When government employees are not allowed to speak to the media

Freedom of speech and freedom of the press are both abridged when government agencies prohibit their employees from speaking with the media on matters of public import. An unqualified ban on public employees granting media interviews, “especially when backed up by the threat of adverse personnel action, remains presumptively unconstitutional as a prior restraint on…

New Voices, GA – Protecting high school press freedoms

High school journalists across the country have long provided news reporting, political and social commentary and valuable perspective on issues of public concern to their readership. In an age of dwindling commercial print media, student journalists also serve as an important source of local news, not only for their classmates but for their surrounding community….

Student press freedoms survey

Student Press Freedoms Survey If you are a high school journalism student or advisor to high school media publications in Georgia, you are invited to complete this confidential survey co-sponsored by the First Amendment Clinic and the Georgia Scholastic Press Association to help us better understand your experiences.

Open records and meetings in Georgia

The Georgia First Amendment Foundation’s “Red Book” provides a plain-language guide to Georgia’s Open Records Act (ORA) and Open Meetings Act (OMA). The Georgia First Amendment Foundation’s “Blue Book” specifically addresses how the Open Records Act applies to law enforcement records. Summaries of Georgia Supreme Court decisions interpreting the ORA and the OMA: Geer v….

Protection of news sources in Georgia & the 11th Circuit

Georgia’s Shield Law, most recently codified at O.C.G.A. § 24-5-508, and the qualified reporters’ privilege recognized by the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (covering Georgia, Alabama and Florida) both protect journalists, in many instances, from being compelled as a third-party witness or from having to produce their work product as evidence in a legal…

Citizens’ right to record the police

Under the First Amendment, citizens have the right to record the police performing their duties in public.  This right is essential to informing the public about police activity and holding government accountable for the actions of law enforcement. First Amendment Watch’s Citizen’s Guide to Recording Police On October 9, 2020, the Georgia First Amendment Foundation…