Newsgathering

Keeping 911 Recordings Public and Online

When a grizzly bear mauled bicyclist Petra Davis two years ago in an Anchorage park, she called 911 from her cell phone, barely able to speak: "Please help ... bear," she struggled to say. "I can't talk." A fellow biker quickly came to her rescue, grabbing her cell phone and calling again for help: "I have a young girl here who was mauled by a bear and who is in pretty bad shape," Peter Bassinger told the operator.

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Why Are Bloggers Still Sitting at the Kids' Table? The Popularity of Online News and the Federal Shield Law

Well, it turns out this whole Internet thing is getting pretty popular. According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, more Americans now get their news from the Internet than from old-fashioned newspapers.

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The Catsouras Photos: Will a Family's Privacy Interest Impede Press Access?

The tragic story of Nikki Catsouras continues. I considered not giving yet more attention to the horrific accident photos she is now most known for, but the case still elicits a great deal of emotion and for that very reason it's important to address the law that is being decided in California. 

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The Borings Are Back! Lawsuit Against Google Revived on Trespassing Theory

Of all the crazy things I've seen on the Street View feature of Google Maps, including house fires,

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The Free Citizen as a Nuisance

"I'm willing to admit that the policeman has a difficult job, a very hard job. But it's the essence of our society that the policeman's job should be hard. He's there to protect, protect the free citizen, not to chase criminals, that's an incidental part of his job. The free citizen is always more of a nuisance to the policeman than the criminal. He knows what to do about the criminal." - Orson Welles

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Will This Revolution Be YouTubed?

YouTube CourtThere are a couple of laws in California that the U.S. Supreme Court should consider before it announces tomorrow whether or not the Proposition 8 trial can be broadcast on YouTube: § 240 and § 422.  These two laws don't address same-sex marriage, discrimination, or even access to courts, as you may have expected.  Instead, these sections of the California Penal Code make it a crime to either assault or threaten to use violence against another person. 

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Massachusetts High Court Applies Fair Report Privilege to Anonymous Account of Closed Meeting

As both a journalist and a techie, I'm pretty keen on the free flow of information, and thus pretty keen in turn on the importance of protecting journalists, both professional and citizen, who are in the business of facilitating that flow. So it was reassuring to see that the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled on the side of the angels this week in the case of Howell v. Enterprise, granting protection from libel claims to reporters who fairly and accurately report official government proceedings.

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It's Election Time Again: CMLP Announces Updated Guide to Newsgathering at the Polls

Voters head to the polls again on November 3 to cast their ballots in mayoral, city council, and even a handful of gubernatorial elections.  In addition, there are some important ballot measures up for consideration, like the referendum in Maine seeking repeal of the state's newly enacted statute legal

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I Can Clearly See You’re Nuts: ACORN’s Insane Civil Suit

I'm pretty sure I can struggle my way out. First I'll just reach in and pull my legs out, now I'll pull my arms out with my face. – Homer J. Simpson, The Simpsons, Bart Gets An Elephant, 1F15

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