Ethics, libel, freedom of the press

Also linked to here--resources on:
Media watchdogs, privacy, plagiarism, freedom of information (FOIA)

What is happening to academic freedom?

Academic community fears chilling effect of honoring subpoenas for sealed oral history transcripts
BC should abide by subpoena, provide info in murder case (Editorial, Boston Globe 8-1-11). "BOSTON COLLEGE is justifiably proud of its relationship with Ireland and its role in helping to shepherd the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. Those close ties are one reason the college has been waging a court battle against a US government subpoena, requested by British authorities, which seeks testimony from a sealed oral history project about the war in Northern Ireland. Boston College’s concerns are valid, but the interests of justice and diplomacy outweigh any claim for special protection. The promise that was made to participants in the oral history project - that their testimony wouldn’t be released until they died - must be rescinded in light of a murder investigation."
College Fights Subpoena of Interviews Tied to I.R.A. (Katie Zezima, NY Times, 6-9-11). "Boston College filed a motion this week to quash a federal subpoena seeking access to confidential interviews of paramilitary fighters for the Provisional Irish Republican Army."
US college requests quashing of oral history subpoenas (Kevin Cullen, Irish Times 6-11-11). "In A case being watched closely by academics around the world, Boston College has asked a judge to quash subpoenas demanding it turn over to British authorities records from an oral history project involving republican and loyalist paramilitaries in Northern Ireland. In papers filed in court in Boston, the college said releasing audio tapes and other materials connected to the confidential interviews could jeopardise the safety of former paramilitaries who were interviewed, the two former paramilitaries who conducted the interviews, and college staff involved in an oral history known as the 'Belfast Project'.”
The Unwritten Code of Conduct (The Research Whisperer, 12-15-15) "Each day this week, my supervisor has walked into my office and made verbal demands that I remove content from my beloved blog. Each day, the boundaries of appropriate social media usage shift a little, and my requests for some clear written guidance are rebuffed. I’m a postdoc at a research-intensive organisation....If universities are intent on monitoring, moderating and censoring the social media presence of academic staff, then it’s only fair to actually write these unwritten rules and work together towards some transparent and fair guidelines."
Defining Academic Freedom (Cary Nelson, Inside Higher Ed, 12-21-10) Sometimes academic freedom is invoked in situations where it doesn't actually apply. But many within and without higher education are not well-versed in all the protections it does provide. This statement is designed to help clarify both what academic freedom does and doesn't do. For example, academic freedom means that both faculty members and students can engage in intellectual debate without fear of censorship or retaliation. (Excellent explanation follows.)
Academic Freedom Primer (pdf, Ann Franke, Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges)
Unacademic Freedom? (Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed, 3-1-16) Academic freedom is supposed to protect unpopular views. A case involving an Oberlin professor who claimed that ISIS is really the CIA and Mossad asks whether that freedom extends to falsehoods.
Academic freedom (Wikipedia's entry is a good overview, plus there are links)
Resources on Academic Freedom (American Association of University Professors, AAUP)
Kitzmiller v. Dover: Intelligent Design on Trial (National Center for Science Education: Defending the teaching of evolution & climate science). As the first trial over "intelligent design," the case received national media attention and has since been the subject of several books
More criticism of 'Academic Bill of Rights' (Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, 1-9-06) "Ellen Schrecker, a professor of history at Yeshiva University, called the Academic Bill of Rights a "cleverly written document" that was designed to pressure faculty members to hire more conservatives and to avoid topics and views that offend conservatives. "We should not seek to protect students from hearing uncomfortable views," she said."
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) (mission: to defend and sustain individual rights at America’s colleges and universities, including rights to freedom of speech, legal equality, due process, religious liberty, and sanctity of conscience)
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Best practices for government communications directors
This section was assembled before Trump was elected.
My guess is the rules will change.

NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco explicitly tells NOAA scientists that they are free to speak to the public, including the media, without permission from anyone at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (that is, without being "handled" and censored).
Federal Agency Encourages Its Scientists to Speak Out (Mark Fischetti, Scientific American blog, 12-8-11, on NOAA's policy of promoting open science)
NOAA statement on NOAA scientific integrity commons
NOAA FAQs on its scientific integrity policy
NOAA state of the science fact sheets

Public Communications and the Media
May I take phone calls from media and give interviews?
Yes. There are no exceptions here. However, you are not required to give media interviews. You can always refer media to your public affairs officer. Similarly, you should always feel free to consult with your public affairs officer prior to an interview and/​or include them in the interview.

What should I do if I am asked to give an interview?
You are not required to do anything. However, good practice suggests you should notify your public affairs officer and/​or the head of your operating unit prior to or just after you give an interview. Why? Common courtesy. You wouldn't want somebody surprising you with detailed questions about your work, and your managers are no different. Nobody enjoys being made to look foolish or uninformed in public. If you don't tell your managers you said something, it is possible they could be called out and made to look bad. Situational awareness is not a requirement, but it can be a good thing. Use your best judgment.
[Thanks to Andrew Holtz for drawing journalists' attention to this. HHS should be following a similar policy.]
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Bias in journalism vs. political correctness. Juan Williams Fired For Admitting He Is Afraid of Flying Muslims (Riley Waggaman, Wonkette, 10-21-10) and In wake of NPR controversy, Fox News gives Juan Williams an expanded role (Matea Gold, in Los Angeles Times, 10-21-10)

Blogging, digital journalism, and the law

A Citizen's Guide to Reporting on #OccupyWallStreet (Citizen Media Law Project)
Can I use that? A legal primer for journalists (Jonathan Peters, Columbia Journalism Review, 10-1-15)
U.S. court rules Oregon blogger not a journalist (Summer Harlow, Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas 12-7-11).
Judge: Blogger not a reporter, must turn over information (Steve Schmadeke, Chicago Tribune 1-13-02)
No, the Sky is Not Falling: Explaining that Decision in Oregon Eric P. Robinson (Citizen Media Law Project 12-12-11)
Blogger jailed in Anna Nicole Smith defamation suit (Kate Murphy, AFP--noting that in court a blogger is a publisher, not a writer)
Blogging Between the Lines (Dana Hull, American Journalism Review, December 2006). "The mainstream media have fallen in love with blogs, launching them on everything from politics to life in Las Vegas to bowling. But does the inherent tension between the blogosphere’s anything-goes ethos and the standards of traditional journalism mean this relationship is doomed?"

Digital Journalist's Legal Guide (Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press). for anyone disseminating news online, from an independent blogger to a reporter for a major media outlet, as well as media lawyers. Topic areas (from from RCFP press release) include:
* Gathering News and Information (e.g., rules for open records and meetings, access to courts, and newsgathering right of access to events/​places)
* Protecting and Defending Your Work (e.g., what to do to protect sources and fight subpoenas, steps to take if there’s a threat or actual lawsuit libel, and how to handle invasion of privacy concerns)
* Knowing Legal Restrictions (e.g., understanding basic Internet regulation and how to protect a domain name, and copyright and trademark law covering both original work and “fair use” of other materials).
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Free speech and freedom of expression

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."--First Amendment, one of ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution that constitute the Bill of Rights

How To Leak To ProPublica (ProPublica) "We’re investigative journalists devoted to exposing abuse of power. If you’ve got evidence showing powerful people doing the wrong thing, here’s how to let us know while protecting your identity."
Free Speech Rights of Public Employees (Exploring Constitutional Conflicts, The issue: May the government use the speech of a public employee as the basis for discharge or denying promotion? A few interesting cases. Here's one, from Oyez: Garcetti v. Ceballos.
Oyez Database on major constitutional cases heard by the United States Supreme Court, with multimedia resources including digital audio of oral arguments.
Talent Wants to Be Free: Why We Should Learn to Love Leaks, Raids, and Free Riding by Orly Lobel, who challenges conventional business wisdom about competition, secrecy, motivation, and creativity. Combining original behavioral experiments with sharp observations of contemporary battles over ideas, secrets, and skill, Lobel identifies motivation, relationships, and mobility as the most important ingredients for successful innovation.
Free Inquiry on Campus: A Statement of Principles by Over One Hundred Middlebury College Professors (3-6-17)
Will Fair Use Survive? Free Expression in the Age of Copyright Control (Freedom of Expression Project). Download free PDF. Practices that threaten free expression and fair use: cease and desist letters, DMCA take-down notices, the "clearance culture," negotiated guidelines.
Defining Hate Speech (Andrew Sellars, Boston University School of Law, on Social Science Research Network, SSRN, a website devoted to the rapid dissemination of scholarly research in the social sciences and humanities) Downloadable. Common traits of hate speech: 1) Targeting a group, or individual as member of a group; 2) Content in the message that conveys hate; 3) The speech causes a harm; 4) The speaker intends harm or bad activity; 5) The speech incites bad actions beyond the speech itself; 6) The speech is either public or directed at a member of a group; 7) The context makes violence response possible; 8) The speech has no redeeming purpose.
A Guide to Disinvitation: My Conversation with Williams College President Adam Falk (Peter Wood, National Association of Scholars, March 2016) A thoughtful essay on "disinvitations on college campuses, as well as other snubs, actions prompting invited speakers to cancel their own appearances, and speakers showing up only to be drowned out by protester." This is a 'long and careful laying out of distinctions between academic, intellectual, and First Amendment freedoms, and how all three relate to the broader purposes of higher education. It was NAS’s attempt to stand back from the current melee over Black Lives Matter, microaggressions, safe spaces, and the like, to see if we could find some answers to today’s discontents. President Falk’s email seemed to provide an opening. He discerned “a line” that had been crossed. The first step would be to see if he would say what that line is.'
• Download free Peter Wood's The Architecture of Intellectual Freedom (National Association of Scholars, 1-26-16) An interesting piece. From the conclusion: "[w]e are concerned over the recent emergence of versions of academic freedom that conflate it with intellectual freedom—and sometimes conflate both academic and intellectual freedom with First Amendment freedoms. This blurring of key distinctions puts all three at risk. Universities are not places where anything can be said anywhere and at any time. They are places where the truth is pursued by disciplined means; where a hierarchy of knowledge prevails; and where intellectual authority is maintained. These matters are sometimes rhetorically downplayed but in practice they are rigorously upheld."
Seattle Muralist Crystal Barbre Alters Her Work to Skirt Obscenity Laws (Sarra Scherb, Vanguard Seattle, 9-27-16). Who’s Afraid of the Female Nipple? The State of Washington.
‘So to Speak’ Podcast: David Baugh on ‘Defending My Enemy’ (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, FIRE, 6-2-16) Why would a black criminal defense attorney—who fought against segregation in high school and battled racism in the courtroom—volunteer to defend the First Amendment rights of an Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan?
Settlement Reached in Case of Professor Fired for “Uncivil” Tweets (Center for Constitutional Rights, 11-12-15) “Professor Salaita’s case galvanized champions of academic freedom and Palestinian rights activists alike, making clear that punishing speech―even speech that dares to criticize Israeli government atrocities―will not be tolerated." See also a href=""target="_blank">The Settlement in Steven Salaita's Lawsuit - Victory or Defeat for Free Speech? The Free Expression Policy Project, 11-13-15).
Freedom of Information Resources for Journalists (Newslab)
Timeline: a history of free speech (David Smith and Luc Torres, Media, The Guardian, 2-5-06
Mizzou, Yale and Free Speech (Nicholas Kristof, OpEd, NY Times, 11-11-15) "On university campuses across the country, from Mizzou to Yale, we have two noble forces colliding with explosive force. One is a concern for minority or marginalized students and faculty members, who are often left feeling as outsiders in ways that damage everyone’s education." Student photographer Tim Tai, who was trying to document the protests unfolding in a public space, "represented the other noble force in these upheavals — free expression. He tried to make the point, telling the crowd: 'The First Amendment protects your right to be here — and mine.'”
Who Is Entitled to Be Heard? (Suzanne Nossel, Op Ed, NY Times, 11-12-15) "Some of the most potent threats to free speech these days come not from our government or corporations, but from our citizenry. Pitched battles being waged at Yale and the University of Missouri pit speech versus speech in a contest of who and what is entitled to be heard."
Freedom of Speech (Wikipedia--some useful points made here)
Tolerance, Free Speech Collide on Campus ( Dan Frosch and Tamara Audi, WSJ, 11-13-15) A philosophical divide is at the heart of recent protests that have roiled campuses around the country. Universities are struggling to balance the free exchange of ideas with students’ growing desire to be shielded from offensive views.
How a high school student’s painting caused congressional Republicans to act like campus snowflakes (Jonathan H. Adler, WaPo, 1-14-17) Taking it down, wrong. Allowing expression of an opposing opinion, right.
Kelly Carlin, Rain Pryor, and Kitty Bruce, daughters of three major stand-up comedians, speak about their fathers' (George Carlin, Richard Pryor, and Lenny Bruce's) experiences fighting for free speech in comedy, on campus and off. (YouTube video of the three women, supported by FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education). Or listen to the So To Speak podcast.
That's Not Funny! (Caitlin Flanagan, The Atlantic, Sept 2015) Stand-Up Comics have to censor their jokes on campus. "College gigs pay easily a grand a night—often much more—and they can come in a firecracker string, with relatively short drives between schools, each hour-long performance paid for (without a moment’s ugliness or hesitation) by a friendly student-activities kid holding out a check and hoping for a selfie." Chris Rock no longer plays colleges because "they were far too eager 'not to offend anybody.'"
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Trump, the press, and the truth

How Can Journalists Protect Themselves During a Trump Administration? (Kaveh Waddell, The Atlantic, 11-10-16) The president-elect’s attacks on the press hint at an unfriendly atmosphere for reporters.
Trump Hates the Press? Take a Number. (Jack Shafer, Politico, 2-17-17) "No matter how grievous the sins of the press may be—and as a press critic, let me tell you, they are grievous—a president can’t forever blame everything on “dishonest reporters,” the “mess” the previous president left behind or the dug-in elites. Reckonings tend to take a while to form, as Nixon and Agnew learned. Trump’s will come."

