Class Notes 3/7/17

Wavily City Council meeting 3/6/17

1hr 9 minutes in – had conversation about this and opinions from classmates

Texas vs Johnson – case – read, review and share some info.

Taken straight from “Facts and Case Summary – Texas v. Johnson – United States Courts”

here is the link to this case – Texas v. Johnson

“Gregory Lee Johnson burned an American flag outside of the convention center where the 1984 Republican National Convention was being held in Dallas, Texas. Johnson burned the flag to protest the policies of President Ronald Reagan. He was arrested and charged with violating a Texas statute that prevented the desecration of a venerated object, including the American flag, if such action were likely to incite anger in others. A Texas court tried and convicted Johnson. He appealed, arguing that his actions were “symbolic speech” protected by the First Amendment. The Supreme Court agreed to hear his case.”

What exactly was the issue at hand?

Whether or not burning the American Flag is protected by the First Ammendment as “symbolic speech”

The Supreme Courts ruling – YES

More information from  Cornell University Law School’s website –

Argued – March 21st, 1989

Decided – June 21st, 1989

This ruling was taken into consideration because of the current laws as listed below:

Tex.Penal Code Ann. § 42.09 (1989) provides in full:

§ 42.09. Desecration of Venerated Object

(a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly desecrates:

(1) a public monument;

(2) a place of worship or burial; or

(3) a state or national flag.

(b) For purposes of this section, “desecrate” means deface, damage, or otherwise physically mistreat in a way that the actor knows will seriously offend one or more persons likely to observe or discover his action.

(c) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

Because the prosecutor’s closing argument observed that Johnson had led the protestors in chants denouncing the flag while it burned, Johnson suggests that he may have been convicted for uttering critical words, rather than for burning the flag. Brief for Respondent 33-34. He relies on Street v. New York, 394 U.S. 576, 578 (1969), in which we reversed a conviction obtained under a New York statute that prohibited publicly defying or casting contempt on the flag “either by words or act” because we were persuaded that the defendant may have been convicted for his words alone. Unlike the law we faced in Street, however, the Texas flag desecration statute does not on its face permit conviction for remarks critical of the flag, as Johnson himself admits. See Brief for Respondent 34. Nor was the jury in this case told that it could convict Johnson of flag desecration if it found only that he had uttered words critical of the flag and its referents.

Johnson emphasizes, though, that the jury was instructed — according to Texas’ law of parties — that

“a person is criminally responsible for an offense committed by the conduct of another if acting with intent to promote or assist the commission of the offense, he solicits, encourages, directs, aids, or attempts to aid the other person to commit the offense.”

Brief for Respondent 2, n. 2, quoting 1 Record 49. The State offered this instruction because Johnson’s defense was that he was not the person who had burned the flag. Johnson did not object to this instruction at trial, and although he challenged it on direct appeal, he did so only on the ground that there was insufficient evidence to support it. 706 S.W.2d 120, 124 (Tex.App.1986). It is only in this Court that Johnson has argued that the law-of-parties instruction might have led the jury to convict him for his words alone. Even if we were to find that this argument is properly raised here, however, we would conclude that it has no merit in these circumstances. The instruction would not have permitted a conviction merely for the pejorative nature of Johnson’s words, and those words themselves did not encourage the burning of the flag, as the instruction seems to require. Given the additional fact that “the bulk of the State’s argument was premised on Johnson’s culpability as a sole actor,” ibid., we find it too unlikely that the jury convicted Johnson on the basis of this alternative theory to consider reversing his conviction on this ground.

Although Johnson has raised a facial challenge to Texas’ flag desecration statute, we choose to resolve this case on the basis of his claim that the statute, as applied to him, violates the First Amendment. Section 42.09 regulates only physical conduct with respect to the flag, not the written or spoken word, and although one violates the statute only if one “knows” that one’s physical treatment of the flag “will seriously offend one or more persons likely to observe or discover his action,” Tex.Penal Code Ann. § 42.09(b) (1989), this fact does not necessarily mean that the statute applies only to expressive conduct protected by the First Amendment. Cf. Smith v. Goguen, 415 U.S. 566, 588 (1974) (WHITE, J., concurring in judgment) (statute prohibiting “contemptuous” treatment of flag encompasses only expressive conduct). A tired person might, for example, drag a flag through the mud, knowing that this conduct is likely to offend others, and yet have no thought of expressing any idea; neither the language nor the Texas courts’ interpretations of the statute precludes the possibility that such a person would be prosecuted for flag desecration. Because the prosecution of a person who had not engaged in expressive conduct would pose a different case, and because this case may be disposed of on narrower grounds, we address only Johnson’s claim that § 42.09, as applied to political expression like his, violates the First Amendment.

