bowles updates status of nonprofit Report For America, aiming to put a thousand journalists in understaffed newsrooms by 2022.

Applicants “want to try to save democracy,” says a founder. Fellowships last one to two years and pay about $40,000.

“I felt like I needed to give something back to a place that has given a lot to me,” says one of the first reporters selected. “And journalism is the way for me to do that.”