Recently in Summer 2007 Category

In the most recent segment of a 10-year legal battle, the full panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled May 1, 2007 that the First Amendment does not protect Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) from liability for disclosing an illegally recorded audiotape.

On May 5, 2007, the Washington News Council released a report based on an unusual independent investigation into the Spokane (Wash.) Spokesman-Review’s controversial coverage of a local redevelopment project between 1994 and 2005. The report was critical of the paper on a number of issues. But it also prompted criticism of the news council itself.

BBC Report: Network Should be More ‘Impartial’

Apology Issued to Queen for Misrepresentation

In a report released on June 18, 2007, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) concluded that it had broken its own guidelines for avoiding bias, and “must become more impartial.” The report, entitled “From Seesaw to Wagon Wheel: safeguarding impartiality in the 21st century” took more than a year to complete. It can be viewed online at www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/research/impartiality.html.

Two local television news reporters have been disciplined for personal relationships they developed with sources they were covering, raising questions about the ethics of such relationships, their disclosure, and the appropriate punishment.

A June 2007 settlement between embattled college newspaper adviser Karen Bosley and her college returned her to teaching journalism classes and handed her $90,000.

California court rules school district violated student columnist’s First Amendment rights

A California state appeals court ruled May 21, 2007 that a school district violated a student’s First Amendment rights in its reaction to controversial editorials published in a high school newspaper.

In a June 25, 2007 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court said that public school officials do not offend the First Amendment rights of their students when they seek to “restrict student expression that they reasonably regard as promoting illegal drug use.”

In a contentious 5 to 4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 25, 2007 that the First Amendment protects a Wisconsin right-to-life group’s ability to broadcast issue advertisements naming political candidates in the days and weeks leading up to an election.

A Chinese journalist currently serving a 10-year prison term for disseminating state secrets has joined a U.S. lawsuit that accuses Internet company Yahoo! Inc. of assisting Chinese authorities with abuses of human rights.

International concern over the treatment of journalists in Uzbekistan has intensified following the imprisonment and recent sentencing of two Uzbek journalists, Umida Niyazova and Gulbakhor Turayeva. Both women reported on events in Andijan in 2005, when Uzbek government forces reportedly killed hundreds at an anti-government protest.

The captors of BBC reporter Alan Johnston released him to Hamas officials July 4, 2007, 114 days after he was kidnapped in the Gaza Strip.

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has refused to reconsider its ruling against the Boston Herald that upheld an award of more than $2 million to a defamed judge.

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