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ERIC Number: ED163517
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Aug
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
A Comparison of News and Editorial Coverage of Speech and Press Decisions of the Supreme Court.
Hale, F. Dennis
To determine whether newspapers are equally responsive to threats to freedom of speech and to freedom of the press, the news and editorial coverage by ten daily newspapers of 40 United States Supreme Court decisions concerning free expression was analyzed. The 20 free-press and 20 free-speech cases were randomly selected from over 70 free-expression decisions filed by the Court from 1966 to 1975. The speech cases concerned the right of individuals to communicate directly with other individuals through speech, signs, symbols, or leaflets. The press cases dealt with the right to communicate indirectly using a form of mass communication. Newspaper stories were examined for three days and editorials for ten days after the decisions had been filed. The ten newspapers combined gave significantly greater coverage to the press decisions, reporting them 85% of the time as opposed to 60% of the time for speech cases. Press decisions were mentioned in headlines 65% of the time, compared to 25% for speech cases. The newspapers editorialized on press decisions 24% of the time to 8% for speech decisions, and tended to favor free expression significantly more often in editorials about the press than in those about speech. (FL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (61st, Seattle, Washington, August 13-16, 1978)