2022 Cleary Writing Competition Winner Announced

Isabela Palmieri The UNC Center for Media Law and Policy is thrilled to announce the first place winner of the fourth annual James R. Cleary Prize for the best student published scholarly articles on media law and policy.  The award comes with a $1,000 cash prize.

This year’s winner is Isabela Palmieri, a dual-degree JD/MA student at the UNC School of Law and UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media, for her article, “The Sound of Death and ‘Shroud of Secrecy’: The Ninth Circuit’s Inconsistent Application of the History and Logic Test in First Amendment Coalition of Arizona, Inc. v. Ryan,” which was published in Volume 99 of the North Carolina Law Review. Palmieri’s article examines the Ninth Circuit’s decision in First Amendment Coalition of Arizona, Inc. v. Ryan, which recognized a First Amendment right of access to the sounds of an execution but not to information related to such execution. In her article, Palmieri argued that the Ninth Circuit ignored its own relevant precedent and was inconsistent in its application of the applicable standard because it failed to apply the history and logic test to the claim of a right of public access to information relating to lethal injection drugs and executioners.

Isabela Palmieri is a recent dual-degree graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Law and the Hussman School of Journalism and Media where she earned her Juris Doctor degree and Master of Arts degree concurrently.

Palmieri has focused her scholarship on the First Amendment and intellectual property. Her master’s thesis explored the intersection between embedding content online and copyright law by applying a multi-method approach to analyze the law, platforms’ terms of service, and platforms’ technological affordances. Building upon her thesis, she co-authored an article with Dr. Amanda Reid, titled “Copyright & Shareability: A Contractual Solution to Embedding via Social Media,” which was awarded Second Place, Top Faculty Paper by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).

Palmieri has previously worked for the Foundation of Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), where she had the opportunity to defend and sustain the individual rights of students and faculty members in higher education. Palmieri will sit for the Pennsylvania bar in July. She will join Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders, LLP, at their Philadelphia office in the fall of 2022 as an entry-level associate.

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 our winner!

0

A UNC Student’s Summer Experience at the Federal Communications Commission

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 comments below are from Noelle Wilson, a second-year dual degree student at UNC pursuing a JD and an MA in Media & Communication and recipient of one of the Center’s Summer Public Interest Grants, who interned at the Federal Communications Commission:

Last summer I interned for the Competition Policy Division of the Federal Communications Commission in Washington, D.C. The FCC regulates communications by telephone, radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable. Specifically, the Competition Policy Division (CPD) is within the Wireline Competition Bureau, and is responsible for  implementation of non-pricing aspects of the local competition requirements of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, including interconnection, network element unbundling and privacy. The division also administers U.S. numbering policy (including local number portability), and reviews applications from wireline carriers for mergers and other transfers of control, and discontinuance of service.

The CPD works on a lot of hot topics in communications law, including rulemakings to help implement 988 as the three-digit dialing code for the National Suicide Hotline (which will be fully implemented July of this year!) and rulemakings to help stop robocalls. During my summer with CPD, I worked on a memo for FCC partners at SAMSHA regarding potential future 988 rulemaking proceedings, through which I learned the ins and outs of administrative law and FCC procedure. I also worked with interns from the Enforcement division to review robocall mitigation plans that telecommunications providers submitted to the FCC to comply with robocall mitigation rulemakings. On another project, I gained insight into how the FCC works with state utility commissions by analyzing state regulations for iVoiP providers—this was also a valuable opportunity to dive into state regulatory law!

Beyond the exciting legal work, I also had lots of opportunities to meet FCC attorneys despite being a remote intern. The CPD attorneys were welcoming and eager to talk about their careers and experiences at the Commission over virtual coffees, and the division included the interns in team meetings and virtual social gatherings. Overall, my summer at the FCC was a great experience to learn about how the Commission functions and it reinforced my desire to work in communications law. 

0

A UNC Student’s Summer Experience at the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts

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 comments below are from Kathryn Johnson, a dual degree JD/MA student at the UNC School of Law and UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media, who interned at the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts in summer 2021 and received one of the Center’s grants:

In the summer of 2021, I had the opportunity to work for the General Counsel’s office at the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts (“NCAOC”). NCAOC provides administrative services to help the state’s court system operate more efficiently and effectively. This includes ensuring that the state courts are open and accessible to anyone who initiates litigation or is otherwise drawn into litigation as well as ensuring the public has access to court documents.