Relying on our decision in Boos v. Barry, 485 U.S. 312″] 485 U.S. 312 (1988), Johnson argues that this state interest is related to the suppression of free expression within the meaning of 485 U.S. 312 (1988), Johnson argues that this state interest is related to the suppression of free expression within the meaning of United States v. O’Brien, 391 U.S. 367 (1968). He reasons that the violent reaction to flag burnings feared by Texas would be the result of the message conveyed by them, and that this fact connects the State’s interest to the suppression of expression. Brief for Respondent 12, n. 11. This view has found some favor in the lower courts. See Monroe v. State Court of Fulton County, 739 F.2d 568 574-575 (CA11 1984). Johnson’s theory may overread Boos insofar as it suggests that a desire to prevent a violent audience reaction is “related to expression” in the same way that a desire to prevent an audience from being offended is “related to expression.” Because we find that the State’s interest in preventing breaches of the peace is not implicated on these facts, however, we need not venture further into this area.

There is, of course, a tension between this argument and the State’s claim that one need not actually cause serious offense in order to violate § 42.09. See Brief for Petitioner 44.

Cf. Smith v. Goguen, 415 U.S. at 590-591 (BLACKMUN, J., dissenting) (emphasizing that lower court appeared to have construed state statute so as to protect physical integrity of the flag in all circumstances); id. at 597-598 (REHNQUIST, J., dissenting) (same).

Texas suggests that Johnson’s conviction did not depend on the onlookers’ reaction to the flag burning, because § 42.09 is violated only when a person physically mistreats the flag in a way that he “knows will seriously offend one or more persons likely to observe or discover his action.” Tex.Penal Code Ann. § 42.09(b) (1969) (emphasis added). “The ‘serious offense’ language of the statute,” Texas argues, “refers to an individual’s intent and to the manner in which the conduct is effectuated, not to the reaction of the crowd.” Brief for Petitioner 44. If the statute were aimed only at the actor’s intent, and not at the communicative impact of his actions, however, there would be little reason for the law to be triggered only when an audience is “likely” to be present. At Johnson’s trial, indeed, the State itself seems not to have seen the distinction between knowledge and actual communicative impact that it now stresses: it proved the element of knowledge by offering the testimony of persons who had in fact been seriously offended by Johnson’s conduct. Id. at 6-7. In any event, we find the distinction between Texas’ statute and one dependent on actual audience reaction too precious to be of constitutional significance. Both kinds of statutes clearly are aimed at protecting onlookers from being offended by the ideas expressed by the prohibited activity.

Our inquiry is, of course, bounded by the particular facts of this case and by the statute under which Johnson was convicted. There was no evidence that Johnson himself stole the flag he burned, Tr. of Oral Arg. 17, nor did the prosecution or the arguments urged in support of it depend on the theory that the flag was stolen. Ibid. Thus, our analysis does not rely on the way in which the flag was acquired, and nothing in our opinion should be taken to suggest that one is free to steal a flag so long as one later uses it to communicate an idea. We also emphasize that Johnson was prosecuted only for flag desecration — not for trespass, disorderly conduct, or arson.

Texas claims that “Texas is not endorsing, protecting, avowing or prohibiting any particular philosophy.” Brief for Petitioner 29. If Texas means to suggest that its asserted interest does not prefer Democrats over Socialists, or Republicans over Democrats, for example, then it is beside the point, for Johnson does not rely on such an argument. He argues instead that the State’s desire to maintain the flag as a symbol of nationhood and national unity assumes that there is only one proper view of the flag. Thus, if Texas means to argue that its interest does not prefer any viewpoint over another, it is mistaken; surely one’s attitude toward the flag and its referents is a viewpoint.

