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attyadvisor
attyadvisor, Attorney
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 5664
Experience:  28 Years of Criminal Law experience
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Why is the media allowed to violate Freedom of speech by

Customer Question

Why is the media allowed to violate Freedom of speech by falsely printing, radio and television the news?
Orlando C. * [email protected]
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 3 months ago.

Hi, My name is***** am an attorney with over 16 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 3 months ago.

I am sorry for this dilemma. But not sure I understand your specific question. Do you have a question regarding this? Are you asking if you can sue the media if they lie about you?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I may not sue anybody but I may ask an official (as a citizen) to sue them! If you do not agree that there is a violation of the
United States Constitution we can close this contact! Be aware that this contact was a result of the free question I was allowed!
Iam paying my fee but not a wrong fee for a free question! Orlando C. *
Expert:  attyadvisor replied 3 months ago.

I am a different Attorney and I was asked to see if I could assist you.

I may not sue anybody but I may ask an official (as a citizen) to sue them! If you do not agree that there is a violation of the
United States Constitution we can close this contact! Be aware that this contact was a result of the free question I was allowed!
I am paying my fee but not a wrong fee for a free question! Orlando

If you have any question with regard to what you may or may not be paying for the question the Attorneys have no access to your account information and do not handle any membership services. Please contact customer service so you can make sure that you are not paying any amount you did not agree to pay. This is a the phone number for CS at

US/Canada1.***-***-****

Available 6am to 9pm PST

As far as freedom of speech and freedom of the press is concerned, there are very few limits on Freedom of Speech and as far as Freedom of the press it is similar to the freedoms provided to a person. So people can make factually incorrect statements provided they are defaming another person’s character and causing that person harm, that they are not enticing violence or using profanity.

"Freedom of the press is established in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, which states that "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press." Although the text of the amendment only specifically prohibits infringement by Congress, the Supreme Court has broadened the scope of the First Amendment to protect the freedoms of speech and press from censorship by any government entity, from the federal government down to the local police.

However, the Supreme Court has also recognized specific situations in which the government is allowed to limit the freedom of the press.

There are legal limits, for example, to how much protection a reporter can provide a confidential source. Reporters often rely on confidential sources for inside information that exposes government or corporate corruption. But if the source violated a federal law in leaking the information to the press, the reporter can be subpoenaed and required to name names, as established by the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in Branzburg v. Hayes (1972) [source: Smolkin].

In 2005, New York Times reporter Judith Miller served 85 days in jail for contempt of court when she refused to name the source who leaked the identity of undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame [source: Miller]. The following year, two reporters for the San Francisco Chronicle also served jail time for refusing to name the source who leaked closed grand jury testimonies from the Barry Bonds perjury case [source: SFGate.com]. Bloggers, however, are something of a special case when it comes to press freedom: In 2011, an "investigative blogger" was found guilty of libel when she posted inaccurate and damaging statements about an Oregon lawyer. The federal judge ruled that Oregon's shield law, which protected journalists from most libel claims, did not cover bloggers or other citizen journalists who are not affiliated with a mainstream media organization [source: Barnard].

Defamation is also prohibited by law in specific cases. Defamation is the injury of an individual's reputation either by written or spoken word. Defamation by the press is called libel. In the landmark 1964 case New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, the court ruled that the press is not guilty of libel against public figures unless the injured party can prove actual malice -- knowingly and recklessly publishing false information -- rather than mere reckless reporting. The ruling lifted restrictions on the press that had prevented it from reporting fully on the civil rights movement in the South. However, the Court ruled in later decisions that the press can still be found guilty of libel in defamation cases involving private citizens and private matters without proof of actual malice [source: Legal Information Institute].

It's important to understand that in most cases, freedom of the press is identical to freedom of speech under the law. Members of the media enjoy the same rights -- and are subject to the same restrictions -- as members of the general public [source: Legal Information Institute]. However, some states have passed shield laws that offer journalists stronger protections against accusations of libel or naming confidential sources in non-federal cases. A recent bill to establish a federal shield law stalled in Congress [source: Rauf].

Obscenity is another a type of speech or published material that is not protected by the First Amendment. In its ruling on the 1973 case of Miller v. California, the Supreme Court established the "Miller test" for deciding what types of material qualified as obscene [source: Cohen]. The material must be offensive to an average citizen applying "contemporary community standards" and have no redeeming "literary, artistic, political, or scientific value."

Another limit on the press concerns speech designed to incite immediate violence or unlawful activity. These prohibitions were established in two separate rulings. In the 1969 case Brandenburg v. Ohio, the court ruled that only speech that is "directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action" can be legally censored. In an earlier decision, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes compared such speech to shouting fire in a crowded theater, creating a "clear and present danger" [source: Cohen]. "Fighting words" are also illegal. In Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire (1942), the Court ruled that speech that "inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace" has so social value and can be curtailed [source: Legal Information Institute]. http://people.howstuffworks.com/freedom-of-the-press.htm

http://people.howstuffworks.com/freedom-of-the-press.htm

Expert:  attyadvisor replied 3 months ago.

Please do not hesitate to ask me any additional questions that you may have with regard to this matter. It would be my pleasure to continue to assist you.

If you would be kind enough to rate my service positively so I will receive credit for my work I would appreciate. You do not need to provide a negative to obtain a refund. Thank you for your consideration.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Your report was excellent but did not allow prosecutors to use government reports of corruption to bring charges against
the named people that committed the crime)s)! Orlando C. *******
Expert:  attyadvisor replied 3 months ago.

As you know each case is handled on a case by case basis in the courtroom and that is how our law evolves. I provided you for the reason and gave you cases that addressed the issues. I am not sure I understand your statement? but did not allow prosecutors to use government reports of corruption to bring charges against
the named people that committed the crime)s)! Orlando C. *******
Please explain.

Judith Miller was one of few journalist to spend any time in jail that was change was the norm.

As attorneys we do not make laws (in case we are a judge and can set precedent) your legislators are tasked with proposing bills and trying to get them passed.

"Judith Miller served 85 days in jail for contempt of court when she refused to name the source who leaked the identity of undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame [source: Miller]. The following year, two reporters for the San Francisco Chronicle also served jail time for refusing to name the source who leaked closed grand jury testimonies from the Barry Bonds perjury case [source: SFGate.com]. "

So it is a combination of the laws on the books (statutes) and the cases that have been tried that changed standard practice by stating that one situation is different from the others because... I find it fascinating to read the opinions of the Judges that concur with the decisions and why and the Judges that dissent and their reasoning. Unfortunately you never know how all human beings will perceive the issue. The bot***** *****ne is defamatory statut6es that are false are actionable and no matter who publishes then (verbally, or in writing) can face a lawsuit from the person who's character they defamed. It is an imperfect system but it the best we have.

I hope the information I provided was helpful and interesting and that you will be kind enough to rate my service positively so I may receive credit for time and work.

If you would be kind enough to rate my service positively so I will receive credit for my work I would appreciate.

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