Media Law in the Age of Trump

Half-day workshop and panel on legal issues for journalists and photographers by Media Law Resource Center

Special Event
Wednesday November 28
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM (Theater)


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Program Description

1:00pm– 2:15pm Media Law in the Age of Trump: Are First Amendment Freedoms in Danger?

Will Trump succeed in “opening up the libel laws”? Is Trump’s threat to put leakers – and publishers/broadcasters – in jail for distributing National Security information real? Can Trump bar ‘unfavorable” reporters from press conferences, and, by tweeting, circumvent press conferences altogether? Is FOIA still useful? Do Trump’s daily diatribes against the media and calling us “The Enemy of the People” have a legal – and public opinion – effect? 
Speakers: George Freeman, MLRC; Jeff Hermes, MLRC 

2:25pm– 3:40pm Legal Workshop on Content – Libel and Invasion of Privacy 

This workshop will focus on the legal problems which can arise from your content: How you can avoid getting sued for defamation and invasion of privacy. What the plaintiff has to prove to make out a libel case, your common law and constitutional defenses, the differences in defending cases brought by public and private figures, privileges for opinion and using public records, and the effect of corrections, denials, libelous implications and using anonymous sources will all be discussed. Is any of this different in the #MeToo era? Lawsuits for publishing truthful but embarrassing private facts will also be considered. 

Discussion Leaders: George Freeman, MLRC; Robin Bierstedt, Time Inc. 

3:50pm- 5:00pm Legal Workshop on Reporting in the Field – Newsgathering and relationship with Sources 

A workshop covering hot issues in how reporters gather the news. Can you get in trouble for intrusion, trespass, breaking agreements, lying, possessing documents you shouldn’t have? Are such newsgathering torts protected by the First Amendment? And how should you deal with sources – particularly if they demand anonymity. What should you do if you are subpoenaed to reveal the identity of a source? If you seek protection of a court, will you win? Will state or federal Shield Laws or the Reporters’ Privilege protect you? 

Discussion Leaders: Nabiha Syed, BuzzFeed; John Zucker, ABC/Disney; Kate Bolger, Davis Wright Tremaine