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Bartnicki v. Vopper, 532 U.S. 514 (2001)
Reno v. ACLU, 521 U.S. 844 (1997)
Turner Broadcasting v. FCC, 512 U.S. 622 (1994)
Cohen v. Cowles Media Co.,501 U.S. 663 (1991)
Milkovich v. Lorain Journal Co., 497 U.S. 1 (1990)
Smith v. Daily Mail Publishing Co., 443 U.S. 97 (1979)
Herbert v. Lando, 441 U.S. 153 (1979)
First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti,435 U.S. 765 (1978)
Zurcher v. Stanford Daily, 436 U.S. 547 (1978)
Cox Broadcasting Corp. v. Cohn, 420 U.S. 469 (1975)
Miami Herald Publishing Co. v. Tornillo, 418 U.S. 241 (1974)
Branzburg v. Hayes, 408 U.S. 665 (1972)
New York Times Co. v. United States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971)
Red Lion Broadcasting v. FCC, 395 U.S. 367 (1969)
New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964)
Grosjean v. American Press, 297 U.S. 233 (1936)
Near v. Minnesota,283 U.S. 697 (1931)

Dienes, C. Thomas, Levine, Lee, and Lind, Robert, Newsgathering and the Law (2d ed. 1999), pp. 757-63)
Doppelt, Jack C. and Phillip A. Montalvo, First Amendment Handbook: Access to Courts and Documents,2001
Farish, Leah, The First Amendment: Freedom of Speech, Religion, and the Press, Springfield, N.J.: Enslow Publishers, 1998
Kaplar, Richard T., Media Institute: First Amendment Advisory Council, Washington, D.C.: Media Institute, 1997
Levy, Leonard, Emergence of a Free Press (Oxford Univ. Press, 1985)
Sanford, Bruce W., Libel & Privacy (2d ed.), Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall Law & Business, 1991
Van Alstyne, William W., First Amendment: Cases and Materials. Westbury, N.Y.: Foundation Press, 1995
Yalof, David Alistair, The First Amendment and the Media in the Court of Public Opinion, Cambridge, Mass., New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001

Cole, Tijani R., "The Courts and the Media Bench Book," 35 New Eng.L.Rev. 853 (2001)
Fargo, Anthony L., "The Journalist’s Privilege for Nonconfidential Information in States without Shield Laws," 7 Comp.Lab.L. & Policy J. 241 (2002)
Hafetz, Frederick P., "Gag Orders: Legal and Practical Issues Confronting the Media," 605 PLI/Pat 239 (2000)
Lambe, Jennifer L., "Dimensions of Censorship: Reconceptualizing Public Willingness to Censor," 7 Comp.Lab.L. & Policy J. 187 (2002)
Miller, Jennifer J., "Cameras in Courtrooms: The Lens of the Public Eye on our System of Justice," 13 MAR S.C. Law 25 (2002)
Nelon, Robert D., "The Peculiar Case of State v. Terry Lynn Nichols: Are Television Cameras Really Banned From Oklahoma Criminal Proceedings?," 3 Vand.J.Ent.L. & Prac. 4 (2001)
Steinfield, Joseph D., "Recent Developments in the Law of Access," 680 PLI/Pat 7 (2001)
Stewart, Potter, “‘Or of the Press,’” 26 Hastings L.J. 639 (1975)
Yuan, Loretta S., "Gag Orders and the Ultimate Sanction," 18 Loy.L.A.Ent.L.J. 629 (1998)

Radio-Television New Directors Association & Foundation
Radio-Television News Directors Association & Foundation
Media Institute
Illinois Press Association
Association of Trial Lawyers of America
Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press


Journalist access

Supreme Court
Houchins v. KQED Inc., 438 U.S. 1 (1978)

Branzburg v. Hayes, 408 U.S. 665 (1972)

Richmond Newspapers Inc. v. Virginia, 448 U.S. 555 (1980)

Saxbe v. Washington Post Co., 417 U.S. 843 (1974)

Pell v. Procunier, 417 U.S. 817 (1974)

Consumers Union of U.S., Inc. v. Periodical Correspondents’ Ass’n, 515 F.2d 1341 (U.S. App. D.C. 1975)

Connell v. Town of Hudson, 733 F.Supp. 465 (D.N.H. 1990)

Risenhoover v. England, 936 F. Supp. 392, 401 (W.D. Tex. 1995)

United States v. Webber, 2003 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11287 (E.D. Mich. 2003)

Westinghouse Broadcast.Corp. v. NTSB, 8 Media L. Rep. (BNA) 1177 (D. Mass. 1982)

Shulman v. Group W Productions, Inc., 18 Cal.4th 200 (2003)

City of Oak Creek v. King, 436 N.W.2d 285 (Wis. 1989).

