Federal anti-SLAPP bill is focus of House hearing

Luis Ferre Sadurni | Libel | News | June 23, 2016
June 23, 2016

On Wednesday, the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice of the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on an anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) bill, which would combat lawsuits filed to intimidate exercise of free speech.

Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) introduced H.R. 2304, the SPEAK FREE Act, last summer and the bill was referred to the subcommittee on June 1, 2015. Similar to anti-SLAPP laws passed at the state level, the proposed legislation would amend the federal judicial code to allow defendants speaking out about official proceedings or matters of public concern a special motion to dismiss the case early in litigation as well as a stay on discovery in order to combat SLAPPs.

SCOTUSblog denied Senate press credentials because of ties to law firm

Danielle Keeton-Olsen | Newsgathering | News | June 23, 2014
June 23, 2014

The U.S. Senate Press Gallery denied the popular Supreme Court website SCOTUSblog Senate press credentials today, finding that the site does not exercise enough editorial independence from the publisher's law firm.

The Gallery’s Standing Committee of Correspondents, consisting of five journalists credentialed to cover the Senate, posted a letter to SCOTUSblog’s publisher Tom Goldstein one month after its May 23 meeting discussing the site’s relation to Goldstein's firm, Goldstein & Russell LLP.

Media organizations urge Senate to vote on federal shield bill

Cindy Gierhart | Reporter's Privilege | News | June 13, 2014
June 13, 2014

Spurred by a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court not to hear an appeal by New York Times reporter James Risen – which could result in Risen going to jail or being fined for not naming his source – media organizations stress that now is the time to pass a federal shield bill.

More than 70 news organizations – the Reporters Committee included – sent a letter to the Senate majority and minority leaders earlier this week, urging them to schedule a vote on the shield bill.

SCOTUSblog press-pass hearing raises questions about Senate credentialing process

Danielle Keeton-Olsen | Newsgathering | News | June 6, 2014
June 6, 2014

The status of a popular U.S. Supreme Court website as a publication credentialed to cover the Senate rests on a credentialing committee's opinion of the site's past and present ties to the site publisher's law firm.

SCOTUSblog, a website devoted to comprehensive coverage of the U.S. Supreme Court, still awaits a decision from the U.S. Senate Press Gallery Standing Committee of Correspondents on whether it will receive Senate press credentials.

In April, the committee rejected the application of SCOTUSblog editor and reporter Amy Howe and said it would not renew SCOTUSblog reporter Lyle Denniston’s credentials after questioning whether the site fits the gallery’s guidelines for editorial and financial independence.

Federal shield law supporters examine whether law would protect James Risen

Jeff Zalesin | Reporter's Privilege | News | July 22, 2013
July 22, 2013

First Amendment advocates continue to call for a federal shield law in the wake of the Fourth Circuit appeals court's ruling last week that New York Times reporter James Risen must identify a source—a decision that some say could have gone the other way if Congress had enacted a nationwide reporter’s privilege.

Senators modify media shield bill to include Attorney General's changes to Justice policy

Nicole Lozare | Reporter's Privilege | News | July 18, 2013
July 18, 2013

A bipartisan group of senators on Wednesday introduced an amendment to the federal shield bill in an effort to cement Attorney General Eric Holder’s recommended changes regarding the Justice Department’s guidelines when issuing subpoenas to journalists.

Reporters Committee letter to Senate Judiciary Committee

March 4, 2013

The Reporters Committee wrote to the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee asking them to question Attorney General Eric Holder about the Department of Justice's policy of releasing booking photographs under FOIA. The Marshals Service had unilaterally determined not to honor such requests despite a federal appellate court's longstanding decision that the photographs do not implicate individual privacy.

Department of Labor implements new "lock-up" policy for media

Amanda Simmons | Content Regulation | News | July 10, 2012
July 10, 2012

The U.S. Department of Labor began implementing parts of its new, slightly more-friendly media policy regarding journalists' access to embargoed job statistics. In response to publicized media concerns, the policy, which takes full effect on Sept. 5, gives credentialed reporters the option of using their own department-approved newsgathering equipment during the "lock-ups."

Media object to proposed Department of Labor press controls in Congressional hearing

Amanda Simmons | Content Regulation | News | June 6, 2012
June 6, 2012

News media executives and free press advocates expressed concern today at a House congressional committee regarding the U.S. Department of Labor’s proposal to require journalists to use government-owned equipment when reporting newly released government job statistics.

FOIA and technology hot topic at House oversight subcommittee hearing

Andrea Papagianis | Freedom of Information | Feature | March 22, 2012
March 22, 2012

The importance of streamlining agency efforts to fill federal Freedom of Information Act requests was the hot topic at a subcommittee hearing yesterday of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in the U.S. House of Representatives.