Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

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Friday, February 2, 2007

Something We May Have Missed About Judith Regan

Even though she caused arguments and acrimony, Steve Kettmann suggests Judith Regan brought some innovation to publishing. She nourished titles that other houses wouldn't touch, because those titles were untested or not packaged correctly. She could sense what the reading public wanted and could put it on the shelves before her competitors did. As he points out, she made one last, dreadful miscalculation, but she wasn't the only one. Read his December essay in sfgate.com here.

February 2, 2007 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Journalism and Mass Comm Students Create Website Devoted To Alexander Selkirk

Students at the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill have joined forces with students at the University of the Andes in Santiago, Chile, to create a website devoted to Alexander Selkirk, generally believed to be the major inspiration for Daniel Defoe's character Robinson Crusoe. Read more about the venture here. For more about the intersection between law and literature in Defoe's work, and about real castaways on the island that might have inspired Defoe's novel, here are some references.

John Bender, Imagining the Penitentiary (University of Chicago Press, 1989)

Joseph Xavier Saintine, The Solitary of Juan Fernandez, or The Real Robinson Crusoe (Kessinger Publishing, 2004 reprint)

Wolfram Schmidgen, Eighteenth-Century Fiction and the Law of Property (Cambridge University Press, 2006)

Tim Severin, In Search of Robinson Crusoe (Perseus, 2003)

Diana Souhami, Selkirk's Island (Harcourt, 2002)

February 2, 2007 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

A Study of FCC Electronic Rulemaking

John M. P. De Figueiredo, UCLA Anderson School of Management, has published "E-Rulemaking: Bringing Data to Theory at the Federal Communications Commission" as a working paper. Here is the abstract.

This paper examines the theoretical promise of e-rulemaking with an examination of data about all filings at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from 1999 to 2004. The paper first reviews the theoretical and empirical literature on e-rulemaking. It then analyzes a dataset of all filings at the FCC using descriptive statistics and regression analysis to determine what drives e-filings and whether the theoretical promise of e-rulemaking is being realized six years into the experiment. The paper finds that though there has indeed been a long-term trend away from paper filings and toward electronic filings, citizen participation seems not to have increased from earlier time periods. Rather, e-filing has become a marginal change to the rulemaking process and merely another avenue by which interested parties file comments.

Download the entire paper from SSRN here.

February 2, 2007 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Joshua Wolf Remains in Jail

Joshua Wolf, the California journalist who has refused to turn over video footage demanded by a federal grand jury in 2005, will remain in jail, possibly until the jury that subpoenaed him ends its work. Mr. Wolf had challenged the grand jury's subpoena, claiming a First Amendment privilege, but the 9th Circuit upheld a lower court ruling that neither federal case law nor the Constitution supported his position in this instance. Mr. Wolf's attorney continues to try to negotiate his release. Read more here.

February 1, 2007 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Niki Taylor Sues E!

Here's the complaint filed in the Niki Taylor v. E! Entertainment Television slander, fraud and breach of contract case. Ms. Taylor alleges that E! misrepresented its reasons for interviewing her for its "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" series.

January 30, 2007 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

A Parade of Reporters at the Libby Trial

Judith Miller, the former New York Times reporter who went to jail for 85 days rather than name her source, Lewis Libby, is scheduled to take the stand today at his trial. Two other journalists, NBC's Tim Russert, and Time magazine's Matthew Cooper, are likely to follow her, in what is often described as a newsperson's nightmare--when the reporter becomes the story. Read more here in a CBS account. Mr. Russert said publicly yesterday that he was not the source of information that Valerie Plame worked at the CIA, as Mr. Libby has claimed. For a British view of the trial, see Alex Massie's article for the Telegraph here.

January 30, 2007 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

More on Zyprexa and Reporters

Bill Childs of TortsProf Blog notes that reporter Alex Berenson was asked to court to enlighten Judge Weinstein concerning anything he might know about the Zyprexa case.

[Thanks to Bill for this tidbit].

January 30, 2007 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, January 29, 2007

Italy May Criminalize Holocaust Denial

Italy may become the next EU nation to criminalize denying the reality of the Holocaust. A bill drafted by the Italian Justice Minister is on its way to the Italian Parliament for debate. Other EU nations with similar legislation already on the books include Germany, France and Austria. Read more here. Note that David Irving, mentioned in this article as having been convicted under the Austrian Holocaust denial law, recently won an appeal and is being released.

January 29, 2007 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Is the Press Complaints Commission Effective?

Owen Gibson argues in a column today in the Guardian that the Press Complaints Commission, and its code, may not be doing the job when it comes to journalistic oversight. He points to the recent Goodman case as well as other press scandals that suggest that reporters eager for scoops have crossed the line and muses that the PCC has been unable to rein them in. But what, if anything, should replace the PCC? Read more here.

January 29, 2007 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)