Would You Ask Turkeys to Mandate Thanksgiving? The Dismal Politics of Legislative Transparency

J.H. Snider, spring 2008 fellow, discusses problems with government transparency, and the feasibility of potential solutions in two papers. Paper #1: The Dismal Politics of Legislative Transparency The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prevents legislators from infringing on the…

Orwell Meets Nixon: When and Why “The Press” Became “The Media”

A paper by Martin F. Nolan, fall 2004 fellow, explores President Nixon’s antagonistic relationship with the press. He argues that Nixon sought to disarm his critics by changing “the press,” a Constitutionally protected form of expression, into “the media,” a…

Covering the CIA in Times of Crisis: Obstacles and Strategies

A paper by Ted Gup, fall 2003 fellow, examines how the U.S. press fared in covering the intelligence community before and after two catastrophic intelligence failures—9/11 and the yet-to-be-found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. It also explores the obstacles…

Rainbow’s End: Public Support for Democracy in the New South Africa

A paper by Richard Morin, fall 1999 fellow, considers South Africans’ sense of optimism and uncertainty regarding future democratic progress. Do they expect the transformation brought about by Nelson Mandela and Bishop Desmond Tutu to continue, or to pass into…

Two Commanders-in-Chief: Free Expression’s Most Severe Test

A paper by Betty Houchin Winfield, spring 1991 fellow, examines free speech and press freedom in the U.S. during wartime. If wartime governments are more autocratic, writes Winfield, then it is assumed that presidents will take a more authoritative stance…

The Nixon Memo

This paper by Marvin Kalb, Edward R. Murrow Professor of Practice Emeritus, was first presented as the keynote address at the Shorenstein Center’s fifth anniversary celebration. He discussed President Nixon’s complicated relationship with the press, focusing on a memo Nixon…

Through the Revolving Door: Blurring the Line between the Press and Government

A paper by Lewis W. Wolfson, spring 1990 fellow, explores the implications when government officials change careers to become journalists. What is the impact on press freedom and public policy? Wolfson conducted 62 interviews, including veterans of the Washington press…

Changing Lanes on the Inside Track: The Career Shuttle Between Journalism, Politics and Government

A paper by James McEnteer, spring 1990 fellow, evaluates the phenomenon of the revolving door between journalism and politics or government. McEnteer challenges the idea that moving from government roles to journalism is always a conflict of interest. Journalists should…

Expanding the Public’s Right to Know: Access to Settlement Records under the First Amendment

A paper by John J. Watkins, spring 1990 fellow, explores a question often confronted by the lower courts: whether the First Amendment right of access extends to settlement agreements and related documents in civil cases. These records are not inconsequential…