Media Law Center for Ethics and Access | 1560623006 | Kent State University

Media Law Center for Ethics and Access

Director of Kent State University Media Law Center for Ethics and Access Shares Views on Brian Williams' Reinstatement

There’s no sense piling on former NBC News anchor Brian Williams, even as he has been effectively demoted from the network’s Nightly News to its MSNBC cable operation. He has said the last few months have been “torture.”

What’s difficult to understand is NBC’s decision to reinstate Williams on cable news starting in August.

Data Minefields?
Big data. Big search. Big opportunities. Big complications. And big implications for the First Amendment, privacy, information security and the media. This year's Poynter KSU Media Ethics Workshop will go beyond the headlines to explore this issue from multiple perspectives.

"To the frustration of civic do-gooders and journalists alike, “overly broad” has become the new mantra of government officials in denying requests for public records in Ohio. It has become difficult, critics say, to fashion requests to obtain records that are seen as specific enough to please some officials and lawyers who control the release of records."

In an article published on March 17, 2014, Randy Ludlow of the Columbus Dispatch explored the recent phenomenon of public record request refusals citing "overly broad" as the reason for the denial.

In response to an increasing number of issues dealing with plagiarism and fabrication, the American Copy Editors Society (ACES) produced and released a free e-book to address these issues.

KSU's own Jan Leach worked on the book as part of the National Summit on Fabrication and Plagiarism. Both she and the KSU Media Law Center for Ethics and Access are mentioned as contributors.

Download the book.

LORAIN - A pledge signed by every City Council members threatening them with prosecution if they disclose what was said in executive sessions is an illegal gag order designed to muzzle public officials, according to an Ohio Sunshine Law expert.

"Even though they signed, it's not enforceable," said attorney Tim Smith, a former Akron Beacon Journal managing editor, retired Kent State University journalism professor and Sunshine Law expert. "They are free to talk about what went on in executive sessions if they wish. And there's no repercussions for it."


“There are certain things the public isn’t supposed to know at certain times,” Riley said during an often-contentious Monday meeting with Chronicle Editor Andy Young, Chronicle reporters and Mayor Chase Ritenauer. “This is not a law that is subject to interpretation. It is clear.”

"For all our cultural kinship, Britain and the United States approach expressive freedom in ways that are often sharply different. The Brits have no constitutional free-speech guarantee comparable to the First Amendment. Their government muzzles the press even without court approval.  Official oversight of news media isn't unthinkable, as it is here, and right now, in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal..." Read the full article here.  

Perhaps Liane Membis, the Wall Street Journal intern fired recently for inventing quotes, started out with noble intentions. As Miss Black America-Connecticut last year, she spoke against high illiteracy rates among African American children and of wanting to represent black women “in a positive light.” We’d assume that Membis, a Yale graduate, brought these ideals to her internship at one of the nation’s most prominent dailies.

Connie Schultz is a nationally syndicated columnist for Creators Syndicate, and a regular essayist for Parade Magazine. She won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for columns that judges praised for providing “a voice for the underdog and the underprivileged."

The 8th annual Poynter KSU Media Ethics Workshop will be Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012 in JMC's state-of-the-art First Energy Auditorium in Franklin Hall. Theme for this year is political media ethics. Plan to join Poynter faculty, media professionals and others for this daylong training opportunity. See last year's sports media ethics Workshop archives here.