MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (BURRISS) -- Ever since the First Continental Congress, the government has been dealing with leaks of classified information. In fact, the first president of the Congress, Henry Laurens, and the secretary to the foreign affairs committee, Thomas Paine, were forced to resign their offices because secret correspondence was published in Philadelphia newspapers.
Now the defense department is proposing new regulations to both prevent leaks, and to monitor the media for publication of classified information.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (BURRISS) -- In case you haven’t noticed, it’s an election year, and if there’s one thing we’ve come to expect, it’s conflicting statements by candidates on almost every issue imaginable. But it isn’t just the candidates who seem dazed and often confused. On the subject of political advertising, the public seems as mystified as well.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (BURRISS) -- How many of you still have, and use, 8-track tapes? What about 5-and-a-quarter-inch floppy discs? Zip drives? Perhaps a more important question is, what did you do when those media forms fell out of favor and you had to start using a new format? Did you convert your old media or buy all new?
But now we have to ask, “how stable are new media formats?” Ask a dozen people about the stability of optical discs or USB drives, and you’ll get a dozen different answers. Even the experts are divided on the question.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (BURRISS) -- I remember some 20 years ago everyone was concerned about what was called “netiquette,” proper behavior on the Internet. There were dozens or hundreds of web sites with all sorts of lists of what was, and was not, acceptable Internet usage. Unfortunately, all sorts of new technologies have led to all sorts of new etiquette issues.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (BURRISS) -- If you’re looking for a lesson in how not to do journalism, last week’s Supreme Court decision on health care provides a number of lessons.
Did you see the initial reports on CNN and Fox? If you didn’t, well, you didn’t miss much, because they both got it wrong. In their haste to be first with the news, both networks reported the court found the insurance mandate unconstitutional. The reporters apparently just tried to skim through the 193-page opinion in a matter of seconds, and got it totally wrong.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (BURRISS) -- This week, back in 1971, 41 years ago, the government and the news media were engaged in a struggle pitting secrecy against the public's right to know. It also involved what was perhaps the government's first successful attempt to force a newspaper to stop publishing.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (BURRISS) -- It’s amazing sometimes how what we think of as obscure laws can have such unforeseen consequences. For example, all of a sudden the Tennessee Open Meeting law is in the news, with some unexpected results.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (BURRISS) -- We've heard a lot lately about what it takes to be a "real" American. It seems to me that we can get ourselves into a lot of trouble if we start to ignore a few relevant incidents from our past when it comes to telling just what a "real" American is.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (BURRISS) -- The on-going “Occupy” protests, and the protests and demonstrations at the NATO summit in Chicago this week, are once again highlighting the issue of citizens photographing police activities in public places. And citizens have received support from an unlikely source: the United States Department of Justice.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (BURRISS) -- One of the criteria both judges and reporters use in determining whether or not to publish what may be dangerous material is, is the hazard resulting from the publication real, or is it merely theoretical? Unless there is a serious, provable danger, decision-makers almost always come down on the side of publication. This is particularly true in matters of involving debate on public policy.