Leiserson v. City of San Diego, 184 Cal.App.3d 41 (1986)

Florida Publishing Co. v. Fletcher, 340 So. 2d 914 (Fla. 1976), cert. denied, 431 U.S. 930 (1977)

Sherrill v. Knight, 569 F.2d 124, 130 (D.C. Cir. 1977)

Consumers Union of U.S. v. Periodical Correspondents’ Ass’n, 365 F. Supp. 18, 27 (D.D.C. 1973), rev’d on other grounds, 515 F.2d 1341 (D.C. Cir. 1975), cert. denied, 423 U.S. 1051 (1976)

Quad-City Community News Serv. v. Jebens, 334 F. Supp. 8, 17 (S.D. Iowa 1971)

Alaska Stat. 26.23.200(1)(2004)

Cal. Penal Code 409.5(a),(d) (2004)

Mich. Comp. Laws §750.160a (2004)

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. 2917.13(B) (2004)

Dienes, C. Thomas; Levine, Lee, and Lind, Robert C., Newsgathering and the Law 2d (Charlottesville, Va.: Matthew Bender, 1999), § 8-3

Deputy Comm’r Public Information, “In House Press,” N.Y.P.D.

Model Penal Code §242.3

Reporters’ Committee for Freedom of the Press, “Photographers’ Guide to Privacy” (1994); also see RCFP's Hidden-Camera Statutes and RTNDA's material on hidden cameras and microphones)

Restat.2d Torts §§652A-E (1977)

Student Press Law Center, “Student Media Guide to Newsgathering”

Phoenix Police Department, “Media Access to Crime-Designated Areas,” Training Tips from the Legal Unit, Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police (2002)


Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

HIPAA statute

HIPAA is codified at 42 U.S.C. Sect. 1320d-6.

The implementing regulations can be found at 45 C.F.R. Sects. 160, 164.

Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights HIPAA page

Medical privacy vs. the public interest: A reporter's guide, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

RTNDA's Guide to Health Coverage under HIPAA

"Understanding HIPAA: A brief overview — A primer by the Freedom of Information & Advocacy Committee of the Association of Health Care Journalists"


Privacy & newsgathering

Supreme Court
Bartnicki v. Vopper, 532 U.S. 514 (2001)
Florida Star v. B.J.F., 491 U.S. 524 (1989)
Smith v. Daily Mail Publishing Co. 443 U.S. 97 (1979)
Cox Broadcasting Corp. v. Cohn, 420 U.S. 469 (1975)
Cantrell v. Forest City Pub. Co., 419 U.S. 245 (1974)
Time, Inc. v. Hill, 385 U.S. 374 (1967)

Sanders v. American Broadcasting Cos., Inc., 978 P.2d 67 (Cal. 1998)
Shulman v. Group W. Productions, 955 P.2d 469 (Cal. 1998)
Eastwood v. National Enquirer, Inc., 123 F.3d 1249 (9th Cir. 1997)
Wolfson v. Lewis, 924 F.Supp. 1413 (E.D. Pa. 1996)
Virgil v. Time, Inc., 527 F.2d 1122 (9th Cir. 1975)
Galella v. Onassis, 487 F.2d 986 (2nd Cir. 1973)
Dietemann v. Time, Inc., 449 F.2d 245 (9th Cir. 1971)
Barber v. Time, Inc., 159 S.W.2d 291 (1942)

Alderman, Ellen, and Kennedy, Caroline. The Right to Privacy. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1995)
Brandeis, Louis, and Warren, Samuel D. “The Right To Privacy,” 4 Harv. L. Rev. 193 (1890)
Harper, Jim. “Understanding Privacy — and the Real Threats To It,” No. 520 Policy Analysis of the Cato Institute, 8/4/04
Perry, Steven. “Hidden Cameras, New Technology, and the Law,” Communications Lawyer (Fall 1996), pg. 1, 19-22
Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, “Photographers’ Guide to Privacy”
Wade, John W. “The Tort Liability of Investigative Reporters,” 37 Vand. L. Rev. 301 (1984)
Wilborn, Elizabeth S. “Revisiting the Public/Private Distinction: Employee Monitoring in the Workplace,” 32 Ga. L. Rev. 825 (1998)



Batzel v. Smith, 351 F.3d 904 (9th Cir. 2003)

Doe v. Cahill (Del.)(10/5/05)

Donato v. Moldow, 865 A.2d 711 (N.J.Super. 2005)

In Re: Grand Jury Subpoena, 397 F.3d 964 (D.C. Cir. 2005)(discussing blogger as journalist in dicta)

Electronic Frontier Foundation: Legal Guide for Bloggers

Cordtz, Dan. “Employee blogs that trash others can be actionable,” The Recorder, 7/26/05

