45 Words, 5 Freedoms, 1st Amendment: Add your voice

45 Words, 5 Freedoms, 1st Amendment: Add your voice

Edward Fitzpatrick, RWU director of media and public relations, New England First Amendment Coalition board member and former Providence Journal columnist: Absolutely! The 45 words in the First Amendment guarantee five freedoms: freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom to assemble and freedom to petition the government. But those constitutional guarantees are paper thin if not defended and championed by each generation. In his book “Freedom for the Thought We Hate,” Pulitzer Prize winner Anthony Lewis noted…

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Students could teach president-elect lesson in media law

Students could teach president-elect lesson in media law

Paola Prado, RWU associate professor of journalism and adviser to university’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists: At the time of this writing, it’s been 130 days since the president-elect held a press conference. This break from a 103-year tradition that dates back to Woodrow Wilson leaves members of the Washington press corps to read the tea leaves of realDonaldTrump tweets in search of clues as to the mindset of the next U.S. president. In this brave new world…

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When facts and news diverge

When facts and news diverge

David A. Logan, professor of law and former dean of the RWU School of Law who has studied and written extensively about First Amendment issues: Historically, what information was considered “news” and thus worth publishing was determined by a reporter or editor. The idea was that this provided a screen that would judge not just accuracy but also relevance and context. And indeed, many journalists worked hard to be unbiased in making these determinations, striving toward some version of the…

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What Trump missed on First Amendment and flag burning

What Trump missed on First Amendment and flag burning

Michael J. Yelnosky, professor of law and dean of the RWU School of Law, spoke with Gene Valicenti on the WPRO radio station on Nov. 30 about the 1989 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, in the case of Texas v. Johnson, which held that flag burning was a form of “symbolic speech” protected by the First Amendment. The issue flared to life on Nov. 29 with an early-morning tweet from President-elect Donald J. Trump, who wrote that, “Nobody should be allowed to…

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