On Wednesday’s class, (February 23rd) I will be presenting a case study over the Supreme Court Case, Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier. This was a landmark case in 1988 which ultimately resulted in giving school districts the power to censor their school newspapers. I will begin with a background of the First Amendment as well as touch on the evolution of the First Amendment (specifically in regards to free speech and free press in the newspaper industry). I will then introduce the case of Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, explain the background of the case, the decision of the Supreme Court, and talk about some issues raised since the Supreme Court’s ruling. I will also try to answer some questions that have become major issues since the ruling of this case. These questions involve Public Forum and constraints on other newspaper industries besides school newspapers. Finally, I will finish my presentation with a summary of my findings as well as the main conclusion I have come to regarding “Free Speech and the First Amendment in the news industry.”
As you can probably infer through my summary, my main argument of this presentation is to prove (through my research of this case) that protection from the First Amendment in the news industry is not equal for all different types of newspapers. Through our discussion questions, we will converse about whether this non-universal protection of the First Amendment is fair or unfair. (Most of our opinions probably being that it is unfair, which I agree with.). Lastly, I hope to have by the end of this presentation, successfully answered the weekly question of “What are the constraints on free speech and the First Amendment for the news industry?” I feel as if there is no way to answer that question without understanding the Supreme Court case of Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier since this case now sets the standard for newspaper censoring in most states. Those reasons and many more whcih you will hear about on Wednesday, are why I have chosen to present a case study specifically over this Supreme Court case.