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War on Terror Provides Backdrop for Many First Amendment Challenges in 2002

Media Institute Book Offers Thorough Analyses of Actions Affecting Free Speech, Press

FOR RELEASE: May 30, 2003

Contact: Richard T. Kaplar
The Media Institute


Washington, May 30, 2003 - A flurry of government activity since the terrorist attacks against America in 2001 has created a new atmosphere regarding press freedom, including greater difficulty obtaining information, according to a new book released by The Media Institute. The First Amendment and the Media - 2003: Free Speech and Free Press Since Sept. 11 examines a broad range of actions that affected the First Amendment rights of media speakers in 2002.

The annual book addresses government actions that impact the First Amendment at all levels, from local to federal. A new section devoted to access to information is included this year, along with the categories of online issues, broadcasting and cable, commercial speech, press restrictions, and general media restrictions. The 23 contributing authors offer expert analyses of issues ranging from courtroom access to hearings to Internet community standards to campaign finance reform in the book's 52 chapters. The book is published under the auspices of the Cornerstone Project, a Media Institute program celebrating the First Amendment.

"The government reacted to Sept. 11 in ways that put new pressures on the First Amendment and caught the media off guard," said Richard T. Kaplar, vice president of The Media Institute and editor of the book. "The challenge now facing government officials is to respect freedom of speech and press while maintaining national security."

Copies of The First Amendment and the Media - 2003 are available for review by working journalists, or may be purchased for $34.95 each (plus $5 shipping) from the Publications Department, The Media Institute, Suite 301, 1000 Potomac St., NW, Washington, D.C., 20007. Orders may also be placed by phone at (202) 298-7512, or by fax at (202) 337-7092.

The Media Institute is a nonprofit research organization specializing in communications policy and First Amendment issues. For more information visit the Institute's Web site at