Jonathan Peters

Jonathan Peters is a media lawyer and the Frank Martin Fellow at the Missouri School of Journalism. He blogs about free speech for the Harvard Law & Policy Review, and he has written on legal issues for The Atlantic, Slate, The Nation, Wired, PBS, and the Columbia Journalism Review. Peters practices law in his time off campus, and he is the First Amendment Chair of the Civil Rights Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association.

by Jonathan Peters

Edson C. Tandoc, Jr., a Fulbright Scholar at the Missouri School of Journalism, co-authored this post. Earlier this month we published a scholarly article in Quorum, the online edition of the N.Y.U. Journal of Legislation and Public Policy, exploring the definition of a journalist. We culled a variety of sources that conceptualize a journalist in […] more »

by Jonathan Peters

Last year, a former student contacted me to ask if her news outlet, a network affiliate, could use a video clip from a Comedy Central show to introduce a segment about election-year campaign spending.  The purpose of the segment was to comment on the show’s many attempts to raise awareness of the rules that govern […] more »

by Jonathan Peters

Since the 1970s, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has regulated indecency in broadcast programming. It has enforced laws that prohibit broadcasters from airing, at least during certain hours, any “patently offensive” sexual or excretory material. And since the 1970s, broadcast outlets have attacked the FCC for doing so. They’ve challenged the agency’s authority, as well […] more »

by Jonathan Peters

If you’re a self-described journalist who posts on Internet message boards, then you’re not protected by the reporter’s shield law. So says, at least, the Supreme Court of New Jersey. Earlier this week, it handed down Too Much Media LLC v. Hale [PDF file], a case featuring porn, cybersecurity and death threats. (What more could […] more »

by Jonathan Peters

Jonathan Tasini’s at it again. Last week, the writer and labor activist declared war on Arianna Huffington, first promising to make her “a pariah in the progressive community” and then threatening to make her life “a living hell.” He went on, in a splendid variation of Howard Beale’s “I’m mad as hell” speech, to say […] more »

by Jonathan Peters

This week MediaShift will be running an in-depth special report on Online Privacy, including a timeline of Facebook privacy issues, a look at how political campaigns retain data, and a 5Across video discussion. Stay tuned all week for more stories on privacy issues. Click here to see the entire series Online privacy is the new […] more »

by Jonathan Peters

Click here to read all the year-end roundups This year’s been a big one. Spain won the World Cup. Lindsay Lohan went to jail. Don Draper married his secretary. And, of course, the federal courts waded into some of the thorniest legal issues affecting new media. Three cases stand out from the rest of 2010’s […] more »

by Jonathan Peters

For the last few months, Andrew Shirvell, an assistant attorney general of Michigan, has crusaded against the “radical homosexual agenda” of 21-year-old Chris Armstrong, the openly gay student-body president of the University of Michigan. Shirvell has verbally attacked Armstrong at campus events, demonstrated outside the student’s home, and has bashed the kid on his personal […] more »