Rights in Conflict: Report of the Twentieth Century Fund Task Force on Justice, Publicity, and the First Amendment

Rights in Conflict: Report of the Twentieth Century Fund Task Force on Justice, Publicity, and the First Amendment

Rights in Conflict: Report of the Twentieth Century Fund Task Force on Justice, Publicity, and the First Amendment

Rights in Conflict: Report of the Twentieth Century Fund Task Force on Justice, Publicity, and the First Amendment

Excerpt

The Twentieth Century Fund has long been concerned about the conflict between our constitutionally mandated free press and the rights of both individuals and institutions in our society.In 1967, a Fund study— Crime and Publicity , byAlfred Friendly andRonald L. Goldfarb—dealt with the free press— fair trial issue.Later, an independent Fund Task Force deliberated over governmental attempts to restrict or interfere with the freedom of the press; the Report of the Task Force, Press Freedoms under Pressure , recommended a number of measures to strengthen the press against government infringement.Although those recommendations had considerable impact, the problem explored by Friendly and Goldfarb has become more troublesome and complex in recent years, leading the trustees of the Fund to establish a new and independent Task Force for the purpose of examining and reporting on the specific conflict between the public's right to know and the individual's right to a fair trial.

Some absolutists are firmly convinced that the First Amendment provides blanket protection to the press.Others are equally convinced that the guarantee of a fair trial that appears in the Bill of Rights has an overriding importance. In setting up the Task Force, the Fund sought to stimulate a full and frank debate that might lead to more thorough . . .

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