Investigative reporting in the US that sparked the global #MeToo movement would not have been possible anywhere else in the world, even in developed countries such as Australia, the New Yorker journalist Ronan Farrow has said. Farrow, whose investigation last October exposed sexual harassment and assault allegations against the Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein, told a Melbourne writers’ festival event on Thursday night there were “stark differences” in what could be published in his country compared with the UK and Australia, which do not have first amendment protections for freedom of the press. Tracey Spicer, a journalist who has spearheaded Australia’s #MeToo movement and who interviewed Farrow in Melbourne, said local defamation laws had made it difficult to pursue and publish some stories. Farrow said that in countries such as Pakistan, journalists could face imprisonment and death for doing their jobs, whereas in developed countries it was more a … [Read more...] about Ronan Farrow says #MeToo reporting made possible by US first amendment
First amendment protection
Annie Machon is a former intelligence officer for MI5, the UK Security Service, who resigned in the late 1990s to blow the whistle on the spies’ incompetence and crimes with her ex-partner, David Shayler. Drawing on her varied experiences, she is now a public speaker, writer, media pundit, international tour and event organiser, political campaigner, and PR consultant. She has a rare perspective both on the inner workings of governments, intelligence agencies and the media, as well as the wider implications for the need for increased openness and accountability in both public and private sectors. If 'Dirty Dossier' author Christopher Steele deserves protection under the 1st Amendment but WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange doesn’t, then the concept of a free press is merely … [Read more...] about Former MI6 spy v WikiLeaks editor: Who really deserves 1st Amendment protection?
Clinics that call themselves crisis pregnancy centers are not obliged to tell women when state aid may be available to obtain an abortion, according to a US supreme court ruling that represents a blow to pro-choice groups. Crisis pregnancy centers are storefronts which have the look and feel of women’s health clinics, but are often backed by Christian groups that try to persuade women not to have abortions. The split ruling by the justices, coming from a case in California that went all the way to the supreme court, is a win for anti-abortion groups, which have gained ground under Donald Trump’s administration. “We are pleased that today’s decision protects Americans’ freedom of speech,” said Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, after the ruling. “Speakers should not be forced by their government to promote a message with which they disagree, and pro-life pregnancy centers in California should not be forced to advertise abortion and undermine … [Read more...] about Supreme court rules in favour of anti-abortion clinics in first amendment case
opinion Alicia Shepard Opinion columnist Published 9:35 p.m. UTC May 22, 2018 Imagine British Prime Minister Theresa May each time she sees an unflattering article in The Guardian or The Observer. She might bristle with rage. She might ignore the reporters, attack the newspaper or deny the story. But it’s highly unlikely she’d go after the outlets' parent company, the Scott Trust Limited, and try to financially cripple it in order to get even for perceived affronts. While the analogies are not exact, this is what President Trump apparently is trying to do to Amazon, whose chief executive Jeff Bezos personally owns The Washington Post. Why? Because Bezos bought the Post with his own money for $250 million in 2013, and Trump detests the paper’s coverage — especially of him. I emphasize that Bezos owns the Post because Trump doesn’t seem to get that the Post operates independently of Amazon. Bezos … [Read more...] about Donald Trump’s Amazon-Washington Post-Jeff Bezos attacks are attacks on First Amendment
It’s understandable that Justice John Paul Stevens would call for repeal of the Second Amendment, as he did Tuesday in an op-ed article in the New York Times, in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s misinterpretation of it to protect some gun sales. I have great respect for Justice Stevens, and what’s more I agree with him that the Heller case was wrongly decided by the court in 2008. But it would actually be a terrible idea to attempt a repeal of the Second Amendment just because the Supreme Court got it wrong. Experience shows that the Constitution is weakened if we respond to bad Supreme Court precedent by trying to amend it right away.The most recent, telling example is the case of Texas v. Johnson. In that 1989 decision, the justices found a First Amendment right to burn the U.S. flag as a matter of symbolic free expression. In response, a serious national movement emerged to amend the First Amendment to exclude the flag from free-speech protection.In … [Read more...] about Second Amendment Repeal Would Hurt Constitution