The First Amendment and the Media/Nonmedia Distinction:

I was also pleased by this footnote from the Fourth Circuit's free speech / funeral picketing decision:

Neither the Supreme Court nor this Court has specifically addressed the question of whether the constitutional protections afforded to statements not provably false should apply with equal force to both media and nonmedia defendants. The Second and Eighth Circuits, however, have rejected any media/nonmedia distinction. Like those two circuits, we believe that the First Amendment protects nonmedia speech on matters of public concern that does not contain provably false factual assertions. Any effort to justify a media/nonmedia distinction rests on unstable ground, given the difficulty of defining with precision who belongs to the "media."

Sounds exactly right to me.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. The Free Press Clause:
  2. The First Amendment and the Media/Nonmedia Distinction:
  3. Free Speech and Funeral Picketing: