On Access: The First Amendment Crisis You Probably Haven’t Heard About

The decline of proactive litigation by news organizations has had a profound negative effect on the public’s access to information.

Anyone who follows the media knows that a seismic shift is underway in the way Americans produce and consume journalism. The financial decline of the legacy media has been exhaustively documented — its causes, effects and larger social import — and the rise of independent, startup and nonprofit media over the same period has been similarly chronicled.

But one aspect of this evolution has gone largely overlooked — one with huge ramifications not just for journalism but for First Amendment freedoms generally: the involvement of lawyers in helping journalists do what they do. That relationship, once robust, has for years been on life support, at least at the local level. Continue reading the full article originally published in The American Lawyer.