Linda Greenhouse who covers the Supreme Court for the New York Times has been following a particular debate over the legal status of the press.
What, today, is “the press” anyway? It’s a question without a simple answer, either in today’s chaotic and rapidly changing media landscape or in Supreme Court doctrine.
The First Amendment prohibits Congress (and, by later interpretive expansion, the states) from “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” Do the dual references to speech and press amount to one and the same, or does the amendment place “the press” in a special position, with rights not accorded to other speakers? The Supreme Court has never fully resolved this question.