Recently in fall2002 Category

Should National Security Be Exchanged for Civil Rights?

By Jane E. Kirtley, Director of the Silha Center and Silha Professor

(This essay originally appeared in the Minnesota Daily on Sept. 11, 2002)

Depending on whom you talk to, either everything changed on Sept. 11, 2001, or nothing changed.

SPJ Ethicist Develops Balancing Factors for Journalists

By Elaine Hargrove-Simon, Silha Fellow and Bulletin Editor

Since the September 11 attacks on America, journalists have faced a new set of ethical challenges, arising from concerns about national security, personal safety and tighter restrictions on government and law enforcement information. Peter Sussman, co-author of the original code of ethics for the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) (available online at, has developed a program of "balancing factors" to assist journalists in analyzing how they will go about covering the current war on terrorism and the impending war on Iraq.

Silha Lecturer Anthony Lewis Speaks to Packed House

By Anna Nguyen, Silha Research Assistant

Speaking at the 17th Annual Silha Lecture to an overflow audience numbering nearly 350, Anthony Lewis said, "In this democracy, it is the job of all of us to protect our freedoms." Lewis' lecture, entitled "Terrorism and Freedom," was delivered on Oct. 8, 2002 in the Cowles Auditorium of the Minneapolis Campus of the University of Minnesota. Lewis, a former New York Times columnist, has also received two Pulitzer awards and written three books, "Portrait of a Decade," "Gideon's Trumpet" and "Make No Law."

By Elaine Hargrove-Simon, Silha Fellow and Bulletin Editor
The 2002 Fall Silha Forum on Oct. 16, 2002 featured Professor Stephen J. Cribari, speaking on "Privacy in Cyberspace? Computers, the Internet, and Government Investigations." Held in Jackson Hall on the east bank of the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus, the Forum was well-attended by students, faculty, and members of the Twin Cities legal community.

Bush Urges Passage Of Virtual Law on Child Pornography

By Kirsten Murphy, Silha Fellow
In an Oct. 23, 2002 speech on children's online safety, President Bush urged the Senate to join the House in passing a law that would make both virtual and actual images of child pornography illegal. Bush argued that prosecutors need both types of images to be criminalized in order to prosecute producers and distributors of child pornography because virtual child pornography is indistinguishable from images of real children.

Faxing Search Warrants Approved By Eighth Circuit

By Silha Center Staff

A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled in November 2002 that faxing a search warrant seeking e-mails from Yahoo!'s server was reasonable under the Fourth Amendment, even though no law enforcement official was present at the time the search was conducted. Judge Clarence Beam, who authored United States v. Bach, 2002 U.S. App. LEXIS 23726, found that the Fourth Amendment imposes a flexible "reasonableness" standard on searches. In this case, the appeals court ruled that because no warrant was physically served, no persons or premises were searched in the traditional sense, and Yahoo!'s technicians did not directly confront the individual whose e-mails were seized, the search was constitutional.

By Kirsten Murphy, Silha Fellow

Bob Greene, a nationally syndicated columnist for the Chicago Tribune, tendered his resignation after allegations of past "sexual misconduct" with a 17-year old girl who was also a source. On Sept. 14, 2002, the newspaper accepted Greene's resignation. He had been with the newspaper for 24 years.

By Anna Nguyen, Silha Research Assistant

The shocking video footage of Madelyn Toogood striking her four-year-old daughter Martha in a department store parking lot has sparked a debate about a variety of media ethics issues. The video, taken by store surveillance cameras on Sept. 13, 2002 in Mishawaka, Ind., was released about a week later by police in the hopes that the mother could be found. Toogood turned herself in eight days after the video aired on news broadcasts throughout the world, according to CNN.

By Anna Nguyen, Silha Research Assistant

Americans across the country gave a collective sigh of relief when two alleged snipers were arrested on Oct. 24, 2002 after being spotted asleep in a car at a rest stop near Frederick, Md. According to the Associated Press, John Allen Muhammad, 41, and John Lee Malvo, 17, have been accused of shooting 19 people, killing 13 of them during their three-week shooting spree. Two additional shootings are under investigation.

By Elaine Hargrove-Simon Silha Fellow and Bulletin Editor

Thirty-four newspapers, media advocacy groups and non-governmental organizations filed an amicus brief on Aug. 17, 2002 with the Appeals Chamber in the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. The brief supported former Washington Post reporter Jonathan Randal who had been subpoenaed to testify before the tribunal about a 1993 interview he conducted with former Bosnian Serb housing minister Radoslav Brdjanin. Brdjanin has been charged with deporting, torturing and murdering Croats and Muslims during the Bosnian War from 1992-95.

By Elaine Hargrove-Simon Silha Fellow and Bulletin Editor

Prompted by concerns that the impending war with Iraq may result in tighter restrictions for journalists trying to cover the conflict, a group of journalists who cover military news have founded a new group, Military Reporters and Editors (MRE). The group shares the acronym of Meals Ready to Eat, the pre-prepared food that soldiers typically carry with them into the field.

By Elaine Hargrove-Simon Silha Fellow and Bulletin Editor

A new press law, adopted September 3, 2002, could allow Togolese courts to jail reporters for publishing false information about the nation's president or other high ranking governmental officials. The law sets jail terms for up to five years for reporters who libel the president, and up to two years for those who libel the prime minister or other senior officials.



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