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Mass Communication Law, Week 2 Notes

by: Bek Yake

Mass Communication Law, Week 2 Notes Com 4313

Bek Yake
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About this Document

Week 2 notes, separated by class day
Mass Communications Law
Dr. Larry Straout
Class Notes
communication, journalism, Law




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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Bek Yake on Sunday August 28, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Com 4313 at Mississippi State University taught by Dr. Larry Straout in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 12 views. For similar materials see Mass Communications Law in Journalism and Mass Communications at Mississippi State University.

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Date Created: 08/28/16
Mass Comm Law August 22, 2016 -Reminder to check out the facebook page and interact with it at least once a week What are we talking about? PRIOR RESTRAINT (aka censorship): overview and cases What is Prior Restraint? An official restriction of speech prior to publication (ceeeeensoooorshiiiiip~) Prior restraint only refers to what the government can and can’t do. Private employs can restrict employee speech however they want. PR viewed by SCOTUS as “the most serious and the least tolerable infringement on first amendment rights” ~ chief justice Warren Burger Schenck v US (1918) -during WWI Schenck mailed circulars to potential draftees, suggested the draft was wrong and motivated by evil capitalist systems -Schenck charged with conspiracy to violate the Espionage Act by attempting to cause insubordination in the military -SCOTUS ruled 9-0 in favor od US - Schneck not protected – this case is where “clear and present danger” comes from - same rationale for not being allowed to shout “fire!” in a crowded theatre. Gitlow v New York Gitlow was a socialist, distributed socialist pamphlets. Because of this, he was convicted under an anarchy law. -SCOTUS upheld NY’s law, expanded “clear and present danger” to “dangerous tendency” Near v Minnesota (1931) -newspaper published story saying law enforcement were allowing Jewish people to get away with crime -paper ruled public nuisance and banned from printing for a while -SCOTUS 5-4 ruled in favor of paper – admitted prior restraint might be necessary in some cases, but not this one -since 1931, SCOTUS repeatedly rules against censorship of media, presumes it unconstitutional Bradenburg v Ohio (1969) -leader of KKK made speech, convicted under criminal syndication law -SCOTUS 8-0 in favor of Bradenburg -ohio law infringed on free speech BRADENBURG TEST: 2 pronged 1) speech can be prohibited if it is “directed at inciting or producing imminent lawless action” and 2) is likely to incite or produce such action NY Times v US (1971) “pentagon papers case” -NYT runs articles based on government docs about decision-making over the years involving the Vietnam war – US Attorney General tries to stop articles -SCOTUS 6-3 in favor of NYT -does not say prior restraint is unconstitutional here, necessarily, only that government failed to meet the burden of proof that it was US v Progressive (1979) -articles based on UNCLASIFIED government documents, Federal Government tries to block the articles - District Court rules sufficient destructive potential -a different small paper publishes the same info and the case is dropped Censorship not uncommon in wartime -journalists known to accidentally give away position of soldiers, etc in trying to be field journalists -balance of censorship needed to protect lives but also not make a media “sanitized war” August 24, 2016 Prior restraint – time, place, and manner restrictions 1) rules must be content-neutral (ie no banning atheist signs while allowing Christian signs) 2)cannot completely ban one kind of communication (ie no banning all pamphlets) 3) Government must articulate substantial interest to justify restraint 4) law must carry out government interest, but no more than that Forums 1) traditional public forums – public places devoted to speech and assembly – street corners, parks, city hall, etc Highest 1 amendment protections 2) designated public forum – places created by government used for expressive activity – city-owned auditoriums, community meeting hall, etc (government has a little more ability to regulate speech) 3) public property not public forum- prisons, military instalations, boarding areas of airports, etc 4) private property – owner can regulate as they please


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