Cleary Competition Winners Announced

Elias Wright

The UNC Center for Media Law and Policy is thrilled to announce the winners of the second annual James R. Cleary Prize for students who wrote the best published scholarly articles on media law and policy related topics in 2019.

This year’s first place winner is Elias Wright, a 2020 graduate of Fordham University School of Law, for his article, “The Future of Facial Recognition Is Not Fully Known: Developing Privacy and Security Regulatory Mechanisms for Facial Recognition in the Retail Sector,” which was published in the Fordham Intellectual Property, Media and Entertainment Law Journal. The second place winner is Sarah Koslov, a 2020 graduate of Georgetown Law School. Her article, “Incitement and the Geopolitical Influence of Facebook Content Moderation,” was published in the Georgetown Law Technology Review. The third place winner is David A. Fischer, a 2020 graduate of Columbia Law School, for his article, “Dron’t Stop Me Now: Prioritizing Drone Journalism in Commercial Drone Regulation,” which was published in the Columbia Journal of Law and the Arts. Wright will receive $1000;  Koslov will receive $500; and Fischer will receive $250.

Elias Wright is currently working as a law clerk at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP while applying for admission to the New York Bar. His research focuses on the intersection of communications technology, law, and culture, and he is interested in how legal institutions negotiate and are transformed by sociotechnical processes.

While at Fordham, Wright served as a Project Fellow for the Center on Law and Information Policy and studied Information Law with Professor Olivier Sylvain, who was his advisor on the article. Wright was a member of the Fordham Law Review and served as a judicial intern for United States Magistrate Judge Leda Dunn Wettre of the District of New Jersey. He grew up in Montclair, New Jersey, and completed his undergraduate degree in Art History and Religion at Oberlin College in 2014.

Sarah Koslov

At Georgetown Law, Sarah Koslov was a member of the inaugural cohort of the Technology Law Scholars program. She served as the Senior Solicitations Editor for the Georgetown Law Technology Review and was a Public Interest Fellow achieving Special Pro Bono Pledge Recognition. Koslov’s interest in public policy led her to internships with the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, Senate Committee on Finance, and California Office of the Attorney General. She was also a Research Assistant for the Institute for Technology Law & Policy, where she focused on algorithmic fairness and disability rights.

Koslov graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina in 2014. Prior to law school, she worked as a policy analyst for a research center in Washington, D.C., focusing on state Medicaid programs and public health insurance policy.

David A. Fischer

David A. Fischer was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and the Executive Notes Editor of Volume 43 of the Columbia Journal of Law & the Arts.  While attending Columbia Law School, Fischer served as a research assistant for Professor Suzanne B. Goldberg and volunteered to teach Constitutional Law to high school students as a part of Columbia’s High School Law Institute.

During law school, Fischer was a summer associate with Latham & Watkins in New York, interned for the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York in the Criminal Division’s National Security and Cybercrime Section, and for the Hon. Eric N. Vitaliano of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

Prior to attending law school, Fischer worked in marketing for Viacom Media Networks. He attended Cornell University, where he graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in English. He resides in New York City.

You can read more about the Cleary Prize competition here. Please check the Center’s blog for an announcement of next year’s deadline to apply.

Congratulations to the winners!

 

 

 

 

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First Amendment Resources for Journalists

With civil unrest occurring across the country, the First Amendment Legal Network (FELN), of which we are a part, is sharing a few resources for media covering these events.

Attorneys at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP) are also monitoring its legal hotline for journalists, in case reporters have questions about their legal rights at protests, or need help finding an attorney. There are three ways to reach the hotline: rcfp.org/hotline, 800-336-4243, hotline@rcfp.org. The Student Press Law Center also has a hotline for student journalists.

 

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UNC’s Dual Degree Students in Media Law Land Top Internships

Ashley Fox

Although COVID-19 has changed summer plans for some of our dual degree students, UNC’s MA/JD students in media law often intern at some of the nation’s top media organizations, think-tanks, and government agencies. These internships give students a chance to see the media law principles they’re studying in action and also practice and share what they’re learning with these organizations.

Last summer, Ashley Fox, a UNC MA/JD student and fellow with the new UNC Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life (CITAP), interned in the Office of Information Policy (OIP) at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.  The OIP oversees federal agency compliance with the Freedom of Information Act. The office handles FOIA requests submitted by the public, adjudicates appeals from initial FOIA requests, publishes public guidance on FOIA, conducts training for FOIA practitioners in other government agencies, and reviews annual reports from those other agencies.