Our decision in Halter v. Nebraska, 205 U.S. 34 (1907), addressing the validity of a state law prohibiting certain commercial uses of the flag, is not to the contrary. That case was decided “nearly 20 years before the Court concluded that the First Amendment applies to the States by virtue of the Fourteenth Amendment.” Spence v. Washington, 418 U.S. 405, 413, n. 7 (1974). More important, as we continually emphasized in Halter itself, that case involved purely commercial, rather than political, speech. 205 U.S. at 38, 41, 42, 45.

Nor does San Francisco Arts & Athletics, Inc. v. United States Olympic Committee, 483 U.S. 522, 524 (1987), addressing the validity of Congress’ decision to “authoriz[e] the United States Olympic Committee to prohibit certain commercial and promotional uses of the word ‘Olympic,'” relied upon by THE CHIEF JUSTICE’s dissent, post at 429, even begin to tell us whether the government may criminally punish physical conduct towards the flag engaged in as a means of political protest.

THE CHIEF JUSTlCE’s dissent appears to believe that Johnson’s conduct may be prohibited and, indeed, criminally sanctioned, because “his act . . . conveyed nothing that could not have been conveyed and was not conveyed just as forcefully in a dozen different ways.” Post at 431. Not only does this assertion sit uneasily next to the dissent’s quite correct reminder that the flag occupies a unique position in our society — which demonstrates that messages conveyed without use of the flag are not “just as forcefu[l]” as those conveyed with it — but it also ignores the fact that, in Spence, supra, we “rejected summarily” this very claim. See 418 U.S. at 411, n. 4.


The American flag played a central role in our Nation’s most tragic conflict, when the North fought against the South. The lowering of the American flag at Fort Sumter was viewed as the start of the war. G. Preble, History of the Flag of the United States of America 453 (1880). The Southern States, to formalize their separation from the Union, adopted the “Stars and Bars” of the Confederacy. The Union troops marched to the sound of “Yes We’ll Rally Round The Flag Boys, We’ll Rally Once Again.” President Abraham Lincoln refused proposals to remove from the [p424] American flag the stars representing the rebel States, because he considered the conflict not a war between two nations, but an attack by 11 States against the National Government. Id. at 411. By war’s end, the American flag again flew over “an indestructible union, composed of indestructible states.” Texas v. White, 7 Wall. 700, 725 (1869).

STEVENS, J., Dissenting Opinion

JUSTICE STEVENS, dissenting. – listed below

As the Court analyzes this case, it presents the question whether the State of Texas, or indeed the Federal Government, has the power to prohibit the public desecration of the American flag. The question is unique. In my judgment, rules that apply to a host of other symbols, such as state flags, armbands, or various privately promoted emblems of political or commercial identity, are not necessarily controlling. Even if flagburning could be considered just another species of symbolic speech under the logical application of the rules that the Court has developed in its interpretation of the First Amendment in other contexts, this case has an intangible dimension that makes those rules inapplicable.

A country’s flag is a symbol of more than “nationhood and national unity.” Ante at 407, 410, 413, and n. 9, 417, 420. It also signifies the ideas that characterize the society that has chosen that emblem as well as the special history that has animated the growth and power of those ideas. The fleurs-de-lis and the tricolor both symbolized “nationhood and national unity,” but they had vastly different meanings. The message conveyed by some flags — the swastika, for example — may survive long after it has outlived its usefulness as a symbol of regimented unity in a particular nation.

Homework: Spotlight Review

Investigative reporting is represented at its finest when the film “Spotlight” took its own take on crimes that have been ravaging the United States, and frankly the world for years. In the film, staring actors such as Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, and Michael Keaton, an investigative group from the Boston Globe dives deeper into claims of sexual misconduct within the Catholic church.

Due to the touchy subject and the fact that people of the Catholic church were a majority of the reader base the Boston Globe had, it was difficult for some reporters to jump on this type of story. Enter Spotlight. Though Marty Baron, the newest owner of the globe, says that the “internet is cutting into the classifieds”, they know something of this caliber could potentially help put them back on the map.

Months pass by but nothing is published for fear of the church addressing the smaller issues and brushing them aside. By doing this, if the Globe were to publish the results again their credibility would go down. Spotlights decides that it is best to find the entire story and hit the church so hard that they couldn’t possibly cover their tracks.

