MMC 4200, Week 13 Notes
MMC 4200, Week 13 Notes MMC 4200
Popular in Law of Mass Communications
verified elite notetaker
Popular in Journalism and Mass Communications
verified elite notetaker
This 14 page Class Notes was uploaded by Deena Acree on Tuesday April 12, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to MMC 4200 at University of Florida taught by Sandra Chance in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 31 views. For similar materials see Law of Mass Communications in Journalism and Mass Communications at University of Florida.
Reviews for MMC 4200, Week 13 Notes
Report this Material
What is Karma?
Karma is the currency of StudySoup.
You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!
Date Created: 04/12/16
Class Twenty-Three (Chapter 12) — 4/7/15 Announcements: • Anonymous accreditation survey conducted: 5 general questions about the exam • Upcoming Extra Credit Opportunities are next week o Mingle with the FOI Brechner Award winner o 2 opportunities: • Monday, April 11 § 3pm-5pm § Pizza Party § Weimer 3200 • Tuesday, April 12 § 10am-12pm § Breakfast & coffee § Weimer 3032 o 2 reporters being recognized this year from the Miami Herald o Recorded by a pass signed by the two women running the events or Prof. Riedemann o You can get 2 points if you come to both sessions o Requirements: • Bring your ID! • 15 minute minimum • Be prepared to ask questions • Exam 3 Review o Friday, April 15, 5:30-6:30 pm o Turlington 011 o Exam review sheet will be sent out by end of day on Tuesday, April 12 • Exam # 3- April 19 (Last day of class) o Individual exam reviews on: • Thursday, April 21, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm • Friday, April 22, 12:00-2:00 pm • **These dates are tentative • Optional Final o Thursday, April 28, 5:30 pm o 50 minutes, same format, cumulative • An update will be forthcoming about how class evaluations will be conducted (Prof. Chance's policies but Prof. Ried emann's teaching) • Prof. Riedemann is unsure if we are going to get to chapter 7 during lecture next week o An email will be forthcoming this weekend in regards to this ---- Access to Information continued Access to Records • Federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) o Federal access law o Statute applies to the executive branch o However, does not apply to the White House, Congress, or to federal courts o Textbook defines what a record is, how an agency is required to respond to records requ ests, and how they can charge a fee for requests • Florida Public Records Law o State access law Access to Meetings • Federal Sunshine Law o The Federal Sunshine Law refers ONLY to open meetings (access to meetings) • Florida Sunshine Law o The Florida Sunshine Law refers ONLY to open meetings (access to meetings) o People often use Sunshine Law to refer to both meetings and access to records FOIA Exemptions • National Security • Agency Rules and Practices — applies to intercompany rules • Statutory Exemptions • Confidential Business Information — includes things like trade secrets • Agency Memoranda • Personnel, Medical and Similar Files — one of the most used exemptions • Law Enforcement Investigations — if a disclosure would interfere with investigations , endanger lives, reveal investigative techniques, • Banking Reports • Information about Wells Exemption 1: • National Security o Applies to information that could potentially put the nation in danger o If the government has deemed that information will put us at risk if it is exposed, then it can be restricted o Biggest problem is that each agency has the ability to determine if the information is exempted • Protects information that could damage the national defense and foreign policy • Executive Branch has the mos t discretion to withhold info o The only branch that allows the executive branch to make the decision; all of the other exemptions are made by Congress Federal Law on Student Records • Family Education Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA): AKA the Buckley Amendment. • Protects student education records. Directory information is permitted. o Does not protect directory information (address, phone number, email, etc.) • Grades, health information is private • This is an example of a statutory exemption — making all of the information about a student's records private through regulations Exemption 6: • Personnel, Medical and Similar Files • Protects information which would “constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.” o Personnel: Employment records, performance evaluations, reports on disciplinary proceedings, etc. o Medical: any medical records held by a government agency. o Similar: social security numb er, marital status, etc. Dept. of Justice v. Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (1989) • Balancing Test: Personal privacy interest versus the public’s interest in knowing about the activities of its government. • SCOTUS decision said that informa tion can be withheld if it doesn't include information about court proceedings • Said that computer generated rap sheets held by the FBI (which include official and accused criminal charges) were exempt from disclosure, even though a lot of the information i s available through public records Federal Sunshine Act o This is different from FOIA: covers access to meetings • Requires several federal executive agencies to meet in public. • Examples: FCC, FTC • Some exemptions apply o 10 exemptions exist o 7 of the 10 come directly from FOIA exemptions o Additional: • Accusations of criminal activity which hasn't been formally charged • Discussing regulations of financial matters which would lead to endangerment of a bank/cause a risk for other parties • Any discussions about the issuance of subpoenas • Must give public one-week’s notice o There is an online resource that discloses any of these meetings Florida’s Government-in-the-Sunshine Laws o Florida has been said to be one of the most transparent states in the c ountry, despite the fact that more exemptions have been added to the public records / meetings laws • Open Meetings Law o Sunshine Law o Passed approx. 