Journalists around the country are joining a Slack channel devoted to FOIA and Trump (Krysten Hare, Poynter, 1-25-17) A few days before President Trump's inauguration, MuckRock opened up a Slack channel to help journalists better cover him and his administration. Sign up here:
How far will President Trump’s media blackout spread? The Sunlight Foundation is trying to find out (Kelly Hinchcliffe, Poynter, 1-25-17)
The Memory Hole 2, run by Russ Kick, and The Internet Archive (The Wayback Machine) save pages that disappear from the Web. Kick's site has been good about saving items deleted by the Trump Administration (including Trump's error-filled Tweets).
Poll: Trump More Trusted Than The Media (by Republicans) (Curt Mills, US News, 2-9-17) Views on the press and the administration break down along clear party lines. ""The partisan split on this topic is clear – 89 percent of Republicans find the Trump administration truthful, versus 77 percent of Democrats who find the administration untruthful. Conversely, 69 percent of Democrats find the news media truthful, while a whopping 91 percent of Republicans consider them untruthful. Independents consider both untruthful," according to a poll conducted by Emerson College.

Organizations fighting for First Amendment rights

American Booksellers for Free Expression (ABFE)
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which in 2017 is launching People Power, the ACLU’s new effort to engage grassroots volunteers across the country, partly with Resistance Training.
American Library Association (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom
The Authors Guild has commissioned a series of essays by writers on what the First Amendment means to them. T.J. Stiles starts it off with Dissent Shall Set You Free.
Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC) has merged with Defending Dissent Foundation (DDF). Follow on Twitter.
Center for Constitutional Rights
Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT), a champion of global online civil liberties and human rights, driving policy outcomes that keep the Internet open, innovative, and free. Has blog and podcasts.
• The Chilling Effects Clearinghouse is a collaborative archive created by several law school clinics and the Electronic Frontier Foundation to combat legal threats used to silence Internet activity.
Columbia Journalism Review: Watchdog
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF). Resources include Case Files and a History of Comics Censorship (in six parts).
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF, Defending your rights in the digital world)
First Amendment Center (many articles and other resources on freedom of speech, press, religion, assembly, and petition)
Free Expression Network, a project of the National Coalition Against Censorship, an alliance of organizations dedicated to defending the right of free expression and the values it represents. FEN members provide a wide range of expertise, resources and services to policymakers, the media, scholars, and the public at large. See list of members of the Free Expression Network
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). Help FIRE protect the speech rights of students and faculty. Among interesting resources on FIRE's site is a database of disinvitation attempts, "from the left" and "from the right. "
First Amendment Center (many articles and other resources on freedom of speech, press, religion, assembly, and petition)
First Amendment Project (a nonprofit organization providing free legal services on matters relating to free speech and free press)
Free Expression Network, a project of the National Coalition Against Censorship, an alliance of organizations dedicated to defending the right of free expression and the values it represents. FEN members provide a wide range of expertise, resources and services to policymakers, the media, scholars, and the public at large. See list of members of the Free Expression Network
Free Expression Network (FEN), an alliance of organizations dedicated to protecting the First Amendment right of free expression and the values it represents, and to opposing governmental efforts to suppress constitutionally-protected speech. (See list of member organizations.)
FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting)
The File Room, hosted by the National Coalition Against Censorship--"a catalogued web-based interactive archive of censorship cases dating back to 500 BC. It is open to submissions by organizations and individuals locally, nationally, and internationally."
'• First Amendment Center (many articles and other resources on freedom of speech, press, religion, assembly, and petition)
First Amendment Coalition (FAC), originally California First Amendment Coalition (and California-focused), an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization whose purpose is to "promote and defend the people's right to know"--that is, our freedom of information (to find out) and freedom of expression. (to speak out) about matters of public interest.
The Free Expression Policy Project. See its links and resources for more resources of information about censorship, free expression, media policy, copyright, and the public domain.
Index on Censorship: The voice of free expression (X Index, UK)
The Media Coalition ("Defending the First Amendment since 1973")
National Coalition on Censorship (NCAC). See NCAC's important resources.
National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC), about the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), state FOI and open government issues. (Americans for Less Secrecy, More Democracy)
PEN Campaign for Four Freedoms
Politiwoops (tracks deleted tweets by public officials, including people currently in office and candidates for office)
Project Censored (The News That Didn't Make the News) -- monitors the media and compiles an annual Top 25 Censored Stories.
ProPublica, an independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest
Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP), see its Digital Journalist's Legal Guide
Resistance Recess (excellent resources for activists)
Sunlight Foundation (Advocates for open government globally, using technology to make government & politics more accountable & transparent)
Woodhull Freedom Foundation (Affirming Sexual Freedom as a Fundamental Human Right)
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Censorship, Banned Books, and Freedom of Expression

Book Censorship Toolkit (National Coalition Against Censorship)
The First Amendment in Schools: A Resource Guide (National Coalition Against Censorship)
The Last Book Seller (Mei Fong, PEN Hong Kong, 1-10-17) Chinese censorship has made Chinese publication of Mei Fong's book One Child: The Story of China's Most Radical Experiment highly problematic. Publication by a Chinese publisher meant leaving key parts of the book out. "Authorities cracked down on advocacy of issues as innocuous as calls for clean air and calls to reduce sexual harassment. They have not only jailed these movement’s advocates, but in some cases their lawyers as well." And those controls extend now to Hong Kong. Many publishers have folded. The author has decided to make the self-published Chinese translation available for free in China.
Still more City Paper content censored (Fern Shen, Baltimore Brew, 3-1-14). An advertiser pressures withdrawal of a fairly withering review, eliciting outrage and probably wider readership of the story than there might have been without censorship. Here's the review.
A familiar Russian playbook (Fred Hiatt, Washington Pot, 6-29-14)." In fall 1958, when Russian author Boris Pasternak was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, the Soviet regime unleashed a campaign of vilification against their native son so brutal that it drove the author, then 68, to contemplate suicide. Pasternak’s crime was to have written a novel, “Dr. Zhivago,” that did not glorify the Bolshevik Revolution — and to allow the book to be published abroad when Communist authorities banned it at home." See what both sides in the Cold War did in The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle Over a Forbidden Book . See Alan Furst's review "Finn and Couvée have taken a complex and difficult history with many moving parts and turned it into a kind of intellectual thriller."
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) . See its case files.
Changing the World, One Word at a Time! (powerful video of three teenagers on the wrong lessons we learn from society, on Queen Latifah show)
Campaign for Core Freedoms (PEN American Center)
Katherine Anne Porter Award for First Amendment Defender (new $10,000 award from PEN American Center)
PEN/​Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award (projects to further their work against censorship or to writers who have been in dire financial straits as a result of political persecution, often consisting of imprisonment)
The Freedom to Read Statement (American Library Association)
Citizen Media Law Project blog
Free speech blog, blog archved as Index on Censorship. Check out its blog roll.
Katherine Paterson: The Risks of Great Literature . The celebrated and banned children’s book author speaks with us about the fears of censors, the deaths of children, and what we need to risk for literature. (Guernica)
French Censorship: Copyright Laws, "Private Life," and Biography (Hazel Rowley, The American Scholar, Winter 2009). Fascinating.
Spam Filters Threaten Free Speech on the Internet (James McGrath Morris, WaPo, 11-28-08) In most cases, both the intended e-mail sender and recipients remain unaware of the censorship that spam filters impose. Only rarely is the sender informed when e-mail is quarantined or diverted. Such behind-the-scenes machinations make fighting back almost impossible. Go to Spamhaus for threat intelligence and a lookup tool for IP addresses. See Spamhaus FAQs.
Internet black holes: where storytelling waits (13 countries where Internet access is restricted through censorship), map from Reporters Sans Frontieres, as posted on "Write now is good"
Global Campaign Against Impunity. The countries with the highest rates of murder of journalists (censorship by murder): Russia and the Philippines (Committee to Protect Journalists)
Diario de Juarez editorial, in translation (LA Times, 9-24-10, a front-page editorial published by the main newspaper in Ciudad Juarez, publicly offers to the Juarez drug gangs what news organizations across Mexico practice widely for their survival: self-censorship in exchange for no more assassinations of journalists.
Internet Filtering: Beware the Cybercensors (Barbara Miner, Rethinking Schools, compares blocking software to the banning of books from libraries). Partial article for nonmembers.
Freedom of the press
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Banned Books (lists of)

Banned & Challenged Classics (American Library Association. or ALA)
Frequently challenged young adult books (ALA)
Top ten frequently challenged books lists of the 21st century (by year -- ALA)
100 most frequently challenged books by decade (ALA)
Most frequently challenged authors of the 21st century (ALA)
Links to ALA's yearly lists of banned or challenged books
Frequently challenged children's books (ALA)
Frequently Challenged Books with Diverse Content
Top 100 Banned/​Challenged Books: 2000-2009
Top ten frequently challenged books lists of the 21st century (for 2000 through 2015)
15 Books Banned For The Most Absurd Reasons Ever (BuzzFeed). Can you guess which book was banned for depicting women in strong leadership roles? Hint: it’s a children’s book.
The top 10 books Americans tried to ban last year (Thu-Huong Ha, Quartz, 9-29-15). No. 3 is And Tango Makes Three, based on the true story of two male penguins who raised a baby penguin together--a picture book aimed at 2- to 5-year-olds.
Top 10 Banned Books and Their Reason for Being Banned (
50 Most Frequently Banned Books (Jason Chervokas and Tom Watson, Cybertimes, 8-22-97)
Top 10 Banned Books of All Time (Shortlist)
Banned Books Week. Sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA), this annual event, held the last week of September, celebrates the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment.
I Read My 5-Year-Old Banned Books & You Should, Too (Lisa Catherine Harper, HuffPost 9-29-11)
Timeline: 30 years of liberating literature
• Banned or "warned about" books: Anderson's 'Speak' Under Attack Again. Rocco Staino, in School Library Journal (9-23-10), interviews Laurie Halse Anderson about strong reaction to Wesley Scroggins' op ed piece in Missouri's News Leader, cautioning parents against the "soft porn" of Anderson's "filthy" novel, Speak, about a teenager who chooses not to speak rather than give voice to what really happened: rape. Other books Scroggins warns parents about: Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut and Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler. Anderson says that thousands of readers have written to say that Speak "made them feel less alone and gave them the strength to speak up about being sexually assaulted and other painful secrets."

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Timelines of censorship history

The National Coalition Against Censorship hosts several timelines that chart the history of efforts to suppress speech on a variety of topics:
A Selective Timeline of the Internet and Censorship (National Coalition Against Censorship)
A Timeline of Legislation Aiming to Protect Youth Online
A Timeline of Video Game Controversies
Art and Culture Censorship Timeline (unavailable 2-15-17)
Music Censorship In America: An Interactive Timeline (unavailable 2-15-17)
Timeline of Abstinence-Only Education in U.S. Classrooms (how over $1.5 billion in federal funds have been spent on 26 years of censorship in schools)
A Brief History of Film Censorship, includes a selected list of censored and challenged films.

Other organizations have also posted censorship timelines:
Manuscripts Don’t Burn: a Timeline of Literary Censorship, Destruction, and Liberation (PEN America)
History of Censorship Timeline (Preceden, a world timeline going back to Socrates' execution)
Bannings and Burnings in History (Freedom to Read)
Censorship in the United States: An Illustrated History and Timeline
Freedom of the Press in the United States: A Short History
Indecency and the FCC (About News, on Civil Liberties)
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Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA official site) enacted by Congress in 1966 to give the public access to information held by the federal government -- the law that keeps citizens in the know about their government.
FOIA exemptions (explained literally and in implications, by FOIAdvocates) "The FOIA maintains nine exemptions to the general presumption of mandatory disclosure. 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(1)-(9). Generally, Congress intended the exemptions to protect against disclosure of information which would substantially harm national defense or foreign policy, individual privacy interests, business proprietary interests, and the efficient operation of governmental functions." As the 9th Circuit wrote in one court decision: "The Freedom of Information Act embodies a strong policy of disclosure and places a duty to disclose on federal agencies. As the district court recognized, 'disclosure, not secrecy, is the dominant objective of the Act.'"
iFOIA Resources (Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Dig deep for more resources, including iFOIA Letter Generator (produce a customized request letter in just a few easy steps--registration required to make next letter easier, I assume)
FOIA Mapper.
FOIA Mapper aims to make it easier for journalists to know where to look for public documents (Joseph Lichterman, Nieman Lab, 3-20-16) Independent data journalist Max Galka launched FOIA Mapper, a Knight Foundation-backed site, to streamline the FOIA process by helping users figure out the best ways to request the documents they need.