Similarities in reported sexual misconducts not just in the Boston area, but the whole world as well. After speaking with upwards of 90 victims, the whole picture begins to become more clear for the investigative teams purpose on this case. Though there was and still continued to be a spree of sick priests who would do these unspeakable acts to the children whom attended their services, there was a system of cover up which deceived even the reporters who’s sole job was to investigate this situation.

In published books, there was a code written to show where exactly priests who were accused of sexual assault were at in the eyes of the church. Some would say they are on a mission trip or had a holy event come up. All of these similarities matched when and where these assaults were taking place. From there, more conclusions as to the types of action the church had taken to prevent these acts came to full light.

In the second part of this assignment, we were supposed to go to to find two prize winners and briefly discuss the reasoning for their awards. My selections are listed below with direct links so you can do more of your own “investigative” research if you so choose.

Associated Press – Winner 2016 – Public Service Link

“For an investigation of severe labor abuses tied to the supply of seafood to American supermarkets and restaurants, reporting that freed 2,000 slaves, brought perpetrators to justice and inspired reforms”


Los Angeles Time Staff – Winner 2016 – Breaking News Story Link

“For exceptional reporting, including both local and global perspectives, on the shooting in San Bernardino and the terror investigation that followed”.


Class Notes 2/28/17

Watching video – Spotlight

Boston Globe meeting

This video is about uncovering some judicail or priest sexual stuff.. Couldn’t understand at first. Will find out

Meeting saying goodbye from Boston Globe

“What the hell do you know” – Michael Keaton character – Robby?

News offices – conversation – talk of others leaving newspapers for other ones or cutting journalists by 15%.

Boston Globe sold to New York Times?

Robby –

Spoghtlight – four piece investigative team reports to one man do not publish work. Work on pieces for months.

“Internet is cutting into the classifiedes”

“So you anticipate more cuts” –  Robby

“I think we can do better” – Marty Baron?

All of them sitting in meeting room talking through daily briefing? Next day after Robby and Marty’s

Mr. Guaratene – can prove the cardinal knew about priest(s) who molested at least 8 kids?

Everyone except Marty thinks making the church release documents proving the sexual misconduct. Fear the people will not be okay with their paper anymore? Won’t buy?

“The Role of The Outsider” – Anelia wants us to focus on this and the power it can bring.

Robby brings up dropping their current Spotlight case for this “Cardinal Law” case Baron wants them to pick up on and investigate.

“there’s gonna be a story” – Female reporters husband? Reporter is on the Spotlight team?

“53% of our subscriber base are catholic” – owner of the paper?

“These are shitty cases” – business man they visit in the city? Lawyer?

“Have you met Mitch Garabedean?” – papers lawyer? – as in he’s a hard ass

Garabedean is now being questioned by reporter and he doesn’t want to talk. Keeps wanting the reporter to go away. “I can’t talk to you right now” – G says.

Cardinal Bernard Law? – this the guy who did it?

= use our resources, they are searching their own papers about all this adding up over time. this would not of happened without the outsider pushing this

“Knowledge is one thing, but faith… faith is another” – Cardinal Bernard Law? or the priest who did the crime?

Marty Baron – new owner of paper? – sitting and talking with the cardinal? Cardinal law?

Man in office talking about his organization of past children who were molested by priests? He talks about cardinals or priests making kids feel like they have to listen to them about bad things to them to do. It’s not just a physical thing but a “spiritual” thing. – Phil

phil sent this to the Globe “years ago” and some one said they don’t want it. Didn’t share the name. Pissed they didn’t go deeper into this 5 years ago when he sent a box full of information to them.

Reporter is still trying to get the lawyer to give him information about the church. He will not budge.

Reporter mentions that “Spotlight” is investigating this and now the lawyer tells him to come back tomorrow morning for a meeting.

Lawyer, client, source all meeting. Sits there and says he doesn’t have to continue if he doesn’t want to.

He relates to the guy right away by asking him where he is from.

Guy says he was 12 and dad killed him self and mom was nuts when all this stuff happened.

Gay guy girl is investigating/questioning says priest knew he was gay but he wasn’t sharing that info at that time. Says priest tells him they need to play strip poker and lost.

“People need to actually know what happened” – Girl reports on this.