30 years ago o Established basic rights of access to most meetings at the state and local level and government agencies • Public Records Law o Requires "access to any public agency in the course of specific business" with the exception of the exemptions o Covers written documents, tapes, videos, photographs, films, and computer records (anything tangible is included in the law) • Fla. Constitution • Sunshine Amend. Information to Improve Our Lives and Our Communities • Criminal backgrounds of potential partners/ employees o When someone does a background check, they are reaching into public records & have to pay a fee for the work that goes into accessing them o They cannot access anything that you can't access yourself • Medical doctor’s malpractice cases — examples of public records • Restaurant inspections — also public records, making sure that restaurants are "up t o code" • Day Care Center reports — another example • UF student evaluations ( www.aa.ufl.edu) — professor evaluations are also part of public record Sunshine Law Exemptions • Policy: No exemptions except those specifically outl ined in Florida statutes. Law is to be liberally construed to ensure access while exemptions to the law are narrowly construed. o Any gathering where 2 or more officials are gathering and where foreseeable future actions may be taken as part of the actions o Phone calls, text messages, etc. can be considered meetings when they are discussing official business o The officials would have to be on the same boards/committees for them to be considered to be meeting about the official business o You can't circumvent the law by going to a private party; they can also be governed by the law if they are assisting in this type of practice o No exemptions unless the legislation has specifically created an exemption for it (the very specific situation/case) • Examples: these are things that have been deemed to be exempt; they have to be narrowly designed and explicitly drawn out by legislature o Litigation meetings • City councils or attorneys discussing situations when it comes to making new litigation o Hearings involving minors o Education meetings o Abuse or neglect administrative hearings Public Records Law Florida Statute • Chapter 119 • “It is the policy of this state that all state, county and municipal records shall be open for a personal inspection by any person.” • Also requires that each agency establish a practice for disposal of records that don't have a specific value (financial, administrative, or whatever) in a way that also has a retention program • Essentially, it is official rules for disposing of records that aren't ne eded What is a Public Record? • Public records means all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, tapes, photographs, films, sound recordings, data processing software or other material, regardless of physical form, or characteristics, or means of transmi ssion, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by any agency. Public Records • All materials made or received by an agency in connection with official business which are used to “perpetuate, communicate or formalize knowledge.” Public Records Law: Access Guidelines • Every person who has custody of a public record shall permit the record to be inspected and examined by any person desiring to do so, at any reasonable time, under reasonable co nditions and under supervision of the custodian of the public record or his designee. o The law also says that anyone who is a "custodian" or a holder of a public record must give the record for inspection to anyone who asks for it o With the exception of the DMV, you do not have to give your name or any reason for asking for a record • If they ask and you say you will not tell them, then they tell you that they have to have it, they are breaking the law o You also don't have to give specific descriptions of the do cuments that you want; you may want to give the best description as possible because they are going to charge you money for the time that it takes them to pull records o There also is a "no unreasonable delay rule" — there can be no automatic waiting period for giving records • The custodian of the records gets a reasonable amount of time to find and produce records • The delay cannot be any longer than necessary • Someone must always have access to the records at all times; they cannot claim that the person who "can" access them is on vacation, etc. Public Records Exemptions • Everything is a public record unless it is exempt. • Exemptions are interpreted in a limited way. • Access is interpreted broadly. • Records which are exempt are still public records. o Information can be exempt, but the record will still be a public record o Information can be redacted • The burden is on the public agency claiming the exemption to prove it. • All exemptions must be specifically spelled out in the statute. • Almost 1,000 exemptions. o Most of the time the exemptions are made to protect privacy o Medical and birth records; o Investigative and criminal intelligence records relating to active investigations; o Records identifying sexual abuse victims or confidential informants; o Home addresses and phone numbers of police officers, state attorneys, judges, firefighters, Department of Children & Family Services and code enforcers; o Adoption records; o Student educational records. Public Records and Fees • Actual cost of copying, not to exceed $.15 per page, $1 for certified