**** Freedom of Information resources (Investigative Reporters & Editors, IRE) . Check out its tipsheets, story packs, videos, audio, listservs, and so on.
Right to Know: A Historical Guide to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) ( (a free online system for creating, sending, and tracking federal and state freedom of information requests) and iFOIA tutorials (Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press) Generate requests, appeals, complaints and Vaughn motions.
Effective FOIA Requesting for Everyone: A National Security Archive Guide
Free Expression Network (FEN) (an alliance of organizations dedicated to protecting the First Amendment right of free expression and the values it represents, and to opposing governmental efforts to suppress constitutionally-protected speech)
Freedom of Information resources for journalists (NewsLab)
Transparency Watch (an IRE blog tracking the fight for open records)
FOIA for pros: A step-by-step guide (Society of Professional Journalists, SPJ)
The Freedom of Information Act (2016 stories about FOIA, Electronic Privacy Information Center,
Sample FOIA Request Letters (National Freedom of Information Coalition)
HHS Takes Steps to Improve Transparency with New FOIA Regulations (, 10-28-16)
---The new HHS rules on FOIAs (10-28-16). 90 days to appeal (not 30) and they stop processing a FOIA appeal when a requester files a lawsuit, among other changes.
---The previous HHS FOIA regulations
---CMS has its own rules on FOIA requests: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). See alsoCMS policies and procedures on processing FOIA requests.
Who Uses FOIA? – An Analysis of 229,000 Requests to 85 Government Agencies (Max Galka, FOIA Mapper, 3-13-17) Excellent graphics. Covered in Who files the most FOIA requests? It’s not who you think. (Cory Schouten, CJR, 3-17-17)
It Took a FOIA Lawsuit to Uncover How the Obama Administration Killed FOIA Reform (Jason Leopold, Vice News, 3-9-16)
Where the Sun Don't Shine (Paul D. Thacker, Slate, 3-2013) President Obama promised transparency and open government. He failed miserably. So why do Washington watchdog groups look the other way?
Why it's OK for taxpayers to 'snoop' on scientists (Charles Seife and Paul Thacker, L.A. Times, 8-21-15) If the public pays your salary, citizens have the right -- the duty, within limits -- to see and try to understand what you're doing. Scientists should be subject to the same rules as every other civil servant.
NYT’s Sarah Cohen will make you realize how much better your public records game could be (Ryan White, Center for Health Journalism, 12-15-15) "Statistics are a starting point, not an end....think of statistics as a signpost: They can point you to the “micro data” underlying them. Once you’ve obtained such data through a records request, you can perform your own analysis, without worrying over how the data were massaged into shape....According to Cohen, the real problem for most reporters is that they know more than the public information officers (PIOs). As a result, reporters should do everything they can to help PIOs find what they’re looking for — help them help you."
Tips on prying loose records using FOIA requests, lawsuit (Fred Schulte, Association of Health Care Journalists Tip Sheet
FOIA legislative history
FOIA (Wikipedia entry, a good overview, but always double-check Wikipedia entries, as anyone can change the content)
Stanford Libraries FOIA archive (Preserved collection of sites that deal with Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and documents. This includes government sites that receive and distribute FOIA documents (aka "FOIA reading rooms") as well as non-profit organizations and government watchdogs that request large numbers of FOIA documents on specific topics like national security and civil rights.)
Your Right to Federal Records (Electronic Privacy Information Center) Questions and Answers on the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act, 1992
National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC) (a nonpartisan coalition, protecting your right to open government--news and analysis about "Open government is not a natural phenomenon. It's the law."
Freedom of Information Act and Government Transparency (Public Citizen)
FOIA ClinicsFOIA offices for various federal agencies
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Freedom of the Press

vs. escalating press office censorship in federal government
"If the press didn't tell you, who would?" (an old SPJ slogan)

A Libel Suit Threatens Catastrophe for the Climate of Public Debate ( Michael A. Carvin and Anthony Dick, WSJ, 2-5-17) Michael Mann sues to silence critics, and errant courts ignore the First Amendment to help him. He reports on climate change (which he believes in) but critics question his numbers. So he sues them for defamation.
Access denied: Reporters say federal officials, data increasingly off limits (Paul Farhi, Wash Post, 3-30-15) Reporters often encounter closed doors when seeking data and interviews from the administration.
The Memory Hole 2, run by Russ Kick, saves important documents from oblivion, so when an important government web page disappears (e.g., EPA and FAA regulations that were withdrawn/​deleted when the Trump Administration took office), you may find it here. Likewise, the deleted Trump tweets. You may also find many things on The Internet Archive (The Wayback Machine).
Open the . Its focus issues: Improving access, opening government, preserving records, reducing secrecy, surveillance transparency.
The Press Should Skip the White House Briefings (John A. Farrell, Op-ed, NY (1-24-17) "Get out of the press room, and look for access elsewhere."
Holding Government Accountable (Open the's links to partners in Holding Government Accountable; Ensuring and Improving Access to Information; Reforming National Security Secrecy; Protecting Civil Liberties; Opening State and Local Government)
Talk to the Hand (Jenni Bergal, Nieman Reports, Spring 2014). Public health reporters say federal agencies are restricting access and information, limiting their ability to cover crucial health issues. Transparency crucial for reporting on health stories.
When Censorship Becomes a Cultural Norm (Kathryn Foxhall, Editor & Publisher, 5-16-14)
Judge Says Reporter for New York Times Must Testify at ‘Baby Hope’ Trial (James C. McKinley, NY Times, 8-4-16) When journalists witness or report on criminal activities, can they be forced to testify in court?
2013 World Press Freedom Index: Dashed hopes after spring (Reporters Without Borders)
Freedom of the press worldwide 2013 (map- -how is your government doing?)
Freedom of the press worldwide, 2013, full report from Reporters Without Borders
Digital Journalist's Legal Guide (Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press). for anyone disseminating news online, from an independent blogger to a reporter for a major media outlet, as well as media lawyers.
First Amendment Handbook (Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press)
Freedom House, among other things, publishes results of annual surveys ranking countries in terms of freedom and freedom of the press. Many excellent resources, including country rankings and maps.
U.S. government secrecy making historical research difficult (James McGrath Morris, Aljazeera America, 10-23-13). By redacting all documents, no matter how benign, the government is throwing its past down the memory hole....It will not be long before the government will include all of its historical past among its secrecy prerogatives."
Center sues in an effort to make Medicare Advantage files public (Fred Schulte, Center for Public Integrity, 5-27-14) Freedom of Information Act suit targets government oversight of health care program and HHS's failure to respond to requests for information.
HHS releases guidelines for handling media requests (AHCJ, updated 6-8-12)
Running into a brick wall with your FOIA request? Take it public (Kelly Hinchcliffe, Poynter, 5-4-16). A story about this story: Foiled by FOIL: How One City Agency Has Dragged Out a Request for Public Records for Nearly a Year ( Joaquin Sapien, Pro Publica, 4-21-16)
Requesting data from public agencies: A primer (Kristen Hare, Poynter, 3-18-15)
• Freedom of information in UK: Open Secrets (Martin Rosenbaum's blog for BBC News)
National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC), protecting your right to open government
Sunshine Laws (U.S. open meeting laws, often referred to as “sunshine laws,” requiring agency officials to hold certain meetings in public) "These laws do not necessarily ensure that members of the public will be allowed to address the agency, but they do guarantee that the public and the media can attend the meetings."
Sunshine Week. NPC, SPJ and the Education Writers Association presented two surveys on press office interference, which show that the problem is pervasive. Most reporters said they felt the public is not getting the information it needs because of the barriers.
Government Public Affairs Offices: More Hindrance Than Help? (C-Span records panel of journalists and former govt affairs officers talking about transparency and the role of government public affairs officers, 8-12-13)
Stonewalling by government PIOs is one problem reporters face; some are responding to it by writing about it.
Examples of interference with reporting (Kathryn Foxhall, 7-7-14)
Resources on obstruction of reporting by public affairs offices (Kathryn Foxhall, 7-7-14)
Mediated Access: Public Information Officers’ Perceptions of Media Control (PDF, Carolyn S. Carson and Roberta Jackson, NAGC 3-11-13)
VA Honesty Project (House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, highlighting the Department of Veterans Affairs’ lack of transparency with the press and the public about its operations and activities)
Sunshine Week website (Open government is good government) Sunshine Week is a national initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Participants include news media, civic groups, libraries, nonprofits, schools and others interested in the public’s right to know.
Sunshine Week (SPJ)
Mediated Access: Local Reporters’ Perceptions of Public
Information Officers’ Media Control Efforts
(PDF, Carolyn S. Carlson & Megan Roy, SPJ report, 2014)
Mediated Access: Education Writers’ Perceptions of Public Information Officers’ Media Control Efforts (Carolyn S. Carlson & Megan Roy, SPJ report, 2014)

Tape recording laws at a glance (U.S., state by state)
First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Wikipedia's useful entry)
Censorship, banned books, and freedom of expression

Prior restraint

(government censorship)

Prior restraint (useful section on Wikipedia)
The Doctrine of Prior Restraint (FindLaw, Annotation 9--First Amendment)
Prior restraint vocabulary quizlets (oddly helpful)
Sedition, Incitement and Prior Restraint Chp.3 (vocabulary flashcards)
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What's up with shield laws

Shield Law 101: Frequently Asked Questions (Society of Professional Journalists)
Shield laws and protection of sources by state (Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press)
On shame and shield law (Sonny Albarado, SPJ, on fight for a federal shield law to protect journalists and their sources from unwarranted snooping by government prosecutors and other lawyers, 5-20-13)
Shield Laws in the United States (Wikipedia)
State Shield Laws (Digital Media Law)
Federal shield law supporters examine whether law would protect James Risen (Jeff Zalesin | Reporter's Privilege, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, 7-22-13)
Number of states with shield law climbs to 40 (Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, 2011, sidebar)
The limits of promising confidentiality (very practical overview and advice from Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press)
Journalist Shield Law. (C-Span) Kurt Wimmer, counsel for the Newspaper Association of America, talked about the the Free Flow of Information Act of 2013, being sponsored by bipartisan members of Congress, and answered questions.
Reporter Shield Laws, Jun 14, 2007 Witnesses testified about the Free Flow of Information Act of 2007. The act included procedures through which disclosure of confidential information from a journalist or a communication service provider may be compelled. They talked about proposals for federal shield laws, source confidentiality, recent investigations into reports activities and actions by government personnel, free speech concerns, and possible exceptions for national security cases.
Clymer on Media Shield Law Steven Clymer, a former D.A. and U.S. attorney, testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the proposed media shield law. Clip from 2005.
Proposed Media Shield Law Leads To Debate Over Who Is A “Journalist” (Doug Mataconis, Outside the Beltway, 9-13-13) He asks, Is the First Amendment irrelevant to a discussion of media shield laws? " The "Senate is debating a bill that would extend a testimonial privilege to a certain class of people and, in order to do so, they have to come up with some definition that can guide the Courts. Given the fact that testimonial privileges are generally frowned upon in the law, and that there is a price to be paid if someone with relevant information in a criminal case is able to withhold that information, it makes sense that the definition should not be overly broad."
Support grows for journalist shield law after Justice Dept. snoops on The Associated Press (Ben Wolfgang, Washington Times, 5-16-13)
Federal media shield law makes prosecuting journalists even easier (Al Stefanelli, Syndicated News Services, 5-18-13). Obama wants exception on national security issues.
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Coalition of the Shilling (Nathan Hodge, The Nation, 3-11-10). Nonpartisan think tanks are supporting journalism--but who's supporting the think tanks?

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AAA Principles of Professional Responsibility (American Anthropological Association, AAA Ethics Blog
American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) Code of Ethics
American Society of News Editors (ASNE) Statement of Principles and ASNE's excellent links to ethics codes of various U.S. newspapers and news organizations
Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America Code of Ethics and Standards
AP News Values & Principles (Associated Press)
Association of Health Care Journalists Statement of Principles (AHCJ also endorses the SPJ code of ethics
Association of Personal Historians Code of Ethics
Association of Professional Communication Consultants Code of Ethics
B2B Journalist Ethics: An ASBPE Guide to Best Practices (American Society of Business Publication Editors)
Blogger Code of Ethics (From the Left)
BuzzFeed News Standards And Ethics Guide
Canadian Association of Journalists Ethics Guidelines. Particularly well-outlined and -detailed. Revised in 2002, in wake of the News of the World phone-hacking scandals.
Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries (Center for Media & Social Impact, formerly Center for Social Media)
Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Poetry (Center for Social Media)
A Code of Ethics for IT (Tam Harbert, for Computerworld). See also Ethical issues for IT security professionals (Deb Shinder, Computerworld, 8-2-05)
Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors (COPE, Committee on Publication Ethics)
Radio-Television News Directors Association (RTNDA Guiding Principles
Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) Guidelines. There are several of these, as PDFs, including
~Code of Conduct and Best Practices Guidelines for Journal Editors
~Guidelines for Retracting Articles
~A Short Guide to Ethical Editing for New Editors
~Code of Conduct for Journal Publishers
~How to handle authorship disputes: a guide for new researchers (Tim Albert and Elizabeth Wager)
Dramatists Guild of America Bill of Rights (in process and production, in compensation, and in ownership)
Editorial Integrity for Public Public Media: Principles, Policies, & Practices
Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA) Code of Fair Practice
Ensuring editorial excellence:The SfEP code of practice (Society for Editors and Proofreaders, UK)
Ethical guidelines for editing audio (The Canadian Journalism Project). See also: Truth in audio: Have you crossed an ethical line? (Mindy McAdams, Teaching Online Journalism, 6-8-07)
Food Blog Code of Ethics. See also The Food Ethics Blog
HON Code of Conduct for medical and health Web sites (HONcode) (Health on the Net Foundation, or HON)
MPR News Ethics Guidelines (Minnesota Public Radio). See also Minnesota Public Radio: Ten Tenets from MPR News (8-14-01)
NPR ethics handbook This is NPR. And these are the standards of our journalism.
Code of Ethics and Business Conduct for Employees of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (PDF). See also
Independence and Integrity II:The Updated Ethics Guide for Public Radio Journalism (PDF, 2004, 55KB); and the earlier version: Independence and Integrity: A Guidebook for Public Radio Journalism (1995)
Graphic Artist's Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines
Guidance for BBC Global News on Marketing Events (This guidance applies to commercial services operated by BBC Global News including BBC World News and​news.) Interesting A to Z Guidance
A Historian's Code by Richard Stewart (Writers and Editors)
International Society for Medical Publication Professionals, Inc. (ISMPP) Code of Ethics (PDF file)
Journalism ethics and standards (Wikipedia -- a good summary)
Public Media Code of Integrity A joint initiative of the Affinity Group Coalition and the Station Resource Group, with support from the National Educational Telecommunications Association. These guidelines (summarized here in bullet points ), for the public broadcasting system, were a product of the Editorial Integrity for Public Media project.
Los Angeles Times Ethics Guidelines (1-1-11) and Social Media Guidelines
National Association of Science Writers (NASW) Code of Ethics
National Press Photographers Association, Inc. Code of Ethics
National Public Radio ethics code (scroll down to read about NPR's new ethics documents)
The New York Times Company Standards and Ethics
Online News Association Mission, Vision, Values
Oral History Association's Principles and Best Practices (replacing Oral History Evaluation Guidelines. In a Reflection on the OHA’s New Code of Ethics, John A. Neuenschwander urges that OHA add another principle: "Interviewers may also hold a copyright interest in the interviews that they conduct and should always be so informed by the program or archive for which they work or volunteer of their potential rights."
PBS Editorial Standards and Policies (Public Broadcasting Service)
Pew Research Center code of ethics. See also Do pollsters have a code of ethics? If so, what is in the code.. Links to CASRO Code of Standards and Ethics (Council of American Survey Research Organizations)
ProPublica Code of Ethics
RTDNA Guiding Principles (Radio Television Digital News Association) Visibility, Advocacy, Training, Resources, Networking and Awards for Electronic Journalists
Reporting and Portrayal of Tribal Peoples (BBC, Guidance in Full, Obtaining Consent, Accuracy, Safety, Further advice)
SAA Core Values Statement and Code of Ethics (Society of American Archivists). See also Society of American Archivists Code of Conduct for Archivists
Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) code of ethics and code of conduct (the latter available only to members)
Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Code of Ethics. See Code Words (blog about third revision, in process August 2013)
Standards and Guidelines: Professional Practices for Artists (College Art Association, 1977)
A Statement of Principles for Health Care Journalists by Gary Schwitzer 2004. A story about principles of Association of Health Care Journalists, for The American Journal of Bioethics 4(4):W9. (I am currently unable to find a working link for this statement.)
25 Commandments for Journalists (former Guardian editor Tim Radford's manifesto for the simple scribe, Guardian, 1-19-11--some are about ethics, and some about style and substance)
Journalism ethics and standards (Wikipedia's synthesis)
ASEAN Journalists Code of Ethics (Accountable Journalism)
An Update on Journalism Ethics in Asia: Values and Practices as Context for Meaning in Japan, China and Korea (Tom Brislin, University of Hawaii)
Washington Post Standards and Ethics (ASNE)
Washington Post Guidelines for Using Social Media
Poynter, Newsrooms Develop Social Networking Policies for Journalists on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter (Kelly McBride, Poynter, 1-13-09)