Davis, Wendy N. “Fear of Blogging: As the Law Catches Up to Technology, Bloggers Look for a Few Good Attorneys,” 91 A.B.A. J. 16 (July 2005)

Hilden, Julie. “Can Bloggers Invoke the Journalist's Privilege to Protect Confidential Sources Who Leak Trade Secrets?”, 4/26/05

Kline, Susan. “Curses, blogged again! What will you do when it happens to you?” Indiana Employment Law Letter (June 2005)

Segal, Jonathan A. “Off Duty Blogging: What’s Work Got to Do With It?” The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, (August 2005)


Criminal libel

Supreme Court
Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc. (1974)
Curtis Publishing v. Butts/Associated Press v. Walker (1967)
Ashton v. Kentucky (1966)
New York Times Co. v. Sullivan (1964)
Beauharnais v. Illinois (1952)

I.M.L. v. Utah (2002)

Chafee, Zechariah Jr., Free Speech in the United States. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1941 (reprinted 1964, 1967, 2001).

Lisby, Gregory C., “No Place in the Law: The Ignominy of Criminal Libel in American Jurisprudence,” Communication Law & Policy, 2004

Criminal-libel statutes, state by state


Libel & defamation

New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964)
Gertz v. Welch, 418 U.S. 323 (1974)
Curtis Publishing Co. v. Butts, 388 U.S. 130 (1967) (consolidated with Associated Press v. Walker)
Milkovich v. Lorain Journal Co., 497 U.S. 1 (1990)
Rosenblatt v. Baer, 338 U.S. 75 (1966)
Rosenbloom v. Metromedia, 403 U.S. 29 (1971)
Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, 315 U.S. 568 (1942)

Heinke, Rex, Media Law (Edison, N.J.: BNA Books, 2000)
Knight, Al, The Life of the Law (New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1996)
Levy, Leonard, Emergence of a Free Press (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985)
Nowak, John, and Rotunda, Ronald, Constitutional Law (5th ed.)
Wagman, Robert, The First Amendment Book (New York: Scripps Howard, 1991)


Prior restraint

Landmark Communications, Inc. v. Virginia, 435 U.S. 829 (1978)
New York Times Co. v. United States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971)
Near v. State of Minnesota, 283 U.S. 697 (1931)
Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47 (1919)



Arkansas Educational Television Commission v. Forbes, 523 U.S. 666 (1998)
Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U.S. 844 (1997)
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. v. FCC, 512 U.S. 622 (1994)
Miami Herald Publishing Co. v. Tornillo, 418 U.S. 241 (1974)

Timeline: broadcast decency

Timeline: TV, regulation and broadcast violence

Davidson, Chad, “Government Must Demonstrate That There Is Not a Less Restrictive Alternative Before a Content-Based Restriction of Protected Speech Can Survive Strict Scrutiny,” 70 Miss. L.J. 457 (2000)

Emord, Jonathan W., Freedom, Technology and the First Amendment. San Francisco: Pacific Research Institute, 1991

Levi, Lili, The FCC's Regulation of Indecency, a First Report from the First Amendment Center

Powe, Lucas A., American Broadcasting and the First Amendment. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987

Robinson, Glen O., “The Electronic First Amendment: An Essay for the New Age,” 47 Duke L.J. 899 (1998)

Shapiro, Stephen J., “How Internet Non-Regulation Undermines the Rationales Used to Support Broadcast Regulation,” 8 Media L. & Policy 1 (1999)

Kyu Ho Youm, “Editorial Rights of Public Broadcasting Stations vs. Access for Minor Political Candidates to Television Debates,” 52 Fed. Comm. L.J. 687 (2000)

Federal Communications Commission


Shield laws

Supreme Court
Branzburg v. Hayes, 408 U.S. 665 (1972)

State shield statutes and leading cases

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press guide to state shield laws

"Reporters and Federal Subpoenas," special report from the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

'Do Journalists Need a Better Shield?'

2004 confidential sources survey

Branzburg v. Hayes, reporters’ privilege & circuit courts

Track shield laws, subpoenas, confidentiality cases here

Ongoing confidential-sources cases

Jailed & subpoenaed journalists — a historical timeline

"Analyzing Federal Shield Law Proposals: What Congress Can Learn from the States," by Anthony L. Fargo, in Communication Law & Policy, 2006

"Libby’s legacy: The conservative case for a national shield law," by Michael Berry


Gag orders

Gentile v. State Bar of Nevada, 501 U.S. 1030 (1991)
Nebraska Press Association v. Stuart, 427 U.S. 539 (1976)
Sheppard v. Maxwell, 384 U.S. 333 (1966)


Cameras in the courtroom

Estes v. Texas, 381 U.S. 532 (1965)

