Is Government Surveillance Censoring Journalism? - Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal
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Is Government Surveillance Censoring Journalism?

Is Government Surveillance Censoring Journalism?

A survey by writers’ organization PEN American Center is shedding light on how recent revelations regarding the extent of government surveillance of email and phone records may have a chilling effect on journalism as we know it: Writers are not only deeply concerned about pervasive government surveillance, but are also engaging in self-censorship as a result.

More than a quarter of those surveyed said they have avoided, or are seriously considering avoiding, controversial topics in their work, while 28% said they had curtailed or avoided activities on social media; 24% steered clear of certain topics in phone calls or email; and 16% reported that they had avoided writing or speaking on a particular topic.

Katelyn Patton

Kate Patton is a second-year law student at the Fordham University School of Law and a staff member of the Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal. Kate is also a Research & Conference Fellow for the Fordham Intellectual Property Institute, an Executive Board member of the Media & Entertainment Law Society and a Privacy Educator for Fordham's Center on Law and Information Policy. A graduate of Binghamton University, Kate's strong interest in media law stems from her love of magazines, legal internship at Time Inc. and previous work experience overseeing government affairs for the trade association of business media companies.