JOUR E-110 The Constitution and the Media
This course examines the concept of freedom of the press— the basis for it and the restrictions on it —in the United States. We begin by examining the concept of free speech and free press as used in the First Amendment of the US Constitution, and trace its historical development to the present. We discuss the ways the Supreme Court has addressed three contentious press issues: the conflict between disclosure and national security (for example, the Pentagon Papers case); the defamation of public figures in news reporting (New York Times Co. v. Sullivan); and reporters' shield laws and the limits of the journalist's privilege to keep sources confidential. We also examine the constitutional basis for governmental regulation of broadcast content, and the interplay (or tension) between cyberspace and freedom of the press (for example, the 2011 Wikileaks controversy).