New NPR Ethics Handbook
An Introduction To NPR's New Ethics Handbook (Edward Schumacher-Matos, NPR Ombudsman, 3-16-12). One document presents NPR's Guiding Principles. It is a table of contents to the other document, a handbook to help guide journalists through various ethical decisions with specific case studies. "More than a series of rules, the guideline is based on principles, which realistically reflects how journalism works and how so many day-to-day decisions come down to judgment calls by editors and reporters. The principles will help guide them in making decisions, without telling them what to do in each case. Sprinkled throughout the handbook are case studies that discuss the right decisions in other real-life circumstances....Among the central principles is that the new guidelines focus on standards of fairness and impartiality, as opposed to balance and objectivity. "
New NPR Ethics Handbook
NPR Tries to Get its Pressthink Right (Jay Rosen, PressThink 2-26-12). Rosen writes: NPR "now commits itself to avoiding the worst excesses of 'he said, she said' journalism. It says to itself that a report characterized by false balance is a false report. It introduces a new and potentially powerful concept of fairness: being 'fair to the truth.' My verdict: Bravo, NPR.
NPR introduces new Ethics Handbook, appoints standards and practices editor (Mallary Jean Tenore, Poynter, 2-24-12)

More resources about ethics

Why nonfiction writers should take a vow of chastity (Roy Peter Clark, Poynter, 7-25-12). Clark translates a public manifesto Danish screenwriters Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg propose for film writers into a parallel vow of artistic integrity for nonfiction writers.

To report or to rescue (Jillian Bell, Ryerson Review of Journalism, Summer 2012). When is it okay to cross the line from journalist to humanitarian?
Documenting Tragedy: The Ethics Of Photojournalism (NPR, Talk of the Nation, 12-6-12). Audio and transcript. When the New York Post published a freelancer's photograph of a man trapped in the path of an oncoming subway train, many photojournalists, editors and consumers decried the decision as unethical. Others argue that the photo was essential to the story.
Ethics stories, Poynter.. For example, ABC’s Payment to Casey Anthony Raises Questions about Ethics, Checkbook Journalism (Al Tompkins, 3-18-10) and Are Kevin Deutsch’s stories too good to be true? A reminder to check sources and keep notes (Indira A.R. Lakshmanan, 3-15-17).
‘Disconnected': Crucial book for closing the ‘ethics gap’ online A review of Disconnected: Youth, New Media, and the Ethics Gap by Carrie James. James urges a full ethical framework, distinguishing between "consequence thinking" ("where “the sense of responsibility is narrowly focused on the self” --e.g., 'will I get into trouble if I share my party photos on Instagram, and are the rewards worth the risks?')," Moral thinking ("considering the impact on 'known others,”'such as a close friend or family member -- how would she feel if I posted a photo of her on Twitter?"), and Ethical thinking ("considering the impact on 'distant, unknown individuals' and one’s community").
"target="_blank">Ethics resources (World Association of Medical Editors, WAME) Excellent guidelines for editors of medical journals. Includes Publication Ethics
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Conflicts of Interest -- and Full Disclosure
Conflicts of Interest May Ensnare Journalists, Too (Roni Caryn Rabin, Health, NY Ties, 9-21-08). Focuses on health care journalists. Conflicts of interest are especially obvious with medical industry-sponsored awards, trips, and professorships.
Six Ways Journalists Can Avoid Conflicts of Interest (Tony Rogers, See also his short article A Code of Conduct for Reporters (rules to live by on the job)
Judge orders Oracle, Google to disclose paid journalists and bloggers (Jeff John Roberts, PaidContent 8-7-12)
FTC Tells Amateur Bloggers to Disclose Freebies or Be Fined (Ryan Singel, Wired, 10-5-09, pointing out some gaps and weaknesses in the rules) and here are the FTC Guidelines on the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Here's an earlier story: FTC to go after blogger freebies (Caroline McCarthy, CNet News, 6-22-09)
Debating the ethics of medical ghostwriting (links on Writers & Editors blog; see also Medical ghostwriting and ethical issues in medical publishing
Can We Tape? A Practical Guide to Taping Phone Calls and In-Person Conversations in the 50 States and D.C. (with a state-by-state guide). (Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Fall 2008)
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Corporate Integrity Agreements (CIAs), Health & Human Services list, from which PharmaGossip provided this Hat tip, links to the Big Pharma Corporate Integrity Agreements

Defamation, libel, and slander
What Are Defamation, Libel and Slander? (Aaron Larson, ExpertLaw, August 2003) "Generally speaking, defamation is the issuance of a false statement about another person, which causes that person to suffer harm. Slander involves the making of defamatory statements by a transitory (non-fixed) representation, usually an oral (spoken) representation. Libel involves the making of defamatory statements in a printed or fixed medium, such as a magazine or newspaper." And all you need to know about how to avoid trouble in those areas.
Libel Law for Copyeditors (Arati Bechtel, presentation slides) Bechtel explains six elements of libel (for analysis): defamatory content, identification, publication, false statement of fact, injury, and fault (actual malice, knowledge of falsity, reckless disregard, etc.), and explores cases, issues (including why newspapers use middle initials along with first and last names). "The bearer of tales is as guilty as the teller of tales," which is why newspapers can be held liable for defamatory letters to the editor, etc.
Canadian defamation law (Wikipedia's good overview)
A Writer’s Guide to Defamation and Invasion of Privacy (attorney Amy Cook, on The Writer's Dig, Brian Klems's website, 1-22-16) An excellent overview of issues a writer must be familiar with.
Defamation of Character: Libel and Slander in a Writers World (Emily K. Bivens, The Dabbling Mum)
Russian parliament votes to recriminalize defamation (Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), 7-11-12)
In Ecuador, defamation case could set dangerous precedent (Sara Rafsky, Committee to Protect Journalists, 1-17-12). A defamation decision against a newspaper in Ecuador contradicts a mounting body of international legal opinion that affirms that public officials should not enjoy protection from scrutiny. (Several more such reports on the CPJ site.)
Jury finds reporter, Rolling Stone responsible for defaming U-Va. dean with gang rape story ( T. Rees Shapiro, Washington Post, 11-4-16)
Mother Jones stood up to a billionaire political donor who sued us—and we won (Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery, Mother Jones, 10-8-15). Quoting from the story: This was not a dispute over a few words. It was a push, by a superrich businessman and donor, to wipe out news coverage that he disapproved of. Throughout this lawsuit, VanderSloot appeared to be engaged in rewriting his own history of opposing the expansion of civil rights to LGBT people....This kind of legal onslaught is enormously taxing. Last year, Lowell Bergman, the legendary 60 Minutes producer (whose story of exposing Big Tobacco was chronicled in the Oscar-nominated film The Insider), talked about a "chill in the air" as investigative reporters confront billionaires who can hurt a news organization profoundly whether or not they win in court: "There are individuals and institutions with very deep pockets and unaccountable private power who don't like the way we report. One example is a case involving Mother Jones…A superrich plaintiff is spending millions of dollars while he bleeds the magazine and ties up its staff." Litigation like this, Bergman said, is "being used to tame the press, to cause publishers and broadcasters to decide whether to stand up or stand down, to self-censor."
She called the man who sexually assaulted her a rapist. Then he sued her for defamation. (Lindsey Bever, WaPo, 10-4-16) "Laura Dunn, executive director of SurvJustice, a nonprofit organization that advocates for victims of sexual violence, told the AP that victims should avoid naming their attackers outside the courtroom. But Emily Austin, from the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault, added that the issue is when the threat of defamation lawsuits keeps victims quiet."
When a doctor threatened to sue this California reporter, he did what journalists do best (Ron Shinkman, AHCJ, 2-22-16) If someone cheerfully calls to say you’re about to be sued, check it out. You might be pleased with the results. Here's his piece (PDF): The Many Stories Of One Highly Litigious Physician (Payers & Providers White Paper, 5-31-12).

Frequently asked questions (and answers) about defamation (Chilling Effects). The Chilling Effects clearinghouse is a collaborative archive created by several law school clinics and the Electronic Frontier Foundation to combat legal threats used to silence Internet activity.
What are the elements of a defamation claim? (Chilling Effects)
How to Address Defamatory Online Content (Meridith Levinson, ComputerWorld, 4-6-09)
Blogger jailed in Anna Nicole Smith defamation suit (Kate Murphy, AFP--noting that in court a blogger is a publisher, not a writer)
A Selective Review of Defamation Cases in 2009 Involving Professional Reputation (need not be libelous). Oxford University Press blog, 2010
A Writer's Guide to Defamation and Invasion of Privacy (Amy Cook, Writer's Digest, 9-15-10)
Faith and Free Speech: Defamation of Religions and Freedom of Expression. International PEN, warning against regulations prohibiting criticism of any religion or any set of ideas, organized a side-session panel discussion at a U.N. meeting in Geneva, with statements made by Wole Soyinka, Ariel Dorfman, Azar Nafisi, and Kwame Anthony Appiah.

Libel and libel suits
Is truth an absolute defense against libel? Read these stories.
Twitter and libel law: A little bird told me (The Economist, 11-24-12). "When everyone is a publisher, everyone can be sued."
Twitter users face libel claims for spreading false accusation (Jeff Sonderman, Poynter, 11-26-12)
Could I Be Liable for Libel in Fiction? (Mark Fowler, Rights of Writers blog, 12-18-10)
Oops, Maybe I Shouldn't Have Written That: A Modest Guide to Libel and Biography (James McGrath Morris, Biographer's Craft)
Libel Insurance Providers (Student Press Law Center, a list of companies that have offered libel insurance to student media in recent years)
Are Insurance Companies Redlining Journalists? (Carol Napolitano, American Journalism Review, Jan/​Feb 1995)
'Libel Tourism': When Freedom of Speech Takes a Holiday (Adam Cohen, Editorial Observer, NY Times Opinion page, 9-14-08)
Britain to Seek Curbs to 'Libel Tourism' (Eric Pfanner, NY Times, 5-9-12)
Libel and Slander U.S. Legal's webpage
Libel and Privacy Invasion (Tips from Student Press Law Center)
Libel in fiction (David L. Hudson, First Amendment Center 1-19-05)
The Case Against Lillian Hellman: A Literary/​
Legal Defense
(Daniel J. Kornstein, Fordham Law Review Vol. 57, issue5, article 1, 1-1-89, PDF)
Think you know libel law? Think Again (Robert J. Abrogi, Media Law, on Noonan vs. Staples); and 1st Circuit Denies Review of Libel Ruling (Media Law 3-18-09).
Libel Ruling Protects Anonymous Comments (Media Law, Maryland case, 3-1-09)
Since when were memoirs non-fiction?. Subtitled "Lawsuits contesting the factual accuracy of autobiographies threaten a compelling pleasure for readers." The British (Guardian) take on the Turcottes' lawsuit about Augusten Burroughs' memoir Running with Scissors.
Defamation and Libel (Wikipedia)
Rules, Britannia! The Growing, Chilling Reach of Commonwealth Libel Laws (transcript of important Authors Guild panel discussion on the long arm of British libel law 9-25-06).
Keep libel courts out of science: British Chiropractic Association v Simon Singh
The British Chiropractic Association brought a libel case against science writer Simon Singh at the Royal Courts of Justice in London for his criticism of chiropractic procedures in the book Trick or Treatment: The Undeniable Facts About Alternative Medicine and in a Guardian article, "Beware the Spinal Trap" (now removed from the Guardian site, but available through a link in this article on Lay Scientist: Simon Singh vs. British Chiropractic Association . Legal blogger Jack of Kent is following the case, providing expert analysis, and posting updates through his Twitter feed @​JackOfKent. Click here to read and/​or sign the Sense About Science petition stating: "The law has no place in scientific disputes: We the undersigned believe that it is inappropriate to use the English libel laws to silence critical discussion of medical practice and scientific evidence."
Libel Law Has No Place in Scientific Disputes (Jack of Kent 6-4-09 on the libel case brought against Simon Singh by the British Chiropractic Association). Sense About Science filed a petition to keep Britain's ultrastrict libel law from limiting free speech in scientific disputes about evidence)

