Category Archives: Laws

Editorial and Opinions Education: State and National Shield Laws in the USA

First, we want to define for you what an Editorial piece means:

An editorialleading article (UK) or leader (UK), is an opinion piece written by the senior editorial staff or publisher of a newspapermagazine, or any other written document. Editorials may be supposed to reflect the opinion of the periodical.[citation needed] In Australian and major United States newspapers, such as The New York Times[1] and The Boston Globe,[2] editorials are often classified under the heading “opinion”.

Illustrated editorials may appear in the form of editorial cartoons.[3]

Typically, a newspaper’s editorial board evaluates which issues are important for their readership to know the newspaper’s opinion.[4]

Editorials are typically published on a dedicated page, called the editorial page, which often features letters to the editor from members of the public; the page opposite this page is called the op-ed page and frequently contains opinion pieces by writers not directly affiliated with the publication. However, a newspaper may choose to publish an editorial on the front page. In the English language press, this is done rarely and only on topics considered especially important; however, it is more common in some European countries such as SpainItaly, and France.[5]

In the field of fashion publishing, the term has been adapted to refer to photo-editorials – features with often full-page photographs on a particular theme, designer, model or other single topic, with or (as a photo-essay) without accompanying text.[6]

Second, we want to define for you what an Opinion piece means:

In general, an opinion is a judgment, viewpoint, or statement about matters commonly considered to be subjective.

What distinguishes fact from opinion is that facts are verifiable, i.e. can be objectively proven to have occurred. An example is: “United States of America was involved in the Vietnam War” versus “United States of America was right to get involved in the Vietnam War”. An opinion may be supported by facts, in which case it becomes an argument, although people may draw opposing opinions from the same set of facts. Opinions rarely change without new arguments being presented. It can be reasoned that one opinion is better supported by the facts than another by analyzing the supporting arguments.[1] In casual use, the term opinion may be the result of a person’s perspectiveunderstanding, particular feelings, beliefs, and desires. It may refer to unsubstantiated information, in contrast to knowledge and fact.

Collective or professional opinions are defined as meeting a higher standard to substantiate the opinion.

Editorial opinion[edit]

An “editorial opinion” is the stated opinion of a newspaper or of its publisher, as conveyed on the editorial page.

And Fourth California Shield Law:

In California, article I, section 2(b) of the California Constitution and Evidence Code section 1070 provide an immunity from being held in contempt to reporters, editors, publishers, and other people connected with or employed by newspapers, magazines, press associations and wire services, as well as radio or TV news reporters.

The California shield law applies to both the source of information (“confidential sources”) and to “unpublished information” such as notes, out-takes, unpublished photographs and tapes.

When a criminal defendant seeks information protected by the shield law, the courts have set up a “balancing test” which weighs how important the information is to the criminal defendant, whether the defendant can get the information elsewhere, and other factors.  See Delaney v. Superior Court (1990) 50 Cal. 3d 785.

On the other hand, when the prosecution seeks information in a criminal law, the shield law is absolute.  Miller v. Superior Court (1999) 21 Cal. 4th 883.  And in a civil case where the press is not a party, the immunity from contempt is also absolute – there’s no balancing test.  New York Times v. Superior Court (1990) 51 Cal. 3d 453.   This case helps journalists avoid being forced to be professional witnesses instead of professional journalists.

Does the shield law cover bloggers?  Good question.  The California shield law covers people “connected with or employed upon” a “newspaper, magazine, or other periodical publication, or by a press association or wire service.”   That question is likely to be litigated in the near future.

Additional information on the California Shield Law, Evidence Code Section 1070

1070. (a) A publisher, editor, reporter, or other person connected with or employed upon a newspaper, magazine, or other periodical publication, or by a press association or wire service, or any person who has been so connected or employed, cannot be adjudged in contempt by a judicial, legislative, administrative body, or any other body having the power to issue subpoenas, for refusing to disclose, in any proceeding as defined in Section 901, the source of any information procured while so connected or employed for publication in a newspaper, magazine or other periodical publication, or for refusing to disclose any unpublished information obtained or prepared in gathering, receiving or processing of information for communication to the public.

(b) Nor can a radio or television news reporter or other person connected with or employed by a radio or television station, or any person who has been so connected or employed, be so adjudged in contempt for refusing to disclose the source of any information procured while so connected or employed for news or news commentary purposes on radio or television, or for refusing to disclose any unpublished information obtained or prepared in gathering, receiving or processing of information for communication to the public.

(c) As used in this section, “unpublished information” includes information not disseminated to the public by the person from whom disclosure is sought, whether or not related information has been disseminated and includes, but is not limited to, all notes, outtakes, photographs, tapes or other data of whatever sort not itself disseminated to the public through a medium of communication, whether or not published information based upon or related to such material has been disseminated.

