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Downtown CLE- Freedom of the Press: Protections and Threats

March 14, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Freedom of the Press: Protections and Threats

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12:00-1:00 p.m., Jones Waldo (170 Main St Suite 1500, Salt Lake City, UT 84101)
“Freedom of the press” in America is not a single, clear-cut constitutional freedom, but instead a mishmash of disparate component parts. These have historically included the institutional media’s relative financial strength, its goodwill with the public, a codependent relationship with government officials, a variety of legal protections, and political norms and traditions respecting the press and its role in our democracy. These pillars of press freedom have varied in their strength over the years, but in combination have formed a structure in which a vibrant and proactive press is able to inform us about matters of public importance and keep our government accountable.  Recently, however, each of these pillars has weakened considerably.  This CLE will explore the changing contours of press freedom in the United States. It will investigate the ways in which significant safeguards have deteriorated, examine the role the press itself has played in this deterioration, and address potential changes yet to come in the Trump administration. The goal will be to consider both the future of protection for newsgathering and the ramifications of waning protection.

1 hour CLE (pending). $15 lunch cost or a free no-lunch option.


RonNell Andersen Jones, Lee E. Teitelbaum Endowed Chair of Law, University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law
Professor RonNell Andersen Jones is Professor of Law at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law. A former newspaper reporter and editor, Professor Jones teaches, researches and writes on legal issues affecting the press and on the intersection between the media and the courts, with a particular focus on the U.S. Supreme Court. Her work on press issues has appeared in numerous top journals, including Michigan Law Review, Minnesota Law Review, UCLA Law Review, and Harvard Law Review Forum. A regular speaker at media law and First Amendment conferences, she served as the director of a widely cited nationwide study of the frequency and impact of subpoenas served upon newspapers and television newsrooms. Professor Jones’s scholarship also addresses emerging areas of social media law and issues of media access and government transparency.

Professor Jones graduated first in her law school class and clerked for the Honorable William A. Fletcher on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the United States Supreme Court.  Prior to entering academia, she was an attorney in the appellate division of Jones Day, where her work focused on Supreme Court litigation and included major constitutional and First Amendment cases.
Before joining the faculty at the University of Utah, Professor Jones was Professor of Law and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Research at Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark Law School, where she was twice named Professor of the Year. As a Distinguished Faculty Fellow at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, she team-taught an annual course about the United States Supreme Court with Justice O’Connor.


March 14, 2017
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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College of Law


Jones Waldo
170 Main St Suite 1500
Salt Lake City, UT 84101 United States
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