Coalition News

FAC Supports CA Senate Bill 629 to Protect Members of the Press During Protests

The First Amendment Coalition supports a California bill that would help ensure members of the news media covering protests are protected from physical assault, arrest, or obstruction of their news gathering activities by law enforcement agencies. FAC, together with the California News Publisher’s Association, California Black Media, Ethnic Media Services and ImpreMedia, submitted a letter in support of Senate Bill 629, which as amended on June 25, 2020, would: ensure an authorized member of the

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FAC to California Judiciary: End Court Secrecy Now

The First Amendment Coalition today called on California judicial leaders to put a stop to widespread court secrecy that has occurred throughout the coronavirus pandemic and ensure the public and press have access to hearings and trials as required under the First Amendment and California law. In a letter to the California Judicial Council, the rule-making body of the state’s court system, FAC and its partners cite numerous examples of secret proceedings that have taken place since

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FAC Joins Nationwide Coalition Condemning Police Attacks on Journalists

The First Amendment Coalition signed a letter, along with 115 news and press freedom organizations, submitted today to Minnesota officials by the Reporters Committee to Freedom of the Press, condemning police use of force against journalists covering the protests and civil unrest in response to the police killing of George Floyd.  The letter emphasizes that law enforcement does not have legal immunity when officers violate clearly established rights under the First Amendment. And while the

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California Supreme Court Stops Cities From Charging Steep Fees for Video Redactions

The California Supreme Court today issued an opinion preventing government agencies from charging the public for editing and compiling police body camera footage and other electronic records before the records are released. The First Amendment Coalition and the California News Publishers Association filed an amicus brief in the case, National Lawyers Guild v. City of Hayward. We urged the court to find that agencies cannot require members of the public to pay for redaction costs regardless

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How we are battling government secrecy

A letter from Executive Director David Snyder In response to COVID-19, many government agencies have moved to close off public and press access to their inner workings.  The government’s urgent need to protect public health, however, should not and cannot come at the expense of the public’s right to know. And so FAC is working harder than ever. In the past few months we have: Led a coalition to push back hard against courts that

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