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Anti-SLAPP law

Anti-SLAPP laws (Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press) Short for strategic lawsuits against public participation, SLAPPs have become an all-too-common tool for intimidating and silencing critics of businesses, often for environmental and local land development issues.
• "A strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) is a lawsuit that is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.[1] Such lawsuits have been made illegal in many jurisdictions on the grounds that they impede freedom of speech."~Wikipedia entry on Strategic lawsuit against public participation. Wikipedia provides an excellent overview on the subject, plus many links to external sources and stories about various court cases. Start here!
SLAPP happy in America (Stephen Miller, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Fall 2010, from The News Media & The Law). Defending against meritless lawsuits and the need for a federal bill
SLAPP Back (Nazanin Rafsanjani, On the Media, WNYC, 4-2-10) A SLAPP, or “strategic lawsuit against public participation,” is a little known but widespread threat to the First Amendment. SLAPPs are meritless suits brought by companies, individuals and sometimes the government, not to win, but to silence critics. Congress is now considering federal anti-SLAPP legislation. OTM producer Nazanin Rafsanjani investigates.
In Melania Trump Suit, Journalist Invokes Maryland’s Anti-SLAPP Law (Zoe Tillman,, 10-18-15) Melania Trump’s defamation suit against a Maryland journalist is getting SLAPPed.
Survival Guide to SLAPP Victims (California Anti-SLAPP Project) "Defamation, libel, slander … and other common SLAPP disguises."
$1.3 Million in Anti-SLAPP Sanctions (David Lee, Courthouse News Service, 1-15-16) "FORT WORTH (CN) - Plaintiffs in a "revenge porn" defamation lawsuit must pay $1.3 million in anti-SLAPP sanctions and attorneys' fees and apologize for filing "baseless" claims in similar lawsuits to punish their critics, a Texas judge ruled. Tarrant County Judge Donald Cosby slapped plaintiffs James McGibney and ViaView Inc. with an order granting defendant Neal Rauhauser's motion for attorney's fees and sanctions. McGibney and ViaView sued 10 people in February 2014, alleging defamation and negligence, and accusing defendant Thomas Retzlaff of creating online aliases to stalk and harass ViaView."
FAQs About SLAPPs (Public Participation Project, Fighting for Free Speech)
Court: Radio Talk Show Host’s Statements Not Actionable (Sherri M. Okamoto, Metropolitan News-Enterprise, 4-27-09) Subheading: Panel Concludes Reasonable Listeners Would Consider Comments Opinion. "The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Friday upheld the dismissal of a defamation action against radio host Tom Martino and his nationally syndicated consumer advocacy talk show program, “The Tom Martino Show.” Affirming the decision by U.S. District Court Judge Anna J. Brown of the District of Oregon granting Martino and Westwood One Inc.’s special motion to strike, the panel held Martino’s on-air statements to a frustrated consumer during the call-in portion of the show were non-actionable opinion. The case arose after consumer Melissa Feroglia called Martino’s radio show—which seeks to aid frustrated consumers with their problems—to complain about a personal watercraft she had purchased from John and Susan Gardner, the proprietors of Mt. Hood Polaris in Boring, Ore."
MagicJack Legal Documents (Rob Beschizza, Boing Boing, 2-23-10) "Collected here are legal documents relating to MagicJack's defamation lawsuit against Boing Boing. The presiding judge ruled its case a SLAPP -- a strategic lawsuit against public participation -- and ultimately entered a judgment against it and made MagicJack pay most of our legal costs."
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The First Peril:Fabrication (Chip Scanlan, Poynter Online)
How to handle plagiarism and fabrication allegations (by Craig Silverman and Kelly McBride, Poynter, 8-15-12)

Faith and Free Speech: Defamation of Religions and Freedom of Expression. International PEN, warning against regulations prohibiting criticism of any religion or any set of ideas, organized a side-session panel discussion at a U.N. meeting in Geneva, with statements made by Wole Soyinka, Ariel Dorfman, Azar Nafisi, and Kwame Anthony Appiah.

Liability insurance, or media liability insurance. WriteInsure media perils insurance, available through Axis Pro. The Authors Guild has entered into an agreement with Axis Pro, the world's leading underwriter of media liability insurance, to offer Guild members professional liability insurance. Coverage is available under WriteInsure for book authorship, freelance writing and blogging. I don't think you have to be a member of AG to get it; I don't know if the cost or terms are different if you buy it individually. If anyone else does, or if other writers organizations are also making it available, please let me know!

For Instant Ratings, Interviews with a Checkbook (Brian Stelter and Bill Carter, Media & Advertising, NY Times, 6-12-11). News shows that want exclusive interviews often pay one way or another to get them, often as licensing fees for photos or videos, covering hotel costs, even financing special events.

Freedom House, among other things, publishes results of annual surveys ranking countries in terms of freedom and freedom of the press. Many excellent resources, including country rankings and maps.

Freedom of information in UK: Open Secrets (Martin Rosenbaum's blog for BC)

Ghostwriting. See Medical ghostwriting and ethical issues in medical publishing, below.

Giller jurist’s relationship to agent drawing criticism in literary world (Mark Medley, National Post, 11-13-10). Is it okay for a jurist to recommend a good novel to an agent just before the novel is longlisted for a major literary award?

Prior restraint

(government censorship)

Prior restraint (useful section on Wikipedia)
Prior restraint vocabulary quizlets (very helpful)
Sedition, Incitement and Prior Restraint Chp.3 (vocabulary flashcards)
The Doctrine of Prior Restraint (FindLaw, Annotation 9--First Amendment)
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Historian Orlando Figes agrees to pay damages for fake reviews on Amazon (Alexandra Topping, Guardian, 7-16-10). Historian to pay damages and costs to two rivals who launched a libel case after he posted reviews "praising his own work and rubbishing that of his rivals."

Historians and Human-Subjects Research by Christopher Shea (Wall Street Journal, Ideas Market 8-5-11). Shea asks: "How can oral (or, more generally, contemporary) historians escape inappropriate IRB scrutiny without denigrating their own work? Or, to back up a step, should they, in fact, have to go through the same procedures as social psychologists doing lab studies?" Zachary Schrag responds, in comments, that the National Research Act (42 USC 289) applies only to “biomedical and behavioral research,” which is not the kind of research historians do. On his Institutional Review Blog (about IRB overview of the humanities and social sciences), Schrag addresses the issue more fully in ANPRM: It's Time to Redefine Research.

Huffington Post makes millions; bloggers offered "exposure," not pay
'Huffington Post' Employee Sucked Into Aggregation Turbine. Horrified Workers Watch As Colleague Torn Apart By Powerful Content-Gathering Engine (The Onion's delightful take on Huffington Post as a Content Mill 2-2-12)
The Economics of Blogging and The Huffington Post (Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight, NY Times blog, 2-12-11). "I’ve also done a fair amount of uncompensated or undercompensated writing — there is certainly a time and a place for it, particularly if you’re trying to establish or re-establish your brand. But look beyond a site’s traffic numbers and consider how it presents your material and how prominently it is featured, as well as the sort of audience it is likely to attract. Being a small fish in a very, very big pond isn’t always the way to build up a name for yourself, much less to make money from it."
The Huffington Post Rubs People the Wrong Way at the Republican National Convention (Andrew Van Alstyne, Pay the Writer!, National Writers Union, 8-29-12)
How The Huffington Post Works (In Case You Were Wondering) (Jason Linkins, HuffPost, 2-10-11, 5-25-11, who reports that Huff does have a staff of paid writers, editors, and reporters.)

International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) (There can be no press freedom if journalists exist in conditions of corruption, poverty, or fear)

Medical ghostwriting and ethical issues in medical publishing

The practice of having an anonymous medical writer draft or substantially revise a medical manuscript without acknowledging their participation is unethical, according to the American Medical Writers Association, and the practice should not be tolerated. Not only should the role of the professional writer be transparent, but the articles should adhere to applicable guidelines (such as those of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors) and should fully disclose potential areas of conflict of interest. The medical writers paid by pharmaceutical companies (Big Pharm) are most likely to encounter ethical issues. Following are some of the more interesting discussions of the ethics and practical realities of medical writing:
Answers to FAQs about Medical Ghostwriting (Project on Government Oversight, or POGO, 8-10-11).
Ghostwriting Revisited: New Perspectives but Few Solutions in Sight by PLoS Medicine editors Virginia Barbour, Jocalyn Clark, Susan Jones, Melissa Norton, Paul Simpson, and Emma Veitch (PLoS Med 8(8): e1001084. doi:10.1371/​journal.pmed.1001084) 8-30-11 (Bottom line: Companies and writers who work on industry publications should be listed as byline authors.)
How Industry Uses the ICMJE Guidelines to Manipulate Authorship—And How They Should Be Revised by Alastair Matheson (PLoS Med 8(8): e1001072. doi:10.1371/​journal.pmed.1001072) 8-9-11. Helpful references.
Being the Ghost in the Machine: A Medical Ghostwriter's Personal View (Linda Logdberg, PLoS Medicine, 8-9-11). What she did, why she did it, and why she stopped doing it.
Ghostwriting, RICO and Fraud on the Court? (Ed Silverman, Pharmalot blot 8-3-11). Two Toronto academics suggest pursuing class action lawsuits based on the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, and filing claims of ‘fraud on the court’ against a drugmaker that uses ghostwritten articles in litigation. they base their argument on article published in PLoS Medicine: Legal Remedies for Medical Ghostwriting: Imposing Fraud Liability on Guest Authors of Ghostwritten Articles (by Simon Stern and Trudo Lemmens).
Professor files complaint of scientific misconduct over allegation of ghostwriting by Bob Roehr (BMJ 2011; 343:d4458), filed 7-13-11.
The murky world of academic ghostwriting (Julia Beluz, McLeans 5-6-11). Lawsuits are shedding light on the dubious relationship between medical researchers and pharmaceutical companies
Only full access to trial data will show signs of ghostwriting, meeting hears BMJ 2011;342:doi:10.1136/​bmj.d2925 (5-10-11--subscription required). These articles are about an important meeting on medical ghostwriting held in Toronto, Spring 2011: The Ethics of Ghost Authorship in Biomedical Research: Concerns and Remedies
Norman Bauman on the role of medical writers in the illegal marketing of Neurontin (gabapentin, Pfizer) (May 2002, but the same tactics may be used for other drugs)
How Scientific Literature Has Become Part of Big Pharma's Marketing Machine and How Being Nice Hurts Canada: 5 Questions with Ghostwriting Expert Trudo Lemmens (Paul Thacker, Project on Government Oversight (POGO), 6-22-11)
Ghost Writing and Scientific Misconduct: What does this reflect? (Solomon R. Benatar, JCB Voice, also about the Toronto conference).
How drug companies' PR tactics skew the presentation of medical research. Elliot Ross reveals the secret 'army of hidden scribes' paid by the drug companies to influence doctors (5-20-11)
Give up the ghosts. "Funding agencies should make researchers reveal industry links." Nature 468. 732. (09 December 2010) doi:10.1038/​468732a
Medical Papers by Ghostwriters Pushed Therapy (Natasha Singer, NY Times, 8-4-2009)
What Should Be Done To Tackle Ghostwriting in the Medical Literature?. A debate about medical ghostwriting on PLoS Medicine, with Peter C. Gřtzsche, Jerome P. Kassirer, Karen L. Woolley, Elizabeth Wager, Adam Jacobs, Art Gertel, Cindy Hamiltonl (2009) PLoS Med 6(2): e1000023. doi:10.1371/​journal.pmed.1000023)
Ghostwriting(Derek Lowe, In the Pipeline, a short entry followed by an intelligent discussion with readers)
Ghostwriting and the Medical Writer (Cynthia Haggard, American Medical Writers Association)
New strategies to tackle medical ghostwriting are debated (Science News)
Ghost Writing Initiated by Commercial Companies (6-20-05, policy statement, World Association of Medical Writers, WAME)
AMWA code of ethics
The Haunting of Medical Journals: How Ghostwriting Sold “HRT” (Adriane J. Fugh-Berman, PLoS Med 7(9): e1000335, 9-7-10). (Fugh-Berman examines documents unsealed in recent litigation to see how pharmaceutical companies promoted hormone therapy drugs, which included using medical writing companies to produce ghostwritten manuscripts and place them in medical journals). Read the response by Adam Jacobs of the European Medical Writers Association.
Ghost Management: How Much of the Medical Literature Is Shaped Behind the Scenes by the Pharmaceutical Industry? (Sergio Sismondo, PLoS Med 4(9): e286, 9-25-07)
Revealed: how drug firms 'hoodwink' medical journals (Antony Barnett, The Observer, 12-7-03). Pharmaceutical giants hire ghostwriters to produce articles - then put doctors' names on them
Evidence in Vioxx Suits Shows Intervention by Merck Officials (Alex Berenson, NY Times, 4-24-05)
Good Publication Practice for Pharmaceutical Companies Guidelines (Envision Pharma, 2006)
Madison Avenue Has Growing Role in the Business of Drug Research (Melody Peterson, NY Times, 2-22-02)
You'll find more articles on the subject on the collaboration and ghostwriting page of the Writers and Editors site

