Brechner News

Frank LoMonte to Join Yale Law School Discussion on Fighting Employee Gag Rules

The panel focuses on how governments have increasingly imposed gag rules on their employees, barring staff from talking to journalists and providing information only through a public information office.

Posted: September 19, 2021

Frank LoMonte, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Brechner Center for Freedom of Information director, will be a member of the “Fighting ‘Censorship by PIO’” four-person virtual panel at the Access & Accountability 2021: Seize the Day Conference sponsored by the Yale Law School Information Society Project on Oct. 2. The panel focuses on how governments have increasingly imposed gag rules on their employees, barring staff from talking to journalists and providing information only through a public information office. With their careers on the line, employees have little incentive to litigate their speech rights, leaving the public blind to what the…

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Trump Can’t Beat Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in Court – But the Fight Might be Worth More Than a Win

Former President Donald Trump knows his First Amendment lawsuits against the social media companies can’t win in court. Here’s why – and why even his most ardent supporters don’t really want him to.

Posted: July 9, 2021

This article by Brechner Center Director Frank LoMonte originally appeared in The Conversation on July 9, 2021. Photo credit: “Donald Trump” by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 From condo salesman to reality TV host to leader of the free world, Donald Trump has occupied several lifetimes’ worth of identities over a remarkable career of reinventions. Even so, the billionaire mogul’s latest metamorphosis – into a consumer-rights plaintiff seeking to regulate big business – is a peculiar one. With a volley of lawsuits against the operators of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, former President Trump is asking the courts to do what tycoon Trump once would have denounced: tell some…

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Legal and Ethical Implications of Student Reporting Laboratories

As the college news publishing environment has changed, researchers wanted to explore what legal and ethical principles and issues affect educators, and which legal and ethical principles and issues most commonly arise when educators serve as de facto publishers.

Posted: July 9, 2021

As the emergence of digital technologies has transformed the news industry, the way that journalism is taught and learned in the college classroom and in campus-based journalism laboratories, or news labs, has changed as well. Traditionally, college journalism students needed to find a summer internship at a professional news outlet or work in a news lab, such as the campus newspaper or radio station, to gain the experience needed to be competitive in the job market after graduation. News labs benefit students and their host institutions by offering students experiential learning opportunities, meeting objectives for service learning, and promoting community…

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Columbia Journalism School Names Sara Ganim a Spencer Education Journalism Fellow

The Brechner Center Hearst Journalism Fellow has been selected as one of four distinguished journalists to be named a Spencer Education Journalism Fellow for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Posted: May 1, 2021

Sara Ganim, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications (UFCJC) Brechner Center Hearst Journalism Fellow, has been selected as one of four distinguished journalists to be named a Spencer Education Journalism Fellow for the 2021-2022 academic year. The Spencer Education Journalism Fellowship at the Columbia Journalism School was launched 14 years ago to enhance education journalism with deep research. The fellows will study and produce significant works of journalism on the state of education across America. Ganim, a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist, joined the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information in July 2019 on a two-year Hearst Journalism Fellowship focused…

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Brechner Center Announces New Reporting Fellowship

The Brechner Center for Freedom of Information announced today the launch of Brechner Reporting Fellows, 10 fellowships for professional journalists experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19.

Posted: April 24, 2020

COVID-19 is having a significant financial impact on U.S. newsrooms, at a time when accurate, unvarnished reporting is more critical than ever. As a result, the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information announced today the launch of Brechner Reporting Fellows, 10 fellowships for professional journalists experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. Fellows will be granted $2,500 to create narrative projects that address, and identify solutions to, persistent problems that interfere with the public’s ability to get information about the workings of government. Applications for the fellowships are now open. More information and application forms are available here: https://brechner.org/brechner-home-2/brechner-reporting-fellowship/. “The fellowships…

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Frank LoMonte Comments on Court’s Student Publication Free Press Decision

Posted: July 26, 2019

University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications‘ Brechner Center for Freedom of Information Director Frank LoMonte commented on a federal appeals court decision affirming a student publication’s free press rights, in “Even ‘Offensive’ Publications Have Free Press Rights,” published on July 25 in Inside Higher Ed. Frank LoMonte The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on July 24 reinstated a lawsuit brought by University of California San Diego student humor publication The Koala alleging that the university violated its free press and free speech rights by barring access to funds after condemning the publication as “repugnant.”  The ruling overturned a 2017 lower court decision to…

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Frank LoMonte Authors Article on Civic Engagement to Protect Student Journalists’ Rights

Posted: September 11, 2018

Frank LoMonte, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Brechner Center for Freedom of Information director, is the author “How Communities Can Increase Civic Engagement by Protecting Their Student Journalists’ Rights to Express Themselves” published in the Brown University Journal, “Reimagining a 21st Century Democracy,” Volume 1, 2018. In the article, LoMonte comments on how journalism-related activities that engage students in current community issues can nourish a lifetime of civic engagement. He discusses two routes at the local level that can protect student journalists’ First Amendment expression of rights. The first is legislative and grassroots activism and the second is…

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Frank LoMonte Featured on Law and Journalism Podcast

Posted: October 30, 2017

Frank LoMonte, director of the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Brechner Center for Freedom of Information, was interviewed for a law and journalism podcast series on The jPod.  In episode four, “Protecting Student Journalists Protects All Journalists,” LoMonte discusses a variety of topics related to law and journalism with independent journalist and jPod creator Jennifer Karchmer. LoMonte talks about the New Voices project he launched as the former executive director of the Student Press Law Center (SPLC) as well as Hazelwood, the landmark 1988 U.S. Supreme Court case that removed protections for student journalists.

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Frank LoMonte Comments on His Experiences Assisting Student Journalists and Teachers on First Amendment Legislation

Posted: October 30, 2017

Frank LoMonte, incoming director of the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Brechner Center for Freedom of Information, was featured in “Breaking the Back of Hazelwood: A Press Lawyer’s Decade-Long Campaign” published on Poynter.org on July 17. The article focuses on the 2007 North Dakota John Wall New Voices Act and LoMonte’s efforts as executive director of the Student Press Law Center (SPLC) in Washington, D.C.. The act provides high school and college students with more free speech protection than their peers receive in most other states. The piece chronicles the efforts of LoMonte and his staff since the legislation passed. They…

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Student Press Law Leader to Head Brechner Freedom of Information Center

Frank LoMonte

Posted: October 30, 2017

The University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications today announced that Frank LoMonte is the new director of the Joseph L. Brechner Center for Freedom of Information. The Brechner Center, located in the College, is a non-profit educational center addressing issues around freedom of information, libel, privacy, prior restraints, “Sunshine” laws, access to courts and other First Amendment issues. LoMonte will be responsible for advancing the Center’s mission around freedom of information and the First Amendment and broaden it to address other media-related legal issues, including investigative and digital journalism, new technologies, policy and regulation. “Frank joins us at a time when…

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