“He offers to take me to get ice cream” – guy journalists interview

“His hand slides up and grabs my dick and I just froze up petrified” – “I never even ate my ice cream, it just melted down my arm”.

“You can use my name” – lawyer client

“Thanks Patrick” – guy reporter

“Don’t thank me just get these Assholes” – lawyer client



Iowa Supreme Court Final Ruling

The Iowa Supreme Court has upheld the ruling that Mark Becker is guilty of the killing of Parkersburg’s football coach, Ed Thomas despite using the insanity plea.

This plea came after much uproar that Becker was incapable of understanding his actions of the time of the murder. This plea, was found to be not true and Becker’s actions were premeditated and was aware of his actions before, during, and after the shooting. To recap what exactly happened, one would have to realize this was one of the largest events to rock Iowa since 1912 at the time of the Villisca Axe Murders. Mark Becker was initially accused of entering the Aplington-Parkersburg makeshift weight room in Parkersburg about 7:45 a.m. June 24th of 2009 and shooting beloved football coach and friend to many, Ed Thomas, several times. Thomas died later at Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo.

Thomas’ funeral and burial was attended by thousands who gathered to mourn the tragic loss. He was later issued on the front cover of Sports Illustrated. By showing this amount of love and affection for one man, one town was able to recollect on the loss of not only such a great man, but a great football coach who had produced four NFL players. The most heartfelt part about those players is their return to Parkersburg to serve as pallbearers at his funeral June 29th, 2009.

Becker and his attorneys laid out their reasoning behind why Becker was mentally ill before and at the time of the murder. Becker appealed his conviction, claiming the district court improperly instructed the jury when it submitted the Iowa State Bar Association’s jury instructions defining the elements of the insanity defense instead of the instruction Becker requested. He also claimed the district court violated his due process rights under the Iowa Constitution when it refused to instruct the jury as to the consequences of a not-guilty-by-reason-of-insanity verdict. Finally, Becker claims the restitution order, including the expert witness fees paid to Becker’s expert witnesses, exceeded the maximum amount allowed by the statute. The court of appeals affirmed the district court’s rulings on all three issues.

According to the Court, “When the instructions already accurately state the law, the defendant is not entitled to have his proposed instruction submitted to the jury.”

The circumstances of Becker’s mental illness were seen by the jury as recurring episodes of extreme violence and the unsuccessful treatment of schizophrenia. This is a reason why Becker fought the court for appeal. Because of the counsel’s understanding that if the jury was kept in the dark about the consequences of verdict of insanity, the jury would not allow Becker to be let loose knowing his violent past with little to no success in treatment. This made it questionable that Becker could receive a fair trial because the jury was not provided with this information that could have changed the results of the verdict.

To dive a little deeper into what exactly is considered for a person who is claiming to be mentally insane or unstable, we must first look at the definition in the courts of the word, “sane”. “Paragraph three says a person is “sane” if he “had sufficient mental capacity” to do certain things, as opposed to the statute, which says a person is “insane” if he is “incapable” of doing those things. Iowa Code § 701.4. “Incapable” means “lacking capacity, ability, or qualification for the purpose or end in view.” Merriam–Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary 628 (11th ed. 2004). Thus, a person who is “incapable” of knowing or distinguishing would “lack capacity” to know or distinguish” – page 18 of the court release from the Supreme Court of Iowa filed July 20, 2012.

Becker’s proposal that instruction was “inadequate to achieve its aim” of reducing the jury’s concerns about the consequences of a not-guilty-by-reason-of-insanity verdict. The jury agreed that Becker’s request to have the jury informed about the consequences would not provide any guarantees to the jury as to when and under what circumstances Becker might be released. The Supreme Court stated, “[I]f the members of a jury are so fearful of a particular defendant’s release that they would violate their oaths by convicting [the defendant] solely in order to ensure that he is not set free, it is questionable whether they would be reassured by anything short of an instruction strongly suggesting that the defendant, if found NGI (not gulity because of insanity), would very likely be civilly committed for a lengthy period.”

By affirming the ruling of the district court, Justice Zager put Mark Becker away for life in prison, life without parole, and a possible restitution to the victim’s family. More details about previous cases of the insanity plea and success rates were mentioned in the release from the appeal. On page 12 of this report, we learn of the first considered insanity defense by the Iowa courts during the State vs. Felter case all the way back in 1868.