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Privacy Law for Copy Editors (slideplayer of presentation notes, Arati Bechtel). Bechtel explains privacy ("the right to be left alone") and gives examples (citing cases) of four types (or torts) of invasion of privacy: publishing private facts; intrusion; appropriation; and false light. With class exercises.
Reporters Recording Guide (Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press). Who owns the copyright--the reporter or the interviewee? What if a third party records the interview? Read this whole entry! This site contains many helpful articles on privacy and journalism.
Coalition Letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kelly Opposing Collection of Passwords at the Border/a> (Center for Democracy & Technology, CDT, 3-10-17)
'Ever since New York Times v. Sullivan, in 1964, established the rule that, in order to prevail, public figures must prove that stories about them are both false and were published with “actual malice,” libel cases have proved extremely difficult for plaintiffs to win. “We always felt that privacy was more of a fruitful ground for plaintiffs to sow, because in those cases they did not have to prove falsity or actual malice, the way they did in libel cases,” George Freeman, the executive director of the Media Law Resource Center, told me. “The whole celebrity culture just gives rise to more of these issues.” The Internet, with its absence of gatekeepers and its unlimited number of voices, has scrambled the traditional understanding of invasion-of-privacy cases. “We are in a different world now, sparked in part by the Hulk Hogan case and by a push-the-envelope media that doesn’t abide by traditional journalistic rules,” Gajda said.'
The Man Who Made Off With John Updike’s Trash (Adrienne LaFrance, The Atlantic, 8-28-14) Who really owns a great writer’s legacy? The ethics of collecting celebrity trash.
Facebook: Where Your Friends Are Your Worst Enemies (Packet Storm, 6-21-13)
Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security, and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance by Julia Angwin
Give Me Back My Online Privacy (Elizabeth Doskin, WSJ, 3-23-14), Internet Users Tap Tech Tools That Protect Them From Prying Eyes
Disconnect Search: Google In Private (Thomas Claburn, Information Week, 3-24-14) Disconnect app delivers search engine privacy, with "pay what you want" pricing.
Tor Project (a browser that allows you to search the Internet anonymously, or pseudonymously)
Anonymizer International ("keeps your online activities safe, private, and secure")
•HIPAA, electronic health records, and patient rights
I Know What You Think of Me (Tim Kreider, NY Times Opinion section, 6-15-13). Reason No. 697 Why the Internet Is Bad — the dreadful consequence of hitting “reply all” instead of “reply” or “forward.”
How to Invent a Person Online (Curtis Wallen, Atlantic, 7-23-14). Is it possible to be truly anonymous in the digital world?
Here's what the Feds have on you: Everything (Erik Sherman, MoneyWatch, CBS 6-7-13)
What makes government spies scarier than corporate snooping? (Timothy Noah, NSNBC, 6-11-13)
Herbert Mitgang's obituary (Douglas Martin, NY Times, 11-21-13) focuses on his expose of government spying. His "1988 book, Dangerous Dossiers: Exposing the Secret War Against America’s Greatest Authors, reported that the agencies were suspicious not just of radical views but also of liberal ones. Mr. Mitgang said the Nobel Prize winners Sinclair Lewis and William Faulkner were monitored in part because they favored racial equality." Ernest Hemingway's file "criticized his muscular writing style and, probably most damning, said that he had once likened the F.B.I. to the Gestapo." So much for freedom of the press.
A.C.L.U. Files Lawsuit Seeking to Stop the Collection of Domestic Phone Logs (Charlie Savage, NY Times, 6-11-13) Congress never openly voted to authorize the collection of logs of hundreds of millions of domestic calls, but some lawmakers were secretly briefed. Some members of Congress have backed the program as a useful counterterrorism tool; others have denounced it.
Should Google serve the state – or serve its customers? (John Naughton, The Guardian, 6-8-13) The web giant is stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to privacy for users. Eric Schmidt, Google's executive chairman, lectured about ideas at Cambridge. "The rock is that the national security state...The hard place is corporate terror that their users will become alienated by the realisation that personal communications cannot be safely entrusted to internet companies based in the US." "In the US, he argued, people worried more about the power of the state rather than that of corporations, whereas in Europe people seemed to trust the state but mistrust companies."
Can’t Hide in the Cloud (Vikas Bajaj, NY Times, 6-15-13). Most users could do more to safeguard themselves, but no software or service can protect them fully from determined government agencies, criminals or hackers.
A Reporter's Guide to Medical Privacy Law (Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, on medical privacy vs. the public interest)
Tape-recording laws at a glance (state by state, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press)
A Writer's Guide to Defamation and Invasion of Privacy (Amy Cook, Writer's Digest, 9-15-10)
Consent the best defense against invasion of privacy lawsuits (Pat McNees, Writers and Editors blog). The right of privacy (essentially “the right to be left alone”) is your right to control and protect the public use of your identity. There are four types of invasion of privacy: false light, intrusion, disclosure, and misappropriation (explained here). Misappropriating the right of publicity, on the other hand, is an invasion (without their consent) of a person’s right to benefit from commercial exploitation of their name or likeness.
Electronic Frontier Foundation articles on privacy issues, including anonymity, biometrics, The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA, the U.S. wiretapping law passed in 1994), cell tracking, cyber security legislation, digital books, Do Not Track, international privacy standards, locational privacy, mandatory data retention, mass surveillance technologies, national security letters, NSA spying, online behavioral tracking, PATRIOT Act, pen trap, printers, radio-frequency identification (RFID), search engines, search incident to arrest, social networks, travel screening.
Should Personal Data Be Personal? Europe Moves to Protect Online Privacy (Somini Sengupta, NY Times Sunday Review 2-4-12)
Google Says It Collected Private Data by Mistake (Brad Stone, NY Times, 5-14-10, about Google's answers to questions from regulators in Europe about Street View).
How a Single Student Is Transforming Facebook’s Privacy Policy In Europe (Jamie Condliffe, Gizmodo, 2-8-12)
The Problem With Europe’s Strict Privacy Laws (Christopher Wolf, Slate 3-14-12). An elderly German named Heinrich Boere recently invoked an EU privacy law to file a complaint against two Dutch reporters for secretly videotaping an interview with him at his nursing home. "The criminal invasion-of-privacy case against the reporters put into sharp focus the automatic and inflexible application of privacy law in circumstances where flexibility and discretion appear to be called for." Read this important article!
Forget Privacy: What the Internet Knows About You by Jessica Bennett (Newsweek 10-22-10) and The Web's New Gold Mine: Your Secrets by Julia Angwin (first in Wall Street Journal series on the fast-growing business of spying on consumers). Watch your back!
10 Ways to Protect Your Privacy Online (Michael Fertik 10-22-10)
How to Muddy Your Tracks on the Internet (Kate Murphy, Personal Tech, NY Times 5-2-12). "You know that dream where you suddenly realize you’re stark naked? You’re living it whenever you open your browser." Lots of practical tips for keeping your private messages private.
The Candidates Are Monitoring Your Mouse -- privacy advocates are worried (Heather Green, BusinessWeek, 8-27-08)
SPLC Legal Brief: Invasion of Privacy Law (Student Press Law Center, SPLC, a helpful outline of key issues)
Naming Names: Identifying Minors (SPLC, aimed at student newspapers)
Facebook Is Using You (Lori Andrews, NY Tijmes, 2-5-12). "We need a do-not-track law, similar to the do-not-call one. Now it’s not just about whether my dinner will be interrupted by a telemarketer. It’s about whether my dreams will be dashed by the collection of bits and bytes over which I have no control and for which companies are currently unaccountable." Andrews is author of I Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did: Social Networks and the Death of Privacy
Privacy Subtleties of GMail (Brad Templeton)
The Death of the Cyberflâneur (Evgeny Morozov, NY Times Opinion, 2-5-12) Mr. Schrems was intrigued and somewhat rattled. He wasn’t worried about anything in particular. Rather, he felt a vague disquiet about what Facebook could do with all that information about him in the future.
Internet Privacy *Wikipedia, a helpful overview of issues -- check its Notes.
How Privacy Vanishes Online (Steve Lohr, NY Times Technology section, 3-16-10). Using bits of data from social network sites, researchers gleaned names, ages and even Social Security numbers.
EFF's Top 10 Ways to Protect Your Online Privacy (Stanton McCandlish, Electronic Frontier Foundation, 4-9-02).
• Who owns your Twitter post? Judge Rules That Protester Can’t Oppose Twitter Subpoena (Colin Moynihan, City Room, NY Times 4-24-12). Tweeter Harris "lacked the standing to oppose the subpoena because Twitter’s policies required that he agree to grant the company a 'worldwide, non-exclusive royalty-free' right to distribute messages, which are publicly viewable. He labeled “understandable, but without merit” the defendant’s contention that he had a privacy interest in his tweets."
EPIC Online Guide to Practical Privacy Tools (there's a whole new world here!)
Privacy Journal (Robert Ellis Smith's newsletter on personal privacy, online and elsewhere)Privacy.
Scroogle, an ad-free Google search proxy that prevents the searcher's data being stored by Google (as explained on Technically Speaking Radio).
Power And The Internet (Bruce Schneier's essay appeared as a response to Edge's annual question: "What *Should* We Be Worried About?""Debates over the future of the Internet are morally and politically complex. How do we balance personal privacy against what law enforcement needs to prevent copyright violations? Or child pornography? Is it acceptable to be judged by invisible computer algorithms when being served search results? When being served news articles? When being selected for additional scrutiny by airport security? Do we have a right to correct data about us? To delete it? Do we want computer systems that forget things after some number of years? "'


Your Digital Trail, And How It Can Be Used Against You (Daniel Zwerdling, All Tech Considered, NPR, 9-30-13) NPR and the Center for Investigative Reporting are documenting just how vivid the typical person's digital picture has become — and how easy it can be to access it. Co-reported by G.W. Schulz from the Center for Investigative Reporting.
Your Digital Trail: Private Company Access (Zwerdling, NPR, 10-1-13) Data we voluntarily provide online — such as on dating websites — may not stay with that site. While not always obvious, websites commonly allow other companies to track user behavior.
Your Digital Trail: Does The Fourth Amendment Protect Us? (Daniel Zwerdling, All Tech Considered, NPR, 10-2-13) Could government agents really get access to all your private data in less than a minute? Experts say no but warn we are moving in that direction.
Your Digital Trail: Data Fuels Political And Legal Agendas (Zwerdling, NPR, 10-3-13) Private attorneys are easily getting access to defendants' emails and texts. All it takes is a subpoena, which any attorney can do. Former Nixon administration attorney John Dean and a North Carolina divorce lawyer warn that if you think you have nothing to hide, think again.
Data Marketers Know What You Bought Last Summer (Elise Hu, New York Public Radio, 9-4-13) Marketing technology company Acxiom is letting you see the data marketers have and use to advertise to you. Check out what they know about you, your household, your education or income or purchase preferences.

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HIPAA, electronic health records, medical privacy laws, and patient rights

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), Public Law 104-191, was enacted on August 21, 1996. Sections 261 through 264 of HIPAA require the Secretary of HHS to publicize standards for the electronic exchange, privacy and security of health information.
Summary of the HIPAA Privacy Rule (PDF, Health & Human Services)
HIPAA & newsgathering (First Amendment Center)
A Reporter's Guide to Medical Privacy Law (Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press)
Myths and Facts About the HIPAA Privacy Rule, Part 1 (PDF). And here's Part 2 (January 2009)
HIPAA: Good intentions and unintended consequences (Association of Health Care Journalists)
HIPAA: Not So Bad After All? (Irene M. Wielawski, American Journal of Nursing, July 2009)
(Irene M. Wielawski, Health Affairs, Narrative Matters) After a mom goes head-to-head with a college health center that is intimidated by HIPAA, she researches the law and suggests what could make it more effective. This story about a collision between public health law and HIPAA cites relevant sections of HIPAA law, allowing disclosure for public health reasons.
Tarasoff v. Regents of University of California Tatiana Tarasoff’s parents (Plaintiffs) asserted that the four psychiatrists at Cowell Memorial Hospital of the University of California had a duty to warn them or their daughter of threats made by their patient, Prosenjit Poddar. See also Tarasoff v. Regents of the University of California (Chapter 10, Public Health Law)
Spread of Records Stirs Patient Fears Of Privacy Erosion (Theo Francis, WSJ , 12-26-06). Ms. Galvin's Insurer Studies
Do Family, Friends' Photos Trigger HIPAA Violations? (John Commins, HealthLeaders Media, 3-8-2010). You should be able to take photos of your own child or other family member in the hospital, but you mustn't inadvertently catch another patient, or a medical health record, etc. If you are doing photographs for a story, you need a HIPAA release signed for every patient photographed. Hospital personnel may overreact about cell phone photos even of your own family members because HIPAA rules are not easy to master and personnel are duty-bound to observe them.
3 Approaches to the EHR Patient Control Debate (Power Your Practice), about the Patricia Galvin case.
Can medical records be released without consent? Supreme Court refuses case. (Warren Richey, Christian Science Monitor, 10-3-11) The US Supreme Court turned aside an appeal involving the scope of privacy protections for a patient’s medical records when a state agency seeks to force a doctor to disclose those records without first obtaining a patient’s consent. (Eist v. Maryland State Bd. of Physicians) Issues of case, on SCOTUSblog: (1) Whether a state may restrict a patient's federal constitutional right to privacy by compelling a physician to disclose confidential patient records without notice to and authorization by the patient and in conflict with the physician's ethical obligations; (2) whether a state agency may simultaneously serve as investigator, prosecutor and adjudicator with respect to a licensee under its jurisdiction without amending the state's constitution which explicitly separates legislative, executive and judicial powers; and (3) whether a physician may be disciplined by a state's medical licensing board if: (a) the relevant statutory language - “fails to cooperate with a lawful investigation” - is unconstitutionally vague; (b) the board never notified the patients it was seeking their confidential medical records; or (c) the board's simultaneous roles as investigator, prosecutor and adjudicator deprive petitioner of his right to due process.
Here's Looking at You: How Personal Health Information Is Being Tracked and Used (Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, California Healthcare Foundation, July 2014)
Medical privacy (summary of info and links to more on breaches of privacy, damages and alternatives, electronic systems, many releases that are allowed by law, comparison of lists of data breaches)
Secret video: Mercy guard threatened photo-taking mom (Sarah Okeson, News-Leader 7-19-14) Woman who took photo of her son to post on Facebook was taken to an office where she was questioned by a security guard "The idea is not to prohibit patients from capturing personal memories," said Mercy spokeswoman Sonya Kullmann. "However, we want to ensure that we protect everyone's right to privacy. That includes other patients, visitors, co-workers and providers who may not want to appear in someone else's photograph, video or recording."
Media Guidelines while on Campus (St. Jude Children's Research Hospital)
Spread of Records Stirs Patient Fears Of Privacy Erosion (Theo Francis, WSJ, 12-26-06--behind a paywall, for subscribers only, but you may be able to read it at the library).
HIPAA G02: HIPAA Guidance -- Safeguarding Patients’ Photographs and Recordings
Could photographing an ED patient get you sued? (PDF, ED Legal Letter April 2009) Without consent, you are asking for a lawsuit.
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Right of Publicity (Personality Rights)