At OIP, Fox primarily worked with the Appeals team, where she reviewed FOIA appeals submitted by the public. She also helped to update the office’s guidance on certain provisions of FOIA and reviewed proposed legislation for potential effects on FOIA.

During her time at OIP, the U. S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Food Marketing Institute v. Argus Leader Media, which clarified which information held by the government qualifies as “confidential.” If the information is confidential it does not need to be released under FOIA, the Court ruled. As a result, Fox helped draft new guidance for federal agencies on how to apply FOIA’s confidential information exemption.

Fox said the MA/JD program at UNC helped prepare her for her internship because it gave her important background knowledge about FOIA and the importance of government transparency.

“Knowing the importance of laws like FOIA and the government’s interest in protecting certain information helped me appreciate the work conducted by the attorneys in the office when they’re applying FOIA to decide what information to release and what information should be withheld under the law,” she said.

Fox said she saw that the OIP valued government transparency. “The staff and attorneys at OIP who are making decisions under FOIA really do want to get it right. Each day, they’re trying to balance the government’s desire––and sometimes need––to protect certain information with the public’s interest in knowing what their government is doing.”

Fox will intern this summer for a judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. That internship will begin virtually in June.

Isabela Palmieri

Isabela Palmieri, a first-year MA/JD student at UNC, interned at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) in Philadelphia last summer. FIRE is a nonprofit organization that defends students’ and faculty’s First Amendment rights in higher education. Additionally, FIRE educates students, faculty, alumni, trustees, and the public about the threats to these rights.

During her internship at FIRE, Palmieri worked on policy recommendations for colleges and universities. She said that one of her favorite projects was working on a model policy about how universities allocate student fees. The policy focused on ensuring that public colleges and universities were designating fees in a constitutional manner.

At FIRE, Palmieri said she learned more about many different free speech issues in higher education, including the firing of professors for their views, revoking speaker invitations, and lack of recognition for or equal treatment of certain student organizations.

Palmieri said that the UNC MA/JD program in media law was great preparation for her internship at FIRE. She said she felt the program gave her an advantage and helped her stand out in the applicant pool.

“In law school you learn about broad First Amendment ideologies and how the law came to be what it is today, but working at FIRE made me see how those ideals affect higher education – from what student organizations should be recognized on campus, to what information students are allowed or not allowed to learn,” she said.  “It made me realize how much First Amendment values influence our higher education institutions and how important it is to craft laws that protect both education and free speech.”

Palmieri was scheduled to intern at Pepper Hamilton in Philadelphia, but that was cancelled due to COVID-19. Instead, she is taking a summer class and working on media law research, including her work on Anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions laws. Since 2015, twenty-seven states have enacted legislation prohibiting the boycotting of Israel by any entity procuring a government contract, called Anti-BDS laws. The laws raise several First Amendment concerns. Palmieri’s work in this area resulted in a second place student award in the Law Division of the Southeast Regional Colloquium of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).

To support students who seek these summer experiences, the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy administers a grant program to assist students who want experience in the areas of media law and media policy, including working at media organizations, nonprofits, law firms, advocacy groups, and research centers. The summer grant program provides funds to students taking unpaid or low-paying jobs in the fields of media law or media policy.

-Kriste Patrow, UNC Media Law Ph.D. Candidate

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Faculty and Student Opportunities at UNC’s Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life (CITAP)

UNC’s recently launched Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life (CITAP) is looking for faculty and students to join its growing community, including faculty research fellows, faculty affiliates, and graduate student affiliates.

CITAP is a bold initiative at UNC dedicated to researching, understanding, and responding to the growing impact of the internet, social media, and other forms of digital information sharing. CITAP’s goals include tackling broad research questions with real-world implications for information gathering, social media regulation, democratic governance, journalism, and civic understanding. Researchers and affiliates will work to develop a comprehensive understanding of information environments that will serve as a baseline for emergent research focused on the interaction of information and technology, particularly in the context of misinformation, partisanship, polarization, propaganda, and political institutions.

UNC CITAP Faculty Research Fellow

CITAP is seeking a Faculty Research Fellow to start in August 2020 and serve for one academic year. The position is restricted to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill faculty. The Faculty Research Fellow will receive $15,000 in research funds, and will be expected to attend CITAP events and give a public presentation of their work at the end of the fellowship.

The successful applicant will join a vibrant research community anchored by CITAP’s four principal researchers—Deen Freelon (Hussman School of Journalism and Media), Daniel Kreiss (Hussman), Alice Marwick (Dept. of Communication), and Zeynep Tufekci (School of Information and Library Sciences)—the affiliated UNC Center for Media Law and Policy (David Ardia and Tori Ekstrand), and two Senior Faculty Researchers, Tressie McMillan Cottom (SILS) and Shannon McGregor (Hussman).