copy. • Clerk of the Court charge $1 per page • Extensive Use Charge o Information Technology o Extensive Clerical or Supervisory Assistance. Penalties for Violating Public Records Law • State Attorney is authorized to investigate both criminal and non-criminal violations. • Criminal Penalties: o Any member who knowingly violates the Public Records Law is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, up to a year in prison, and/or $1,000 fine. o Removal from office. • The laws do not apply only to elected officials; they also apply to people who are hired normally to work in the agency • Non-Criminal Penalties: o Fine of not more than $500 and legal fees for government official or body. The Sunshine Law Florida Statute • Chapter 286.011 • “All meetings of any board or commission of any state agency or authority or of any agency or authority of any county, municipal corporation, or political subdivision… at which OFFICIAL ACTS are to be taken are declared to be public meetin gs open to the public at all times…” The Sunshine Law Florida Statute • Chapter 286.011 • Applies to “any board or commission of any state agency or authority or any agency or authority of any county, municipal corporation, or political subdivision.” The Sunshine Law • Applies to ANY gathering, whether formal or casual, of two or more members of the same board or commission to discuss some matter on which foreseeable action will be taken. Penalties for Violating the Sunshine Law • Criminal Penalties: o Any member who knowingly violates the Sunshine Law is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, up to 60 days in prison and/or fine of $500. o Removal from office. • Non-Criminal Penalties: o Up to $500 fine and read Sunshine Manual. • Sometimes they are required to take refresher courses on the Sunshine Law o Attorneys’ fees. Class Twenty-Two (Chapters 10 & 12) — 4/5/15 Announcements: • Upcoming Extra Credit Opportunities o Mingle with the FOI Brechner Award winner o 2 opportunities: • Monday, April 11 § 3pm-5pm § Pizza Party § Weimer 3200 • Tuesday, April 12 § 10am-12pm § Breakfast & coffee § Weimer 3032 o 2 reporters being recognized this year from the Miami Herald o Recorded by a pass signed by the two women running the events or Prof. Riedemann o You can get 2 points if you come to both sessions o Requirements: • Bring your ID! • 15 minute minimum • Be prepared to ask questions • Exam 3 Review o Friday, April 15, 5:30-6:30 pm o Turlington 011 o Exam review sheet will be sent out by end of day on Tuesday, April 12 • Exam # 3- April 19 (Last day of class) o Individual exam reviews on: • Thursday, April 21, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm • Friday, April 22, 12:00-2:00 pm • **These dates are tentative • Optional Final o Thursday, April 28, 5:30 pm o 50 minutes, same format, cumulative • An update will be forthcoming about how class evaluations will be conducted (Prof. Chance's policies but Prof. Riedemann's teaching) ---- Chapter 10 continued: The Media and the Judiciary Jury Bias • As a matter of law, jurors are biased if they are so affected by prejudicial publicity that they cannot set aside preconceived ideas and decide a case solely on the evidence presented during a trial. o SCOTUS has said that a defendant can receive a fair tri al even if every member knows about the defendant's criminal history before the trial begins. • Murphy v. Florida o Man was being tried for stealing a large gem o Had many other previous charges and conviction; robbery, murder, interstate transportation of stolen goods o He appealed on the grounds that the jury had been prejudiced about him because of his previous record o SCOTUS said that that was not grounds for an appeal because all of the things that had been published were true and most had been published a t least 7 months before the jury selection occurred. o Said that in order for the jury to be biased, there needed to be more evidence that the press had influenced their decision. Presumption of Prejudice • Standard: o Case may be overturned because of prej udicial publicity ONLY if court finds identifiable bias in individual jurors or such an extraordinary amount of prejudicial publicity that the presumption of prejudice is raised. • Patton v. Yount o The defendant could not convince the court that the court h ad not found bias in the jurors o He was convicted a second time during his second trial & said that the first trial's publicity had led to him not receiving a fair trial o SCOTUS said that there had been sufficient time between the two cases o This case says that the courts will usually say that pretrial publicity that is a significant amount of time before an additional case wasn't a factor • Irvin v. Dowd o SCOTUS overturned the conviction in this case; said that there was so much publicity that there was a "pattern of prejudice" o Newspaper stories revealed defendant's criminal history, called him a "confessed slayer of six" o He was convicted again in the retrial o Because of the ruling, he got out of the death sentence and ended up with only life in prison Prejudicial StatementsO o Courts look at all of these types of statements to see if someone got an unfair trial . o Based on these statements and Rideau v. Louisiana, it is practiced that that prior criminal records cannot be entered as evidence • Confessions. • Prior criminal records. • Results of scientific tests, lie detectors, blood tests, DNA, ballistics. • Character flaws or lifestyle rumors. • Potential witnesses, testimony or evidence • Speculation by officials. Measuring Prejudice • Hard to measure. • Little evidence links pretrial publicity to jury bias. • People don’t remember what they read. • People often don’t believe what they read. o Courts have prohibited studies since 1964 because