The Right of Publicity (Helen Sedwick, Part 1 of Tricks and Traps of Using Real People in Your Writing, on The Book Designer, 7-31-15)
Midler v. Ford Motor Co.. Ford Motor Co.'s advertising agency tried to hire Bette Midler to sing for commercials, and when she said no, they hired her backup singer Ula Hedwig. Midler sued alleging invasion of right of publicity. She won on appeal.
Personality rights (Wikipedia: "The right of publicity, often called personality rights, is the right of an individual to control the commercial use of his or her name, image, likeness, or other unequivocal aspects of one's identity. It is generally considered a property right as opposed to a personal right, and as such, the validity of the Right of Publicity can survive the death of the individual (to varying degrees depending on the jurisdiction). In the United States, the Right of Publicity is a state law-based right, as opposed to federal, and recognition of the right can vary from state to state."
U.S. states that recognize rights of publicity (Wikipedia)
Right of Publicity: An Overview (Legal Information Institute, Cornell University Law School)
Brief History of RoP (Jonathan Faber's Right of Publicity site). See also his entries on Notable Cases .
The rights of publicity and privacy (Public Domain Sherpa) Using a work with a recognizable person in it? Don't use it commercially without knowing about the rights of publicity and privacy.
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Taping phone calls

Can We Tape? A Practical Guide to Taping Phone Calls and In-Person Conversations in the 50 States and D.C. (with a state-by-state guide). (Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, 8-1-12)
Tape-recording laws at a glance (by state, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, 8-1-12)
Interstate phone calls (Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, 8-1-12)
Copyright and taped interviews (Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, 8-1-12)
Recording Phone Calls and Conversations (Digital Media Law Center)
Recording Phone Interviews (how to links, Mastering multimedia, Writers & Editors)
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Open Secrets (Martin Rosenbaum's blog for BBC about freedom of information in UK)

‘Operation Dark Heart’ Author Sues for Uncensored Edition (Scott Shane, NYTimes, 10-14-10). A former Defense Intelligence Agency officer whose Afghan memoir (Operation Dark Heart: Spycraft and Special Ops on the Frontlines of Afghanistan -- and the Path to Victory) was belatedly censored by the Pentagon filed a lawsuit seeking to have the book’s full text restored in future printings.

PEN Freedom to Write program (defending writers and campaigning for freedom of expression both at home and abroad)

PepsiGate’ Rocks the Science Blogging World (David Disalvo, TrueSlant 7-8-10). Roughly: SEED magazine, owner of the well-regarded ScienceBlogs network, "decided to allow Pepsi to have its own blog on the network, called 'Food Frontiers'–which, of course, they would pay for, not unlike a block of continuous advertising space. Many bloggers at ScienceBlogs are not happy about this. The standard for any credible science journalism network is that writers earn their space on merit, not because they have products to pitch." The bottom line, writes Disalvo: "if you’re going to mix marketing with science journalism (or, really, any journalism worth its salt), then you’d better be damn sure to clarify that the commercial content is just that: PAID FOR CONTENT." See PepsiGate linkfest (Bora Zivkovic, on A Blog Around the Clock, posts links to all key posts about the event).

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Plagiarism, recycling,
patchwriting, and sloppy research

Mind you, this topic could and maybe should also be on the copyright page, but it's as much about ethics as about copyright.
Arianna Huffington's Scuzzy Copying Pisses Off Chicagoans (Ryan Tate, Gawker, 12-19-08) Her publication takes some, if not all, of its content from another site, with a link back to the original. "HuffPo already has good Google PageRank, so its own version of the content floats to the top of the results, even though it was not the original source."
Plagiarize, Plagiarize, Plagiarize... only be sure to call it research (Trudy Lieberman, Columbia Journalism Review, July/​August 1995). An oft-cited piece.
To Catch a Plagiarist (Craig Silverman, Regret the Error, CJR, 2-19-10). There are tools to catch plagiarists in action. Why don't news outlets use them?
What happened after a journal decided to get tough on plagiarism? (Retraction Watch, 5-18-16) In July 2015, DNA and Cell Biology began routinely scanning manuscript submissions for plagiarism using iThenticate; since then, it’s rejected between four and six manuscripts each month for that reason alone. See iThenticate.
Top 10 free plagiarism detection tools for teachers (, which also mentions paid versions)
The Difference between Plagiarism, Piracy, and Copyright Infringement (Jackie Barbosa 11-4-10)
Mark Twain Would Likely Be Ticked at the Library of Congress Right Now (Daniel Hernandez, The Atlantic, 11-24-14) A new biography co-authored (with Harry Katz) by the home of the Copyright Office is alleged to lift text from at least five different sources with no attribution.
Zakaria's pursuers: We're not done yet (Dylan Byers, Politico, 11-13-14) "It’s taken months, but the plagiarism watchdogs at Our Bad Media say they believe Fareed Zakaria may finally have to face the heat..,,Since mid-August, the plagiarism detectives known only as @​BlippoBlappo and @​CrushingBort have been waging a campaign to brand Zakaria, one of the nation’s leading international affairs columnists, as a copycat artist who doesn’t credit his sources. Despite presenting more than 50 examples of what they said was insufficient attribution, their reports had little impact. " The same bloggers also heavily criticized Malcolm Gladwell for failing to attribute sources.
The Ecstasy of Influence: A Plagiarism by Jonathan Lethem (Harper's, Feb. 2007, cached). A long, fascinating essay on copyright and culture--how there is no creativity without borrowing from previous works of art (starting with the work from which Nabokov borrowed the story of Lolita). Lethem: "As a writer I inherit one set of assumptions about copying or borrowing, or what’s called plagiarism, but as a music fan, someone who adores sampling and quotation and allusion in the music I listen to, and as a fan of collage and appropriation in the visual arts, many of the artists I grew up liking in these different realms were instinctive plagiarists, by the standards that I often see applied within the literary arts." Quoting John Donne: All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated. . . ." See also Christopher Lydon, Radio Open Source, on Lethem's piece and The Mother of All Reading Lists (Lydon quoting lines quoted and providing sources cited in Lethem's piece, with some links)
Handling plagiarism at the manuscript editor’s desk (PDF, Mary Ellen Karens and Marije de Jager, European Science Editing, Aug. 2010, journal of European Association of Science Editors, or EASE). Two respected medical editors and translators explain how to identify and handle instances of plagiarism and patchwriting in journal manuscripts written by researchers who are non-native English writers. See explanation of terms for varying forms of plagiarism: Copy-paste writing, or cut-paste writing; microplagiarism; patch writing, or mosaic writing, plagiarism, self-plagiarism, duplicate or redundant publication, translated plagiarism. H/​T to Katharine O’Moore-Klopf for link.)
Plagiarism vs. Copyright Infringement: Do You Know the Difference? (Kristen King, (ink)thinker blog, 5-8-07)
Patchwriting (Rebecca Moore Howard, Writing Matters). Bibliography with links to information on patchwriting (also from Katharine O'Moore-Klopf)
Jury Finds Pharrell, Thicke Copied for 'Blurred Lines' Song (Anthony McCartney, ABC News, 3-11-15) A jury awarded Marvin Gaye's children nearly $7.4 million Tuesday after determining singers Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams copied their father's music to create "Blurred Lines," the biggest hit song of 2013.
Jonah Lehrer’s Journalistic Misdeeds at (Charles Seife,, 8-31-12). Seife's investigation of the New Yorker and writer reveals evidence of plagiarism, dodgy quotes, and factual inaccuracies, which are charted in this story. See also
~Violations of Editorial Standards Found in WIRED Writer’s Blog (Evan Hansen, Frontal Cortex, a Wired Science blog, 8-31-12)
~Jonah Lehrer’s Teller Deception (Kevin Breen, The Skeptical Libertarian, 8-10-12)
~How Jonah Lehrer Recycled His Own Material for Imagine (Edward Champion, Reluctant Habits, 6-20-12)
~The ethics of recycling content: Jonah Lehrer accused of self-plagiarism (Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, 6-2-12)
~Jonah Lehrer Resigns From The New Yorker After Making Up Dylan Quotes for His Book (Julie Bosman, Media Decoder, NY Times, 7-30-12)
~Jonah Lehrer’s Deceptions (Michael C. Moynihan, Tablet--a new read on Jewish life, 7-30-12). The celebrated journalist fabricated Bob Dylan quotes in his new book, Imagine: How Creativity Works. (This exposé led to Lehrer's resignation from the New Yorker.)
~Interpreting Dylan, Always Treacherous, Was Lehrer’s Undoing (Ben Sisard, Media Decoder, NY Times, 7-31-12).

