Communication help needed to write an article on the Newsgathring law about First Amendment rights (Mass Media Law)

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I will expect you to think critically about First Amendment rights as you develop this essay. Four cases
will be presented after these instructions. You are to write your essay on only one of the cases. In your
essay, address the questions posed following the scenario, but make it all flow as though those questions
are thoughts you have and know that they must be considered in arriving at a solution to your journalistic
dilemma. Do not list the questions within your essay and then answer them individually. You must fully
justify the path you choose. In other words, whether you choose a solution that is provided to you within
the case scenario or another one you have come up with on your own, you must explain completely why
you have made this choice. Refer to at least two previously decided cases (precedent) as partial support
for your decision. Remember: The First Amendment is NOT a precedent. Do not start off writing the
scenario as it appears in this assignment simply to add words to your essay. You may begin by briefly
explaining the dilemma you are facing. 

Specifications: Use this list as your checklist 

____ 650–900 words (This is a firm minimum and maximum number of words—not one word
fewer nor one word more.)____ 12-pt. Times New Roman, double spaced
____ 1-inch margins on all four sides of page

____ Contact info and name in header on every page
____ Indent paragraphs 1⁄2 inch with NO extra spacing between paragraphs
____ Include page numbers

The cases follow:
Case 3

To what lengths should you go to get a story?


You are a correspondent for a major television network. Your producers have done a great deal of
research about a national grocery chain; they allege that some of its grocery stores are asking employees
to participate in unsanitary food-handling practices.

This is an important story. Consumers may get sick if they eat tainted food, you argue, and they have a
right to know that a food store is not handling its food in a safe manner. You want to make sure this story
airs on national television. You believe that to get good footage you have to go into the store with
cameras and film the store’s workers actually engaging in unsafe practices. You need proof.

As the television correspondent, how will you get your story?

  1. Call the store manager and request an on-site interview, with cameras. Explain that you have
    some information that consumers will want to know about and give the store a chance to show its
    side of the story.

  2. Just appear at the store one day, without advance notice to the manager. That way you won’t tip
    off the staff that you’re onto a story.


C. Pretend to be looking for a job in the store; complete an employment application and actually get
hired. Then, while you’re at work, use hidden cameras to document the unsafe practices you see.

D. Your own solution to the dilemma. Be specific.

Case 4

Will a negative story be allowed to run in a high school newspaper?


As a high school journalist, you have developed several sources of information about the football camp
held each year at your school. You hear that brutal hazing is part of athletes’ initiation to the team.
Investigating further, you learn that new players are subject to various humiliations and assaults,
sometimes with broomsticks, electrical cords and socks stuffed with tennis balls.

This is a big, important story. Kids are being hurt. You work hard to get your facts right and spend a great
deal of effort checking and double-checking your sources. Your newspaper’s adviser supports you and
your work. But when you are ready to publish the story in the school newspaper, the principal says you
can’t run it unless you make substantial changes. You must eliminate a player’s comments and add a
prepared statement from the football coach. The coach also says this is “negative journalism” and wants
you to hold the story until after the playoffs.

What do you do?

  1. Drop the story. You know you’ve done a good job, but if the principal won’t let you run the story
    as you have prepared it, you won’t run it at all.

  2. Wait until after the playoffs, as the coach requests, and then print the story according to the
    principal’s requirements: Drop the player’s comments and run the football coach’s statement. At
    least some of the information you have uncovered will come out.

  3. Print the story as your principal demands, by dropping the player’s comments and running the
    football coach’s statement. But add an editor’s note at the end of the story, explaining that school
    officials, including the coach, reviewed the story and insisted that changes be made to it before it
    was published.

  4. Your own solution to the dilemma. Be specific. 

Please tell me which case you choose.

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