Like most cases, this was to be modeled and modified with different judgements as the years moved by and we began to understand the psychology behind the human brain even more. A popular note that helps with a majority of these rulings that played a key role in the decision of this appeals court is that if the Defendant has failed to prove either of the elements by a preponderance of the evidence, then the Defendant is guilty. For more information about this appeal, please visit the published PDF of the ruling here:



Class Notes: 2/14/17

Media tells people what is good coverage/what is not

The norm in DC has been turned upside down

Question of press confrences – calling on the “smaller guys” in the back. More local stations – not really calling on the bigger stations like normal.

Handpicking reporters going to call on from the audience – complaints – truth is presidents do that all the same.

The real trick is to not “bitch and complain” rather find a way to adapt.

National medias are complaining about this whereas the smaller stations are not as much.

The internet is also “shaking up” everything. A lot of smaller papers went under because they did not move with the times.

Local stuff – getting the correct info out there

Policy needs to be front in center

Collective Bargaining = big deal in news

People comment bad things on the stories KWWL post.

Has to be careful with personal comments on Facebook so it doesn’t look bad on himself and KWWL.

You have to have a balance of things – keep the variety going

Video Now:

Ron Steele – Victim identified

Taylor Bailey – Reporter goes up to house you can see blood, gun shots, ski mask.

Not going to go into a crime scene… waited for the crime scene tape to be gone.

If you show the pics of the bullet holes owners of house could come back and charge you with trespassing. They stood far away and zoomed in just to be safe.

As Journalists… you represent the people

Sheriff… represents the government

Want t0 get everything done and over with ASAP.

Slide Show:

RTDNA Code of Ethics

Journalists accepts responsibility, articulates its reasons and opens its processes to public scrutiny

Journalism provides enormous benefits to self governing societies. In the process, it

The right to broadcast/publish doesn’t mean you always have to do it. Shying away from difficult cases is not necessarily more ethical than taking on the challenge of reporting them


Email outrage


“Be suspect” Never believe what someone just told you – always assume its a lie until you have proof otherwise

Brief summary of this and print out Supreme Court decision – check sent stuff in email.

Homework: Eramo vs. Rolling Stone Complaint

How to turn a court decision into a news story: Have a headline, lead, sources, language, specific length. This changes depending on the story but quotes should be a major part of your story. Be authentic and original with your writing.

“This defamation action arises out of the publication of the false and later discredited article in Rolling Stone magazine entitled,A Rape on Campus:A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA (hereinafter, Rape on Campus or the article ).
Rolling Stones Contributing Editor, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, wrote the article, which caused a national media firestorm and has been viewed online more than 2.7 million times” – Nature of Case – Complaint
The article talks of the extremely graphic language and information that was shared with the Rolling Stones journalist.
More information about Nicole Eramo and those who met with her and went through the regular processes. The question about what was or was not done arises. Giving Eramo a bad name or in other worlds “defamed”. This is why this is a defamation suit – much like the Burke Ramsey Case… except it’s murder against rape allegations.
Erdely pushed the idea of truths, false truths, and even half truths and that is one of the reasons why
November 26, 2014 –  Rolling Stone finally forced to admit to fault of this caliber.
This case was eventually exposed a hoax and this does not help Rolling Stones or Erdely’s case when it comes to non intentional defamation – regardless – get in trouble for having over 2 million people reading article – going to get in trouble.
Rolling Stone is an LLC or a limited liability company – question is, will this affect their information that they share… being an LLC?
Rolling Stone regularly solicits businesses who advertise in their magazine. This is completed by sales – was this done just for magazine sales?
2010 Eramo became Associate Dean of Students
Police also found that there was no evidence of Jackie’s claim of being attacked with a bottle.
Police found no evidence that two other girls had been assaulted at the Phi Psi house in 2010 and 2014
Erdely also never communicated with the friends who Jackie said didn’t want to talk with her about what happened. This was a lie.