Radio-Television News Directors Association state-by-state guide on cameras in the courtroom

Court restrictions on news coverage, by Beth Chesterman


Courtroom access

Supreme Court
M.K.B. v. Warden, 124 S.Ct. 1405 (2004)
The Florida Star v. B.J.F., 491 U.S. 524 (1989)
Press-Enterprise Co. v. Superior Court, 478 U.S. 1 (1986)
Press-Enterprise Co. v. Superior Court of California, 464 U.S. 501 (1984)
Richmond Newspapers, Inc. v. Virginia, 448 U.S. 555 (1980)
Cox Broadcasting v. Cohn, 420 U.S. 469 (1975)

Cowley v. Pulsifer 137 Mass. 392 (1884)


State constitutions

Supreme Court
Milkovich v. Lorain Journal Co., 497 U.S. 1 (1990)
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. 242 (1986)
Michigan v. Long, 463 U.S. 1032 (1983)
Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., 418 U.S. 323 (1974)
Rosenbloom v. Metromedia,403 U.S. 29 (1971)
New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964)

Firth v. State of New York, __ N.Y.2d __, 2002 N.Y. Slip Op. 05514 (July 2, 2002)
Wampler v. Higgins, 752 N.E.2d 962, 970-972 (Ohio 2001)
State ex rel. Sports Mgmt. News, Inc. v. Nachtigal, 921 P.2d 1304 (Or. 1996)
Vail v. The Plain Dealer Publ’g Co., 649 N.E.2d 182, 188 (Ohio 1995)
West v. Thomson Newspapers, 872 P.2d 999, 1020 (Utah 1994)
Sassone v. Elder, 626 So.2d 345 (La. 1993)
Davenport v. Garcia, 834 S.W.2d 4, 18 (Tex. 1992)
Milkovich v. Lorain Journal Co., 77 N.Y.2d at 246-248 (1990)
Immuno AG v. Moor-Jankowski, 77 N.Y.2d 235 (1991) ("Immuno II")
Immuno AG v. Moor-Jankowski, 74 N.Y.2d 548, 556 (1989) ("Immuno I")
Davidson v. Rogers, 574 P2d 624, 626 (Or. 1978)

Alabama State Constitution
Alaska State Constitution
Arizona State Constitution
Arkansas State Constitution
California State Constitution
Colorado State Constitution
Connecticut State Constitution
Delaware State Constitution
Florida State Constitution
Georgia State Constitution
Hawaii State Constitution
Idaho State Constitution
Illinois State Constitution
Indiana State Constitution
Iowa State Constitution
Kansas State Constitution
Kentucky State Constitution
Louisiana State Constitution
Maine State Constitution
Maryland State Constitution
Massachusetts State Constitution
Michigan State Constitution
Minnesota State Constitution
Mississippi State Constitution
Missouri State Constitution
Montana State Constitution
Nebraska State Constitution
Nevada State Constitution
New Hampshire State Constitution
New Jersey State Constitution
New Mexico State Constitution
New York State Constitution
North Carolina State Constitution
North Dakota State Constitution
Ohio State Constitution
Oklahoma State Constitution
Oregon State Constitution
Pennsylvania State Constitution
Rhode Island State Constitution
South Caroline State Constitution
South Dakota State Constitution
Tennessee State Constitution
Texas State Constitution
Utah State Constitution
Vermont State Constitution
Virginia State Constitution
West Virginia State Constitution
Washington State Constitution
Wisconsin State Constitution
Wyoming State Constitution

Brennan, William J. Jr., “State Constitutions and the Protection of Individual Rights,” 90 Harv. L. Rev. 489 (1977)
Kaye, Judith S., “Dual Constitutionalism in Practice and Principle,” 61 St. John's L. Rev. 399 (1987)
Kaye, Judith S., “State Courts at the Dawn of a New Century: Common Law Courts Reading Statutes and Constitutions,” 70 N.Y.U. L. Rev.1 (1995)
Kaye, Judith S., “The Third Branch and the Fourth Estate,” Media Studies Journal, Winter 1998, 74; “Rethinking Traditional Approaches,” 62 Alb. L. Rev. 1491 (1999)
Lewis, Anthony, Make No Law (New York: Random House, 1991)
Linde, Hans A. “E Pluribus — Constitutional Theory and State Courts,” 18 Ga. L. Rev. 165 (1984)


Freedom of Information

See the Freedom of Information section of Press for cases & resources on FOI topics.

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Last system update: Thursday, November 13, 2008 | 12:17:09
press topics >
Freedom of Information issues
Libel & defamation
Prior restraint
Shield laws
Gag orders
Cameras in the courtroom
Courtroom access
State constitutions
Journalist access
HIPAA & newsgathering
Privacy & newsgathering
Criminal libel