CITAP affiliates will meet regularly for research updates and internal presentations.

To apply, please email a one-page proposed research project that complements the aims of the center and the work of its scholars along with a CV to CITAP Principal Alice Marwick at amarwick@unc.edu.  The deadline to apply is Sept. 1, 2020.

UNC CITAP Faculty Affiliates

Faculty Affiliates can come from a broad range of academic and research institutions, especially in North Carolina. We invite applications from people working on issues related to CITAP, broadly focused on the intersection of technology and media, platforms, misinformation, partisanship, polarization, propaganda, political institutions, and journalism. Affiliates may collaborate with CITAP researchers on topics of relevance to its mission and participate in CITAP events, and will be listed in the “Faculty Affiliates” section of the CITAP website.

We invite those with CITAP faculty affiliations to attend CITAP events, collaborate with our researchers and graduate students, and join our extended community in resource and information sharing.

To apply, please email a bio, CV, and list of relevant publications to CITAP Principal Researcher Daniel Kreiss at dkreiss@email.unc.edu.

UNC CITAP Graduate Student Affiliates

Graduate Student Affiliates can come from a broad range of academic and research institutions, especially in North Carolina. We invite applications from people working on issues related to CITAP, broadly focused on the intersection of technology and media, platforms, misinformation, partisanship, polarization, propaganda, political institutions, and journalism. Affiliates may collaborate with CITAP researchers on topics of relevance to its mission and participate in CITAP events, and will be listed in the “Faculty Affiliates” section of the CITAP website.

We invite those with CITAP graduate student  affiliations to attend CITAP events, collaborate with our researchers and graduate students, and join our extended community in resource and information sharing.

To apply, please send a short cover letter explaining how your research interests relate to the work of CITAP, bio, CV, and list of relevant publications to CITAP Principal Researcher Daniel Kreiss at dkreiss@email.unc.edu.

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A UNC Student’s Summer Experience at the Future of Privacy Forum

Each summer, the Center for Media Law and Policy provides financial support through its summer grants program to UNC law and graduate students taking unpaid or low-paying jobs in the fields of media law or media policy. The writeup below is from Meredith Richards, a rising third-year law student at the UNC School of Law, who interned at the Future of Privacy Forum last summer and received one of the Center’s grants:

Last summer I had the opportunity to work as an intern for the Future of Privacy Forum in Washington, DC. The Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) is a think-tank that explores the legal challenges posed by rapid technological innovation and works to develop privacy protections and responsible business practices. FPF conducts research on privacy in a variety of areas, including AI and machine learning, biometrics, facial recognition, connected cars, education, IoT, and location and advertising practices.

As an intern, I worked with the advertising and location-tracking technology policy team to research current business standards and data collection practices, as well as to track and analyze any new emerging legislation concerning data privacy, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act. Because FPF engages with both corporate leaders and legislators, I also helped the policy counsel by developing informational content for these stakeholders on data privacy issues, including a blog post explaining the changes in the National Advertising Institute’s 2020 Code of Conduct and a white paper exploring the multitude of ways in which location data can be tracked and collected.

The policy team at FPF was extremely involved with the summer interns and ensured that we had the opportunity to connect with other privacy professionals in the DC area. My fellow interns and I were often encouraged to attend panels and conferences, including those hosted at the Brookings Institute and the FTC’s PrivacyCon. Because FPF hosts events with industry leaders, I also had the opportunity to meet people from EFF, IAPP, and several prominent privacy law firms in the area. We even had scheduled visits to the Facebook and Google DC offices, as well as joint happy hours with students in privacy programs at other law schools.

Outside of work, living in Washington, DC is exciting and there was an endless list of things to do and see. In my spare time, I visited the Smithsonian, National Gallery of Art, Library of Congress, National Mall, and many of the other great sites that our nation’s capital has to offer. The food is also spectacular! Every Thursday at lunch, my fellow interns and I would make the short walk to the best farmer’s market and food truck rodeo located in front of the White House. And I already miss the cupcakes from Baked and Wired and the tapas at Boqueria.

Since the summer, I was invited to continue working with FPF throughout the fall semester. I worked primarily on research regarding federal preemption of state privacy bills, like the CCPA. Overall, this experience not only provided me with in-depth insight into privacy regulation and compliance, but established invaluable connections with privacy professionals, who have inspired me to pursue a career in privacy law. I am so grateful to everyone at FPF for encouraging me and I highly recommend any students who are interested in media law or privacy to apply.

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