To read more on National and US Legal Shield Laws click on: Briefing Paper on Protection of Journalists’ Sources

Editor’s Note: Now you have it. Educate yourself if you do not want the “Real Press or Media” teams to report of what they saw then make your event private and remember press or media representatives are not your publicist and is against journalism code of ethics to accept payment for exchange on an exemplary article. Those are not real journalists and they out of the blue bought a video camera or  photo camera and became media or press but has no direction or guidelines of the rules set by professional organizations for Journalists and Media or Press Associations such as: http://www.naa.orghttp://newamericamedia.org/network/association, SPJLos Angeles Press Club and many more. They have no idea the formats how to write. They have no education on the field. So sad those desperate publicists accepts anyone that claims to be media or press!

Sources: Wikipedia, http://firstamendmentcoalition.org

Employment, Handgun, Gay Bullying, Privacy and More: State of California New Laws of 2012

Welcome to the Golden State. As you may be aware each year the State of California makes new laws effective the 1st of the year.
This year was no exception and see some of the most important new laws effective January 1, 2012.

State of CA List of New California Laws 2012:

Employment Credit Check Law
Employers can no longer request credit reports for Californians unless they are working or seeking work in a financial institution, law enforcement or the state Justice Department.

The law also exempts anyone who
(1) has access to people’s bank or credit card account information, SSN number and date of birth,
(2) has access to an employer’s proprietary information or trade secrets, (3) signs a check, credit card, financial contract, or transfers money for an employer,
(4) has access to more than $10,000 cash, or (5) is a manager in ‘certain industries’.
Law effective January 1, 2012.

California Handgun Open Carry Law 
Open-carry citizen handgun ban.  Supported by cops who cannot tell whether openly carried weapons are loaded or not.  Violators pay $1,000 plus 6 months in jail (misdemeanor). Gun rights advocates vow to carry rifles and shotguns instead.  Californians can still get permits forconcealed weapons.  Law effective January 1, 2012.

California Human Trafficking Law
Enforces mandatory disclosure of efforts that companies take to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from their entire supply chains.  Being watched as a prototype of future legislation in other states and nations.  Law effective January 1, 2012.

California Gay Bullying Law (Seth’s Law)
Combats bullying of gay and lesbian students in public schools by requiring school districts to have a uniform process for dealing with gay bullying complaints. Mandates that school personnel intervene if they witness gay bullying.  Law effective July 1, 2012.

LGBT Equality and Equal Access in Higher Education Law
State universities and colleges must create and enforce campus policies protecting LGBTs from harassment and appoint employee contact persons to address on-campus LGBT matters. The law includes community colleges statewide.  Law effective 2012.

Domestic Partnership Equality Law
Corrects inequalities between domestic partnerships and heterosexual marriages, including domestic partner health benefits sharing.  Law effective 2012.

Protection of Parent-Child Relationships Law
Allows courts to consider the relationship between a child and a non-biological parent when considering child rights cases involving birth parents, adoptive parents, and gay or lesbian guardians.  Law effective 2012.

Transgender Non-Discrimination Law

Provides public accommodation and protection in education, housing and employment for gender identity and expression.  Law effective 2012.

Transgender Vital Statistics Law
Makes it easier for transgender Californians to get a court petition to change their gender on official documents.  Law effective 2012.

LGBT Equal Benefits Law
Requires an employer with a state contract worth more than $100,000 to have non-discrimination policies in place for LGBT workers and their partners.  Law effective 2012.

Judicial Applicant and Appointment Demographics Inclusion Law
Includes gender identity and sexual orientation of potential judges into the state’s Judicial Applicant Data Report to ensure that state courts are diverse.  Law effective 2012.

Gay Divorce Law
Provides that if a gay couple got married in California but lives in a state that won’t grant them a divorce, the California court will have jurisdiction to grant them a legal divorce. The case will be filed in the county where the gay couple got married.  Law effective January 1, 2012.

California Gay History Law
Governor Jerry Brown signed the Gay History Law, which mandates that school textbooks and social studies include gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender accomplishments.  Law effective January 1, 2012. 

Internet Sales Tax
Governor Brown signed into law that out-of-state Internet retailers must collect California sales tax on transactions if the retailer has a presence in the state.  Law effective Summer 2012.

California Renters Right to Recycling Law
Apartment building landlords will have to start providing recycling services for 7 million California tenants.  Law effective 2012.  Read “California Renters Recycling Law”.

California Reader Privacy Law
Government and third-party snoops can no longer gather information on Internet users’ reading, book shopping or ebook using habits without a legal court order.  Read “California Reader Privacy Law”.

The New Laws Report is a list of all bills enacted in a calendar year during the Regular Session of the Legislature. The list identifies the bill and chapter number, lead author, and the subject of the measure. All bills on the list become effective on January 1 following the year of enactment, unless otherwise noted.
For complete the complete list which are 725 new laws please click to download them at: californianewlaws2012
Source: Californiality.com
Graphic credit to: State of CA
EDITOR’S NOTE: FROM THE ARCHIVERS OF DIVERSITYNEWSMAGAZINEDOTCOM