“Change Libel Laws?”-POTUS

“The failing @nytimes has disgraced the media world. Gotten me wrong for two solid years. Change libel laws?" -The President of the United States, via Twitter, on March 30, 2017   Apparently, a part of Donald Trump’s exceptional plan to “Make America Great Again” involves taking a step backwards through time to when journalism was... Continue Reading →

Our Time, Our Voice

In the fourth chapter of Freedom For the Thought that We Hate, written by Anthony Lewis, the author highlights the Sullivan lawsuit. This suit is used as an example to display that if there were legal risks connected with reporting, journalists and civilians could be less likely to voice their opinions or criticisms. Instead of... Continue Reading →

Weaponizing Words

Since the drafters of the constitution did not define free speech, it is impossible for us to know what precisely they meant when they said “congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech.” However, even if we could call up James Madison and ask him precisely what he meant, society has changed so much... Continue Reading →

What is Obscenity?

February 22, 1971, Paul Robert Cohen V. California, Cohen was wearing a jacket on which were inscribed the words “fuck the draft” and he won his case by a vote 5 to 4, the Supreme Court reversed his conviction, holding that it violated the right to free expression under the first amendment. The real problem... Continue Reading →

A Word About Our Sources

The First Amendment Forum is a place where students in Simmons COMM 320 post their thoughts about weekly readings. For this course, students read the following books: Bell, E. & Owen, T (Eds) (2017) Journalism after Snowden: The Future of the Free Press in the Surveillance State. New York, NY: Columbia University Press Epps, G... Continue Reading →

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