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Judge Bans Atlanta Media From Publishing Story

Judge Bans Atlanta Media From Publishing Story | Media News | Scoop.it
A judge has barred local media around Atlanta from running a story related to a public school test cheating scandal. It's an extremely rare move.
Eric Santiago's insight:

This is as unconstitutional as you can get.

 

A Georgia judge has banned local media from reporting a story that relates to a cheating scandal in Atlanta public high schools.

 

It's a clear-cut example of prior restraint, or muzzling the media before it can publish a story. It's also expressly forbidden under the First Amendment, but that hasn't stopped government officials from trying.

 

The Pentagon Papers are arguably the most famous example. In a nutshell, an ex-CIA employee leaked documents to the New York Times that showed that the U.S. entered the Vietnam War under false pretenses.

 

Embarrassed, President Nixon's administration first tried to prove that the leaker and Times editor were guilty under the Espionage Act of 1917, because they didn't have the authority to publish classified documents.

 

A side note: That law is the current favorite of the Obama administration when prosecuting leakers of classified intelligence, and the journalists who report them.

 

But when Nixon's plan failed, he sought an injunction against the New York Times, claiming the leaks were a threat to national security. That ploy has been the only tactic that's ever held any salt in prior restraint cases.

 

Even then, the Supreme Court tossed out the injunction, saying that the administration hadn't met the high burden of proof required for a prior restraint injunction. Essentially, the administration couldn't prove that the leaks would cause immediate and drastic damage to the U.S. and therefore, the documents must be allowed to be published. In their opinion, the Supreme Court reinforced the fourth estate's role in keeping government power in check.

 

So this is the standard that the Georgia ruling will be held to as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution appeals the case.

 

I'm not too optimistic for the ruling's chances.

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In Ray Rice Scandal, TMZ Scores on a Fumble

In Ray Rice Scandal, TMZ Scores on a Fumble | Media News | Scoop.it
The N.F.L.’s light punishment for the Baltimore Ravens running back pushed the gossip site to outmaneuver the rest of the media to get the goods.
Eric Santiago's insight:

This is my view

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