Book Summary: Chapter 12

“The law protects people’s personal property, whether tangible (such as a computer or a car) or intangible (such as singing a new song before writing it down on paper or recording it). If a person writes a magazine article, it is against the law to take that content without permission. The law protects what is written on the paper—the author’s expression of his or her ideas. No one but the author may publish that article unless the writer consents. Nor may the article be made into a movie or used in any other way without the author’s permission. Copyright law considers the article “intangible property” and gives the article legal protection” – Chapter Overview

Personal property can be defined in many ways. These can be tangible objects such as a car or intangible like singing a song before writing it down on paper/record it. Either way, there is a code of ethics that journalists must follow when covering a story. Certain laws have been put in place to protect people from other who may intrude on their property. Any way you look at it, there has to be respect.

“Similarly, trademark law protects branding such as product names, advertising slogans, movie and book titles, and cartoon characters. Patent law protects inventions is not discussed at length in this chapter because it generally falls outside the law of mass communication. Patent, trademark, and copyright statutes all are categorized as intellectual property law. Generally, intellectual property laws—particularly patent and copyright statutes—are intended to encourage creativity. Ensuring that people will benefit financially from their creations encourages them to continue being creative. If people could use others’ intellectual creations without permission, there would be no financial incentive to write, paint, or invent” – Chapter Overview

The true question is… How many times do people infringe on others trademarks? Similarly, how many people do not protect themselves by a trademark and are being exposed without even knowing it. Also, what if they do know it but are unable to do anything about it because they do not own the trademark. The ideas of protecting yourself goes hand in hand with every day life, and journalists doing their job. Ask yourself, is this protected? Am I able to use this name?

:A copyright is an exclusive legal right protecting intellectual creations from unauthorized use. Copyright law balances the creator’s right to restrict the use of his or her work and society’s belief that some uses should be allowed without the creator’s permission. The backbone of U.S. copyright law is the Copyright Act of 1976. In 1998, Congress adopted the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to incorporate the Internet and digital media more squarely into copyright law” – Chapter Overview

A copyright would work well with non created things. Let’s say you have an idea but need to protect it. You need to utilize the laws of this country and apply for a trademark, patent, or copyright. Familiarize yourself with these options, and utilize them for yourself. and especially when reporting on certain topics and/or people.

Book Summary: Chapter 6

Privacy protection is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly; especially in the eyes of journalists. With the rise of social media, it is easier to share information that may have seemed almost impossible. Reporters tend to dehumanize situations when they have a camera in their face. They must take a moment to realize when they may be going too far.

In this chapter, privacy is talked about with respect to court hearings and public knowledge. When exactly does a crime, regardless of its size, become public knowledge and when is it not needed information.

“The U.S. Congress has adopted privacy laws, but traditionally most of these relate to access to information in government documents. Recent Supreme Court cases (for example, Riley v. California, excerpted at the end of the chapter) focus on privacy and the Fourth Amendment. Two Supreme Court decisions in 2012 and 2013 that explored privacy and the Fourth Amendment (which protects against unreasonable search and seizure) reaffirmed the traditional privacy expectation near the home and unanimously held that physically mounting a GPS transmitter on a car amounts to a search and violates the Fourth Amendment” – Chapter Overview

This text, taken from the chapter overview, is a great reference point for someone wanting to dive a little deeper into the role of the U.S. Government and privacy laws. Over the years, privacy laws have grown so sophisticated that some people fear sharing anything at all. There are so many variances in the laws that when someone does report, they could get in trouble for something that may be against the law.

William Prosser, then the dean of Boalt Law School at the University of California at Berkeley, proposed that invasion of privacy be broken into the four categories we know today: false light, appropriation, intrusion, and private facts.

– Below these four categories are described below:

False Light: Intentionally or recklessly publicizing false information a reasonable person would find highly offensive

Appropriation: Using another’s name or likeness for advertising or other commercial purposes without permission

Intrusion:  Intentionally intruding on another’s solitude or seclusion

Private Facts: Private facts are publicizing private, embarrassing information

Appropriation can be split down even more; the first would be commercialization and secondly the right of publicity. Commercialization is related to famous and ordinary people. Intrusion, on the other hand – is a much broader term. “At first, intrusion was nearly synonymous with trespass, i.e., physical invasion of another’s land or house. Then it came to include technological forms of invasion of privacy. Essentially, the intrusion tort has become a way to sue the media for news-gathering techniques”

The problem with these laws a lot of the time is journalists can be sued for doing exactly what they were hired to do.