Blog

U.S. Free Press Beacon Dimmed

By Edward Fitzpatrick The President of the United States praised a member of Congress for assaulting a journalist. Think about the message that sends to the world. Now add in that President Trump had just spent days publicly grasping for ways to avoid blaming Saudi Arabia for the gruesome murder of another journalist. And then, […]

‘The True Enemy of the People’

By David Rosen When President Trump calls the press the “enemy of the people” or the “true enemy of the people” (as he did several days after authorities found the second of two packages containing pipe bombs sent to CNN) he is doing more than disrespecting the press. He is delegitimizing and demonizing the press, […]

First Amendment Lets Officials Mute But Not Block Twitter Critics

By Jenna Wims Hashway Public agencies and officials run afoul of First Amendment protections if they block Twitter followers for criticizing them. But those First Amendment arguments are moot if those government officials simply hit “mute.” That’s the upshot of a recent ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald, who said that President […]

Recognizing a Champion of Open Government, First Amendment

By Edward Fitzpatrick Glamorous work it’s not. The work that she has done for decades has placed her at odds with some of the state’s most powerful public officials. The work has placed her on hard wooden benches in State House hearing rooms, waiting for hours to deliver testimony to leery legislators. And the work […]

Infowars and the First Amendment

By David A. Logan The malicious spreading of rumors, masquerading as fact, well predates the Internet, but the ubiquity and speed of electronic communications, and the tendency of social media to provide amplification, has made the problem exponentially more dangerous to the “marketplace of ideas.” Perhaps there is no better example of that cancer on […]

‘Journalists Are Not The Enemy’

By Justin Silverman In an effort to counter the anti-media rhetoric being expressed by President Trump, The Boston Globe called on newspapers throughout the country to publish editorials today emphasizing the value of journalism and a free press. According to the Globe: A central pillar of President Trump’s politics is a sustained assault on the […]

Attacks on Press Pose Danger to Journalists, Democracy

By June Speakman On Aug. 5, Brian Stelter, anchor of CNN’s Reliable Sources, shared with viewers an audiotape of a call to a CSPAN political show in which the caller said that if he ran into Stelter and CNN correspondent Don Lemon, he would “shoot” them. Earlier in the week, MSNBC’s Katy Tur read an […]

Advocacy Group Renews Request for Report on Woman’s Death After Public Records Ruling

Have a public records story you would like to share? Email justin@nefac.org with your experience trying to obtain information through a state public records law. By David Kassel The Massachusetts supervisor of public records ruled in April that the state’s Disabled Persons Protection Commission (DPPC) can keep all investigative reports on the sudden death of […]

First Amendment: Democrats and Republicans Alike Have Trampled on Free Press Rights

By Edward Fitzpatrick Perhaps it comes as no surprise that prosecutors in President Donald Trump’s Justice Department secretly seized years’ worth of a New York Times reporters’ phone and email records as part of a leak investigation. But no one appreciates the danger of such a step more than James Risen, the former New York […]

Janus v. AFSCME and ‘Weaponizing the First Amendment’

By Michael J. Yelnosky On June 27, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its 5-4 decision in Janus v. AFSCME. The majority held that the First Amendment prohibited the enforcement of ubiquitous provisions in collective bargaining agreements between public sector labor unions and government employers requiring all employees represented by the union to pay their share […]