there is a fear that juries will lean one way or another based on the observance of a 3rd party Judicial action required when: • Inflammatory and pervasive press coverage prejudices the community. • Hostile publicity inflames the community. Controlling Conduct in Court • Cameras in the Courtroom • VIDEO: § SCOTUS does not allow cameras in the courtroom • VIDEO: C-SPAN argument by SCOTUS justices • No cameras were allowed in courtrooms at all from the 1930s -1960s • Courts tend to adopt ABA rules into their own legislation (rules that don't allow cameras in courtrooms) • SOCTUS doesn't ban or allow cameras; it is left up to the states to decide • Today, there are still no cameras allowed in federal trial courts or in the SCOTUS • Some federal appeals courts allow cameras on a case -by-case basis • Florida has some of the most open court cam era laws; FL Supreme Court allows you to see televised versions of their cases o Estes v. Texas • Defendant was a grain dealer who was indicted in a large scam • Tremendous amount of publicity involved in the case • SCOTUS reversed his conviction, saying the press should be allowed as much access as possible, without causing an unfair trial • Court ruled that the presence of even a single camera could violate his Sixth Amendment rights o Chandler v. Florida • Police officers had been accused of theft in the case • The officers couldn't prove that the cameras involved in the courtroom had violated their rights in this case • Restrictions on the Media o Gag orders (Nebraska Press Assoc. v. Stuart ) • Orders are on the media or news sources • On the media, typically asking them to not publish information that they obtained legally (typically not constitutional) • Preferred method is on the news sources; asking them to not share or publish information that they have learned o Access to Court proceedings § Cutting off access completel y to courtrooms • Richmond Newspapers, Inc. v. Virginia • First Amendment right of access to attend criminal trials. Controlling Prejudicial Publicity • Restraints on the News Media - GAG orders • “Prior Restraints” limiting media’s right to publish information about criminal proceedings. o They have been decided to be unconstitutional • Nebraska Press Assoc. v. Stuart o A person murdered the entire family that lived next door to them o Trial court had ordered news media not to publish information it gained during pretrial hearings o SCOTUS reversed the lower court's decision, ruling that it was unconstitutional • Did NOT say that all prior restraints are unconstitutional • Said that the court would have the "hea vy burden" of proving that a fair trial would not be possible without restricting the speech Restraints on the Media • Developed in Nebraska Press Assoc. v. Stuart • 3-part test: o 1. Nature and extent of pretrial news coverage • The nature of the coverage is a big factor when it comes to determining if the order will be allowed o 2. Whether other measures would mitigate the effects of that publicity. • Judge has to make use of the other remedies when it comes to making a trial more fair because of pretrial publicity o 3. How effective a gag on the press would be in diminishing the effect of prejudicial publicity • If the order won't be effective (strict scrutiny), then it isn't allowed • The order has to be narrowly tailored • Preferred method is to gag the sources, not the press Controlling Prejudicial Publicity • Restraints on News Sources (preferred method) o Orders restricting lawyers, defendants, police, court personnel and witnesses from speaking about the case. o Gentile v. State Bar of Nevada • SCOTUS said that lawyers' comments can be restricted because they are officers of the court & must protect the integrity of the court system • The lawyers' comments during trials are subject to less scrutiny than other speech • The rule required lawyers to not discuss a case o ther than in general terms; SCOTUS ruled that it was unconstitutionally vague (and struck it down), but that their speech CAN be restricted o Butterworth v. Smith • Case in 1990 • A FL law was struck down that made it illegal for a grand jury participant (grand jury = a jury that determines if a defendant can be charged) to disclose any information that was said in the trial, even their own testimony • SCOTUS said that once a trial is over, the gag order on news sources typically can't continue • In appellate cases, civil cases, and after a case is over, any restraints on news sources typically are unconstitutional • Constitutional restraints are going to have to be at trial levels and during the case Access to Courtrooms • First Amendment right of access to trials, jury selection and pretrial hearings. • Richmond Newspapers v. Virginia o 1980 case o SCOTUS said that both the press and the public (press has no special access) have a right of access to courtrooms o Said that it was an implied right; there is a long tradition of openness in courtrooms exists, specifically during criminal trials o There is a First Amendment right of the public to receive information o Right of assembly can also protect access to courtrooms • Globe Newspaper Co. v. Superior Court o 2 years after Richmond case o SCOTUS said that states cannot require courts to be closed routinely o Court said that closure of the courtroom can only be based on a compelling need and can not last any longer than necessa ry o The law had closed the courts during testimonies of minors during sex offense cases o The court said that the cause (protecting minors) was obviously valid, but that it cannot be a blanket ban on access o The need for closure must be made on a case -by-case basis • Press-Enterprise Co. v. Riverside County o Press-Enterprise I • About the openness of jury selection • The process must be treated as part