ASNE argues for First Amendment right to record police

ASNE joined 62 other media organizations and companies in an amicus brief, which asks the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to hold, for the first time, that there is a First Amendment-based right to record the activities of the police. 

Letter to DHS against social media password requirement

​ASNE joined 44 other organizations in a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly that opposes any proposals to force those entering the United States to provide login information for social media accounts as a condition of entry into the country. This builds on a statement many of these same groups, including ASNE and about 50 individuals, issued Feb. 21.

ASNE opposes DHS social media password requirement

ASNE joined more than 50 nonprofit organizations and about 90 individuals on a joint statement saying "NO" to any proposed requirement that travelers disclose their social media passwords at the border before entering the United States. This concept has been discussed at several times and in several ways over the past few months, most recently when the Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly suggested to a congressional panel that it could be a condition of entry for noncitizens.

Copyright issues on Sideline Access mobile app

&‹What if a mobile app that allows high schools to provide content related to their sports teams posts an article from your news organization without your permission? Would this be an infringement of copyright? You can read the comments by Kevin Goldberg, ASNE's legal counsel, in our latest ASNE Legal Hotline

ASNE and others argue for right to record police activity

ASNE and 30 other media organizations and companies filed an amicus brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in a case that will dictate the extent to which citizens have the right to record the activities of police, regardless of the intention or motive behind recording the video. The case is the latest in a series of lawsuits brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania on behalf of individuals arrested by the Philadelphia police officers while in the act of recording officers. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania dismissed the ACLU's lawsuit and held that there is no First Amendment right to such recording absent some "expressive conduct" beyond just capturing the recording. 

ASNE stands ready to defend First Amendment rights, strong democracy

Columbia, Mo. (Nov. 9, 2016) - After this long, tortuous election season, Americans went to the polls Tuesday to exercise their right to vote, perhaps the ultimate expression of free speech in the United States. However, throughout this campaign, Americans have seen extraordinary assaults on their First Amendment rights to free speech, freedom of religion and freedom of the press. These assaults have come from many political spectrums and walks of life. At some universities, students expressed outrage at the practice of chalking, writing messages on campus sidewalks, when those messages were in support of a specific candidate. At a religious-based campus, a university official censored a student who wrote a column in opposition to GOP nominee Donald Trump. It has been suggested that some political candidates' rhetoric amounts to hate speech and, thus, should be censored. We have heard instances of Americans being targeted because they practice a specific religion. We have also heard proposals to weaken the nation's libel laws to make it easier for individuals to sue the press. Elected officials, as well as candidates, have tried to control their messages by refusing to talk to journalists, attacking journalists personally and sometimes harassing journalists' sources. And on it goes.

Copyright-related issues: crowd-sourced and social media content

Do you ever wonder what you can and can't do with crowd-sourced content whether it comes directly from the public or lives on social media? You can refer to our latest ASNE Legal Hotline question and answer regarding copyright-related issues

Remember, ASNE members can run their legal questions by Kevin Goldberg, ASNE's legal counsel, by emailing with the subject line "ASNE Legal Hotline." Goldberg will respond, and both the question and answer will be posted on the hotline page. Those who don't want their question made public can contact Goldberg directly at or 703-812-0462.

ASNE calls on states enact laws protecting student journalism


The American Society of News Editors has unanimously adopted a resolution that welcomes new state laws in Illinois, Maryland and North Dakota that protects the ability of college and high-school journalists to write about issues of public concern. ASNE calls on all other states to follow its lead.
The resolution states that "a free and independent student media is an essential ingredient of a civically healthy campus community, conveying the skills, ethics and values that prepare young people for a lifetime of participatory citizenship."

ASNE joins brief arguing First Amendment rights trump right of publicity

Among the questions that ASNE Legal Counsel Kevin Goldberg is often asked, via the ASNE Legal Hotline or otherwise, is how to protect against legal issues when seeking to use photos and videos not shot by a publication's own photographer. It's not easy, and that's why ASNE joined a brief, which seeks to maintain a broad protection for use of photos and videos in non-commercial situations. 

ASNE: Constitutional rights must be protected in Apple-FBI case

ASNE understands the FBI's interest in learning as much as possible about the events that led Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, to kill 14 people last December. However, the precedents set in this case might have significant ramifications on First Amendment protections offered to journalists and other private citizens. Our hope is that any resolution creates a clear standard that appropriately protects the constitutional rights of anyone involved, especially as such standards already exist in the law.