First Five Newsletter: July 25, 2019

First Five
Biden wants to reinstate daily televised press briefings, a dismissed lawsuit against Facebook and more.

First Five Column

Gene Policinski takes a look at the recent Supreme Court ruling that decided against providing the public with access to records from private companies given to federal agencies if the agency obtained the information with a promise to keep it secret. Read the column. A plain text version is available here.


In a recent speech, former Vice President Joe Biden said he would reinstate daily televised press briefings at the White House, the Pentagon and the State Department that have been largely abandoned during the Trump administration. Additionally, in a survey conducted by POLITICO, 21 Democratic candidates responded they would take the same action.


A U.S. district court dismissed a lawsuit filed against Facebook by a Russian news outlet called the Federal Agency of News. The agency, which has been condemned by U.S. authorities for spreading disinformation and interfering with the 2016 election, asserts that Facebook suppressed its right to free speech when the platform shut down its page in April 2018. In its ruling, the court decided this argument “lacks merit” due to Facebook’s status as a private entity that does not have to comply with the First Amendment.


Nonprofit organization PEN America met the legal requirements to continue its lawsuit against President Trump. The organization alleges that the president unconstitutionally suppressed the free press by threatening to deny broadcast licenses to news outlets whose coverage he perceived as negative, revoking CNN correspondent Jim Acosta’s White House credentials and attempting to injure the commercial relationship between the U.S. Postal Service and Amazon because The Washington Post is owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.


A new study from the Center for Media Engagement found that those moderating uncivil comment sections for news websites lost trust in their outlet’s credibility.


John Palfrey writes for The New York Times about his conviction that free expression can not only coexist with diversity on campus, but also foster inclusion and conversation between students of different backgrounds.

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