Who Watches the Watchers? Free Speech and Free Press in the Electronic Age
2014 David A. Garfinkel Essay Scholarship
The 2014 David A. Garfinkel Essay Scholarship topic of Who Watches the Watchers? Free Speech and Free Press in the Electronic Age can act in the classroom as a prepared Document Based Question. It was prepared in 2013 and the resources have not been updated since that time. For more information about recent legal developments, consult national and state newspapers, legal databases, and your librarian.
The 1st Amendment to the United States Constitution protects both citizens’ rights of free speech and the power of the press to obtain information and publish it without government censorship. This supports the free exchange of ideas which is considered the bedrock of political democracy. Decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court have upheld the crucial role of free speech and free press in American society.
Recent revelations in the press and by whistleblowers have produced information about the existence of secret government initiatives that now routinely gather huge quantities of data on Americans. These disclosures reveal the activities of courts not subject to scrutiny in the press. Such courts have apparent jurisdiction to make determinations involving privacy, secrecy and surveillance. Recently, the 4th Circuit U.S Court of Appeals held that reporters may be compelled to disclose the names of sources who provide them with classified information
This activity meets the following guidelines of New York State’s Common Core Social Studies Framework (2017):