First Amendment

University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications‘ Brechner Center for Freedom of Information Director Frank LoMonte commented on a federal appeals court decision affirming a student publication’s free press rights, in “Even ‘Offensive’ Publications Have Free Press Rights,” published on July 25 in Inside Higher Ed. The U.S. Court…

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Posted: July 26, 2019

Clay Calvert, director of the Marion B. Brechner First Amendment Project at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, was quoted in “Trump Praises First Amendment a Day After Attacking ‘Phony’ Press” published in The Washington Post on March 21. The article features President Trump’s executive order supporting…

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Posted: March 22, 2019

By Clay Calvert Kendrick Lamar won a Pulitzer Prize last year and Eminem set a record in 2019 for streams on Spotify. But the acceptance and embrace of rap music in mainstream culture isn’t shared by everyone – and that sometimes includes the police. Controversy between the police and rappers has gone on at least…

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Posted: February 15, 2019

The presidential election of 2016 brought with it multiple accusations of so-called fake news, along with actual examples of fictional stories, such as one that spawned a real-life shooting at a Washington, D.C. pizzeria. With a flood of information from countless sources, it’s increasingly challenging to combat fake news and…

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Posted: April 27, 2018

By Clay Calvert Thousands of high school students across the nation left their classes March 14 precisely at 10 a.m. for 17 minutes. The walkout served two purposes: to honor the 17 people – including 14 students – killed exactly one month ago at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland,…

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Posted: March 29, 2018

As the current presidential administration continues to wage war against the media, either through “fake news” finger pointing, defamation cases or limiting access to public information, there are superheroes behind the scenes protecting journalism and journalists’ right to access information and share it with the public. Charles Tobin, B.S. Journalism…

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Posted: August 30, 2017

  Frank LoMonte, director of the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Brechner Center for Freedom of Information, commented in the article “Windowpanes Without Messages” published in Inside Higher Ed on Aug. 25. The article focuses on the Ohio State University ban on decorations in dormitory windows. The…

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Posted: August 29, 2017

Research & Insights

Is Spam Free Speech?

The protection of free speech guaranteed in the First Amendment is one of the most cherished — and familiar —rights Americans enjoy. Less well-known to the average citizen are legislative acts and various court rulings that make distinctions between types of “free speech.” In an age when smartphones and social…

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Posted: August 22, 2017

By Clay Calvert College campuses often are crucibles for free-speech controversies. The first eight months of 2017 were no exception, witnessing multiple incidents where conservative speakers like Ann Coulter and Milo Yiannopoulos drew opposition, anger and sometimes violence. So what happens when a controversial person – perhaps a non-student who…

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Posted: August 22, 2017

Jasmine McNealy, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Telecommunication assistant professor, is the author of “Spam and the First Amendment Redux: Free Speech Issues in State Regulation of Unsolicited Email” recently published in Communication Law & Policy, Volume 22, 2017 – Issue 3. The article focuses on unsolicited…

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Posted: August 2, 2017

By Clay Calvert President Donald Trump’s fondness for criticizing news organizations, “heckling journalists” and spouting points of public policy via his Twitter account is clear. News of his nomination of Christopher Wray to be the next FBI director, for example, came by tweet. His tweets carry the stamp of government…

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Posted: June 27, 2017

By Austin Vining The federal government recently established a department tasked with identifying truth. Department officials search for errors in news, entertainment, the arts and books and fix them — all according to what they believe to be true. While this scenario plays out in George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” it’s…

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Posted: June 21, 2017