The Fourth Estate and the Constitution: Freedom of the Press in America

Lucas A. Powe, JR., Author University of California Press $39 (357p) ISBN 978-0-520-07290-9
Powe, who teaches government and law at the University of Texas, examines media rights in this admirable survey. With revealing insights into such historical events as the genesis of the Bill of Rights and the development of the idea that truth is an acceptable defense against libel (it was not always), he explores the four major legal issues that confront the press: libel, prior restraint, access to sources and information, and antitrust law. Subsidiary concerns addressed here include protection of the national security, news leaks, shield and sunshine laws, and the chain ownership of media outlets. Much of the law in these areas, he points out, has developed since the 1964 landmark case New York Times v. Sullivan , in which constitutional protection was extended to freedom of expression. Powe's attempt to limit his use of legal jargon is not conspicuously successful; this detailed volume will likely appeal most to lawyers. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1991
Release date: 05/01/1991
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 372 pages - 978-0-520-91316-5
Paperback - 357 pages - 978-0-520-08038-6
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