While there, I focused much of my research on legal issues surrounding the press and public’s First Amendment right to access newly-filed civil complaints in a timely manner. During my time at NCAOC, North Carolina was in the process of rolling out its new e-filing system, and around the country, Courthouse News Service (CNS), a nationwide news service, had initiated lawsuits in multiple federal courts challenging county clerks’ filing procedures, challenging either the method by which newly-filed civil complaints were made available, or the processing delay that inhibited reporters’ ability to access the complaints in a timely fashion. In these challenges, CNS advocated for immediate access to newly-filed complaints filed using e-filing systems through the use of a “press queue” that would allow journalists to view new filings right away. After reading the various federal trial court decisions, a handful of Court of Appeals opinions, and conducting general legal research regarding the paramaters of journalists’ access to court proceedings, I provided a recommendation for how NCAOC could consider structuring the new e-filing system with these considerations in mind.

The Center’s grant allowed me to spend the summer in Raleigh at NCAOC, researching and analyzing important issues, such as journalists’ ability to access newly-filed complaints in a timely fashion.

 

0

New UNC Center on Technology Policy

I’m thrilled that UNC is launching a new center focused on technology policy!  The UNC Center on Technology Policy (CTP) will hold its first public event on Friday, April 29, but they have already been working hard — and having an impact — on the conversation about how to regulate online content, with a fantastic policy brief on “Understanding, Enforcement, and Investment: Options and Opportunities for State Regulation of Online Content.”

CTP’s mission is to help craft public policy for a better internet. Utilizing an interdisciplinary academic framework, CTP works to identify knowledge gaps and develop actionable policy frameworks that will enable us to realize the potential benefits of technology while minimizing its harms. By working closely with students and expanding the University’s offerings in technology policy analysis, we seek to cultivate and train the field’s future practitioners.  For more on CTP’s plans, you can read a recent overview of the center in The Well.

The new center is lead by Matt Perault, a professor of the practice at UNC’s School of Information & Library Science (SILS) and a consultant on technology policy issues.  He previously led the Center on Science & Technology Policy at Duke University and was a professor of the practice at Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy.  Before that, Matt worked at Facebook, where he was a director on the public policy team and the head of the global policy development team.  He covered issues ranging from antitrust to law enforcement to human rights and oversaw the company’s policy work on emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and virtual reality. Matt holds a law degree from Harvard Law School, a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy, and a Bachelor’s degree in political science from Brown University.

To mark their public launch, CTP will be hosting an event on Zoom at noon on Friday, April 29, about state efforts to regulate platform content.  They have a fantastic lineup of panelists, including Emma Llansó (Center for Democracy & Technology), Wendy Gooditis (VA House of Delegates), Mary-Rose Papandrea (UNC School of Law), and Steve DelBianco (NetChoice).  You can register for the event, which is free and open to the public, here.

The new center, which is based at the SILS, will work closely with UNC’s Center on Information, Technology, and Public Life and the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy.  Welcome to the neighborhood, CTP!

0

A UNC Student’s Summer Experience at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education

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 comments below are from Isabela Palmieri, a dual degree JD/MA student at the UNC School of Law and UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media, who interned at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) in summer 2019 and received one of the Center’s grants:

In the summer of 2019, I had the opportunity to work for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. FIRE’s mission is to defend and sustain the individual rights of students and faculty members at America’s colleges and universities. These rights include freedom of speech, freedom of association, due process, legal equality, religious liberty, and sanctity of conscience—the essential qualities of liberty. FIRE educates students, faculty, alumni, trustees, and the public about the threats to these rights on our campuses, and provides the means to preserve them.  It was founded in 1999 by University of Pennsylvania professor Alan Charles Kors and Boston civil liberties attorney Harvey Silverglate.

While there, I researched and drafted memoranda on legal issues regarding free speech and due process in higher education. I also aided the Individual Rights Defense Program (IRDP) team in writing and editing legal correspondence to individual students, professors, and campus groups whose fundamental civil liberties had been violated. As one of my biggest projects, I drafted a model policy for universities that provided a constitutional and viewpoint-neutral process for the allocation of student fees.

The Center’s grant allowed me to spend the summer in Philadelphia and have an enriching experience at FIRE protecting students’ free speech rights.

0