Patchwriting (a/​k/​a/​ close paraphrasing). (Mark Liberman, Language Log, 7-13-14). Liberman on whether "there's a spectrum of behavior, from out-and-out plagiarism through more and more distant forms of paraphrase, and that the more innocent end of the spectrum is sometimes nearly unavoidable, for example when summarizing someone's theory or re-telling someone's story."
HNN's Ongoing Coverage of the Conservative Attack on Rick Perlstein
Patchwriting by Rick Perlstein (and Craig Shirley) (Mark Liberman, Language Log, 8-8-14) Patchwriting is "restating a phrase, clause, or one or more sentences while staying close to the language or syntax of the source." And Mr. Shirley does it too, Liberman shows.
‘Wait, Your Footnotes Are in Cyberspace?’ Stacey Patton, Vitae). Rick Perlstein's book The Invisible Bridge—about "how the fall of Richard Nixon paved the way for the rise of Ronald Reagan and modern conservatism in 1970s America"—omitted footnote credits, posting them online. "historian, Craig Shirley, accused him of swiping dozens of passages verbatim from Shirley’s 2005 book, Reagan’s Revolution, without proper attribution. "Perlstein’s online citations mentioned Shirley’s book 125 times, and the author wrote in his print-edition acknowledgements that 'Craig Shirley saved me 3.76 months in research.' But Shirley has demanded $25-million in damages from Simon & Schuster." See Chutzpah: Reagan-Bashing Author Sued for Plagiarism Praises Plaintiff's Book In NY Times (Tim Graham, Newsbusters, 8-31-14)
It's Not Rick Perlstein's Scholarship that Seems to Be in Question. It's His Politics. (Peter Charles Hoffer, History News Network, 8-6-14). An interesting discussion of the nature of plagiarism and levels of plagiarism--and how accusations of plagiarism may be motivated (or suppressed) by political loyalties.
Plagiarism (History News Network 1-25-06). A page full of links to interesting "problem" texts and authors. See, for example, Historians on the Hotseat(4-23-10), which goes way beyond naming only the famous writers who did a little "sloppy research."
How to handle plagiarism and fabrication allegations (by Craig Silverman and Kelly McBride, Poynter, 8-15-12)
Fareed Zakaria suspended from Time and CNN for plagiarising content (Paul Harris, The Guardia, 8-10-12) Well-known foreign affairs specialist apologises for error in apparently lifting a paragraph from a New Yorker story (among other things, provides free, live webinars on Plagiarism in the Digital Age, and many helpful articles
What Is Plagiarism?
The Unoriginal Sin: Differences Between Plagiarism and Copyright Infringement (Mark Fowler, Rights of Writers blog 7-4-11)
Combating Plagiarism: Is the Internet causing more students to copy? (PDF of thoughtful long article, with bibliography, from CQ Researcher
Amazon's Plagiarism Problem (Adam Penenberg, Fast Company 1-12-12). Amazon's erotica section is a magnet for copyright infringement, and "Amazon doesn't appear too eager to stop the forbidden author-on-author action."
Chris Anderson's "Free" Contains Apparent Plagiarism (Waldo Jaquith, Virginia Quarterly Review, 6-23-09)
Copyright Infringement And A Medieval Apple Pie (Jane Smith, How Publishing Really Works)
• Cribbing edges into plagiarism. Raj Persaud's sloppy work and the importance of attribution.Persaud's blatant cribs were flabbergasting, professor tells tribunal. Psychiatrist 'a baffling mix of skill and stupidity'. (Martin Wainwright, The Guardian 6-18-08)
Detecting Plagiarism Dead Giveaways (Montgomery College Libraries)
Cooks Source Firestorm Over Plagiarism (Karen Berger, 11-5-11, on CreateWorkLive, on a blogger's [Judith Griggs'] months in the limelight as shockingly unenlighted about rights issues--using writer Monica Gaudio's piece about apple pie without asking permission, crediting her but refusing to pay for its use, and stating that everything on the Internet is public domain--which, dear reader, you know is not true.
Something Borrowed (Malcolm Gladwell, in the New Yorker, 11-22-04, asks: Should a charge of plagiarism ruin your life?
The Counter-Plagiarism Handbook (Craig Silverman's Tips for writers and editors on how to avoid or detect journalistic plagiarism, CJR Regret the Error, 2-26-10)
Former Rutgers student says software detecting plagiarism was wrong when it flagged her work, caused her to fail (Kelly Heyboer, NJ Star-Ledger, 12-4-11). At what point does failure to attribute sources in the text become plagiarism?
George Bush Book 'Decision Points' Lifted From Advisers' Books (Ryan Grim, Huffington Post 11-13-10)
Getting to the Source: Preventing Plagiarism (Chip Scanlan, Poynter, 9-19-03)
Historians Rewrite History. Timothy Noah (Slate, 11-13-03) on the campaign to exonerate Doris Kearns Goodwin
Is It Plagiarism? iParadigms Walks Both Sides of the Question (Kent Anderson, Scholarly Kitchen, 9-12-11). "The two most popular plagiarism-detection programs are Turnitin — widely used in higher education — and CrossCheck — widely used by scholarly publishers. Both programs rely on software developed by iParadigms." An iParadigms product called WriteCheck is marketed to authors and researchers to detect how much of their paper matches content in the company's database, "allowing the company to work both sides of the plagiarism game."
SafeAssign (software for detecting plagiarism, useful for detecting if students are copying text online)
iThenticate Plagiarism Checker (Web-based content verification technology)
Plagiarism and Precedence: Media Ethics (Edward Wasserman, 10-9-06)
Plagiarism Is a Community Issue
Plagiarism, the Latest -Gate (Megan Garber, CJR, 2-19-08)
Plagiarism Resources for Faculty (Bluegrass Community Technical College)
The Plagiarism Resource Site (many helpful links, especially for teachers dealing with plagiarism in the classroom)
Plagiarism Pays (Reed Irvine and Cliff Kincaid, Accuracy in Media, on offenders who make a comeback)
The Posner Plagiarism Perplex. Jack Shafer (Slate 2-11-10) on what to make of Gerald Posner's blog statement.
Someone Used My Research without Acknowledgement (Richard Labunski, History News Network, 5-21-12). Labunski details how another author, published by Regnery, claimed to have written the only work about the election of 1989, Madison, Monroe, and the Bill of Rights--but that he based most of of it on Labunski's earlier book and failed totally to credit Labunski, who was particularly upset that he failed to acknowledge Labunski's painstaking work compiling data about that election. The author didn't copy words, but he did steal the fruits of Labunski's labor and pass it off as his own. Maybe that's not plagiarism but it is intellectual theft.
The Plagiarist's Tale (Lizzi Widdicombe, The New Yorker, 2-13-12) Q. R. Markham, the author of “Assassin of Secrets,” had a secret of his own.
A Tale of Self-Plagiarism — A Critic of Publishers Proves a Prostitute Is As a Prostitute Does (Kent Anderson, Scholarly Kitchen 9-14-11)
Elizabeth Hasselbeck Sued for Plagiarism--Accused of No Original Thoughts (TMZ, where you can view the letter from the lawyer)
Miami paper fires arts critic for reusing work (AP story, USA Today, 7-5-04)
What Did Ian McEwan Do? (Jack Shafer, Slate, criticizes big-time novelists for saying 'Nothing wrong.')

Anti-Plagiarism Day (Jane Smith)
• Finally, not quite on the topic of plagiarism, but a kissing cousin:
The Shadow Scholar ("Ed Dante," The Chronicle of Higher Education, 11-12-10). The man who writes your students' papers tells his story. Ghostwriter of academic papers and homework tells how he makes a living writing papers for a custom-essay company and describes the extent of student cheating he has observed. Long, fascinating, and disheartening article.
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ProPublica Editor Paul Steiger Discusses Emerging Ethical Questions for Journalists (Mike Webb presents, on ProPublica 10-21-10). ProPublica’s editor-in-chief points out four issues facing journalists today: "the blurred line between presentation of fact and opinion; the quest for building a larger audience versus the need for journalism of substance and civic importance; the new business challenges facing the industry; and the need for greater transparency from news organizations." Says Steiger,"If we create business models that depend largely on page views, we should not be surprised if they drive publishers to favor content with a high prospect of 'going viral' over content that is primarily thought-provoking, or challenging, or discomfiting, or even educational."

Radio Host Has Drug Company Ties ran the headline on Gardiner Harris's story about Frederick K. Goodwin, "the latest in a series of doctors and researchers whose ties to drugmakers have been uncovered by Senator Charles E. Grassley. Goodwin, a former director of the NIMH and host of the popular public radio program “The Infinite Mind,” earned at least $1.3 million from 2000 to 2007 giving marketing lectures for drugmakers. The program's producer was unaware of the fees, report PR and PR Web.

Right to Know Committee, the Association of Health Care Journalists' page of links. AHCJ is particularly concerned about health care organizations that restrict access to information about research simply because they want to control the news (often doing so in the name of HIPAA).

Scholarly Work, Without All the Footnotes (Arthur S. Brisbane, The Public Editor, NY Times, 10-2-10), on how a dispute about a Times Magazine article, Does Your Language Shape How You Think? by linguist Guy Deutscher, illustrates the differences between academic publishing and the popular press. Mainly: less credit to sources--and why not post those online?

The Shadow Scholar ("Ed Dante," The Chronicle of Higher Education, 11-12-10). The man who writes your students' papers tells his story. Ghostwriter of academic papers and homework tells how he makes a living writing papers for a custom-essay company and describes the extent of student cheating he has observed. Long, fascinating, and disheartening article.
For example: "I, who have no name, no opinions, and no style, have written so many papers at this point, including legal briefs, military-strategy assessments, poems, lab reports, and, yes, even papers on academic integrity, that it's hard to determine which course of study is most infested with cheating. But I'd say education is the worst. I've written papers for students in elementary-education programs, special-education majors, and ESL-training courses. I've written lesson plans for aspiring high-school teachers, and I've synthesized reports from notes that customers have taken during classroom observations. I've written essays for those studying to become school administrators, and I've completed theses for those on course to become principals." His earnings the year he is writing: $66,000 a year.
This topic was covered earlier and once over lightly in The Term Paper Artist by Nick Mamatas (The Smart Set, Drexel University, 10-10=08). Nick was also interviewed by NPR (The Paper Market, On the Media, 11-28-10).

Sunlight Foundation blog (making government and politics more transparent and accountable)

Truth, accuracy, accountability, and public trust
(oh, and fair and balanced)

Journalism and the truth: More complicated than it has ever been (Mathew Ingram, Gigaom, 10-23-12). In the past, the truth about a social or political event was whatever the newspaper or the TV news said it was. But now that anyone can publish their views, the process of arriving at the truth is a lot more complicated — and even more important.
Accuracy in Media (AIM)
Bill O’Reilly exaggerated war-zone experiences, Mother Jones says (Paul Farhi, Wash Post, 2-19-15)
Crossing boundaries: A journalist chronicles her friendship with a serial killer (Jack Murtha, Columbia Journalism Review, 10-7-15) "Elliott’s book is the kind of longform, long-term journalism that feels refreshing amid the digital whirlwind of brief rundowns, aggregation, and personal essays. But as she chased the story, she encountered an old problem: she became a character herself, setting off ethical landmines through her friendship with Ross and her disdain for the death penalty—the book’s two principal subjects....Rather than a selling point, this friendship would be a clear conflict of interest in beat reporting, whether it be with a politician, business leader, or athlete. There’s too much room for ethical lapses, misplaced trust, and perceived bias." As Janet Malcolm wrote, of the relationship between the writer Joe McGinniss and Jeffrey MacDonald, "The writer ultimately tires of the subject’s self-serving story, and substitutes a story of his own.”
Storytelling ability connected Brian Williams with viewers but also led to his downfall (Manuel Roig-Franzia, Scott Higham and Amy Brittain, Wash Post, 2-14-15)
On CNN's Reliable Sources, Congressional Experts Ornstein and Mann Describe How Media Obscure GOP Extremism
The Tedium Twins Tonight: Are there two sides to every question? Back to you, Jim. (Alexander Cockburn, The Fourth Estate, Harper's Magazine, Aug. 1982, and "a classic of humor writing and media criticism."
The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study (Petroc Sumner, et al., BMJ, December 2014) Exaggeration in news is strongly associated with exaggeration in press releases. Making academic press releases more accurate might help reduce misleading health-related news.
Should The Times Be a Truth Vigilante? (Arthur Brisbane, Public Editor's Journal, NY Times, 1-12-12)
Who Controls the Story? (Margaret Sullivan, Public Editor, NY Times, 9-29-12) The New York Times draws a line on “quote approval,” but not everyone is convinced.
‘We are indeed less willing to agree on what constitutes truth’ (Clay Shirky, 10-17-12, part of a Poynter symposium on journalism ethics in the digital age , with other essays that will become part of a book on digital ethics to be published by Poynter and CQ Press.
Restoring trustworthiness to news (Craig Newmark, CraigConnects, cosponsor of the Poynter symposium on journalism ethics).
Storify's live blog from the October 2012 symposium
Coalition of the Shilling (Nathan Hodge, The Nation, 3-11-10). Nonpartisan think tanks are supporting journalism--but who's supporting the think tanks?
Accuracy in Media (AIM) (for fairness, balance, and accuracy in news reporting
FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, a national media watch group)
In journalism's crossfire culture, everyone gets wounded (Howard Kurtz, Media Notes, Washington Post 8-1-10)
Seattle attorney finds that the Internet won't let go of his past (Isaac Arnsdorf, Seattle Times, 8-15-08). What happens when inaccuracy stays alive and anti-censorship principles conflict with fairness?
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Anonymous sources

Poynter stories on anonymous sources. For example, Anonymous sourcing is more important — and riskier — than ever (Benjamin Mullin, P:oynter, 2-3-17) "If an anonymously sourced story is proven false, the White House can use that to cast doubt on every article reported on background. With trust in the press at rock bottom and reporters being harangued on a weekly basis, this could be especially hazardous to journalism writ large. Leaks are more important than ever. But if we're not careful, they could sink us."
The Intercept is developing editorial standards for using anonymous sources (Benjamin Mullin, Poynter, 8-7-15)
Anonymous Sources (SPJ Ethics Committee Position Paper) Bottom line: 1. Identify sources whenever feasible. The public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources' reliability. 2. Always question sources’ motives before promising anonymity. Clarify conditions attached to any promise made in exchange for information. Keep promises.
Anonymous sourcing (NPR Ethics Handbook) Excellent, detailed guidelines.
Welcome to the Sausage Factory (Kurt Anderson, New York Magazine)
Source (journalism) (Wikipedia) A good general explanation.
Press pays a price for anonymous sources (Paul K. McMasters et al, First Amendment Center, 5-22-05)
Anonymous Sources (Alicia C. Shepard, AJR archives, Dec. 1994) A flurry of inaccurate stories about O.J. Simpson based on unnamed sources has rekindled the debate over their use. Detractors say they hurt the media's credibility. Defenders say without them important stories would never be told.
Anonymous Source Tracker Daily examples of the media's use of anonymous sources.
A lesson for the White House in anonymous sources (Ruth Marcus, Washington Post 7-22-14) "The White House equates anonymous sources (except their own, of course) with cowardice. The media equate them with truth-telling, or at least a closer approximation of the truth than they are able to get from on-the-record aides spouting the official line."
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Watching the Media Watchdogs (Greg Mitchell, The Nation, 3-15-10). Highlighting the best and worst of current media (print, digital, and broadcast) several times a day. Twitterfeed: @​MediaFixBlog

Whistleblowers and free expression

Secret Sources: Whistleblowers, National Security, & Free Expression (PEN America, YouTube, 11-16-15) Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who joined the event via Skype following the panel in a conversation with PEN Executive Director Suzanne Nossel on whistleblowing and questions of conscience.
Secret Sources: Whistleblowers, National Security, and Free Expression (PEN America, 2016) reveals massive holes in the laws and regulations covering whistleblowing by intelligence workers, particularly when raising valid constitutional or ethical issues about a government action that has been previously authorized by an agency head or Congress as legal. PEN’s report demonstrates how these gaps in the existing scheme of protections pose high risks for national security workers wishing to expose alleged wrongdoing, undercut the ability of journalists to report on information in the public interest and to protect sources, and largely exclude the national security sphere from the crucial check on abuses that whistleblowers provide in other areas of the U.S. government. Scroll down to click on the full (free) report, a PDF.
National Whistleblowers Center ('honesty without fear")
Office of the Whistleblower (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission)
Whistleblower Protections (U.S. Department of Labor)
Whistleblower (Wikipedia's entry on the subject links to many interesting sites and explanations, including whistleblower protections)
West Texas whistleblower nurse acquitted, filing suit of her own (Christian Dem, Daily Kos, 2-11-10)
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WikiLeaks cables: Pfizer 'used dirty tricks to avoid clinical trial payout' (Sarah Boseley, Guardian UK, 12-9-10). Cables say drug giant hired investigators to find evidence of corruption on Nigerian attorney general to persuade him to drop legal action

Wronging a person through speech (Judaism 101 on Speech & Lashon Ha-Ra). "Gossip and slander are serious sins in Judaism. Judaism forbids causing any deception or embarrassment through speech. It is forbidden even if the statement is true. There are some exceptions that allow tale-bearing." And so on!