of the trial and therefore is open to the public • A judge must specify an overriding interest for closing the courtr oom o Press-Enterprise II • About pretrial hearings • Echoed the same rationale for P -E I when it comes to pretrial hearings Bottom Line ??? • Supreme Court emphasizes importance of access, but will not stop closures. • Right of access is not absolute. • Trial judges can constitutionally close courts if they can document overriding interest that cannot be protected by alternative means and if they can narrowly restrict closure. ---- Chapter 12: Access to Information Access to Information • Why is the “publi c’s right to know” important? • What kind of information is available? • How do the FOI laws help the average citizen? • How do the laws work? o at the federal level o at the state level Why is public’s right to know important? • In a truly democratic state, information is knowledge. • Knowledge doesn’t just enable and enrich, it empowers. • With that power, people can hold their government accountable, protect against corruption and inefficiency and ensure our democracy o Citizens can only make the crucial decisions about candidates and policies when they have the access to the proper information about those subjects. First Amendment and the News • First Amendment does not guarantee a right to obtain information. • It protects the media’s right to publish information about public issues, but not the right to gather this information. • Journalists have no greater rights of access to information than anyone else. • First Amendment guarantees access to courts, but not to prisons. (See Pell v. Procunier). o The need for access is balanced against the rights for safety. Even in cases of prisons, there are concerns about the safety of the press. o There is a difference, determined by tradition (as said by courts) of access to places • Traditionally, access is allowed to places like the judicial system • No history of access exists to places like prisons Access to News Events • Public Property o Everyone, including the press, has access to public streets, sidewalks, buildings, etc. o You have the right to observe, photograph, record anything that can be easily seen or heard in these places o Police or public officials can restrict access to these places in the case of an emergency or disaster (some instances where access can be denied) • Quasi-Public Propert y o Land that serves a public purpose, but is not generally available to use by the public o Example: an army base o Access can certainly be restricted to the public • War Zones o Access is only given by the defense department o Defense dept. can restrict access and even restrict communications that are made about the zone Access Laws • Laws governing access to government meetings and records are found in statutes. • If the information is held by the federal government, federal laws apply. • If the information is held by state or local government, state laws apply. • VIDEO: Top Secret America o "A fourth branch of government has emerged since 9/11 that is protected from public scrutiny" o Hundreds of federal officials and agencies across over 1300 sites o More than 850,000 peop le have top secret clearance in the case • VIDEO: Frontline o Dana Priest trying to uncover "the hidden apparatus of the war on terror" o Partnered with William Arkin, a military analyst, on the project o She has done hundreds of interviews with officials in the CIA, FBI, etc. at various levels of authority o "Began to uncover a massive, secret world hidden" o "Top secret intelligence buildings" • VIDEO: NOW Series on Government Secrecy Access to Records • Federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) o Federal access law o Statute applies to the executive branch o However, does not apply to the White House, Congress, or to federal courts o Textbook defines what a record is, how an agency is required to respond to records requests, and how they can charge a fee for requests • Florida Public Records Law o State access law Access to Meetings • Federal Sunshine Law o The Federal Sunshine Law refers ONLY to open meetings (access to meetings) • Florida Sunshine Law o The Florida Sunshine Law refers ONLY to open meetings (access to meetings) o People often use Sunshine Law to refer to both meetings and access to records FOIA • Freedom of Information Act • Requires agencies to make records available for inspection and copying unless the records fall into one of nine exemptions - where public interest might outweigh disclosure. • Applies to executive branch - NOT White House, Congress or Federal Courts • Nine exemptions FOIA Exemptions • National Security • Agency Rules and Practices • Statutory Exemptions • Confidential Business Information • Agency Memoranda • Personnel, Medical and Similar Files • Law Enforcement Investigations • Banking Reports • Information about Wells Exemption 1: • National Security o Applies to information that could potentially put the nati on in danger o If the government has deemed that information will put us at risk if it is exposed, then it can be restricted o Biggest problem is that each agency has the ability to determine if the information is exempted • Protects information that could damag e the national defense and foreign policy • Executive Branch has the most discretion to withhold info Federal Law on Student Records • Family Education Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA): AKA the Buckley Amendment. • Protects student education records. Directory information is permitted. o Does not protect directory information (address, phone number, email, etc.) • Grades, health information is private.
Are you sure you want to buy this material for
You're already Subscribed!
Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'