Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Brod, Donald

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Journalism


United States. Supreme Court; United States Constitution 1st Amendment; Freedom of the press--United States; Constitutional amendments--United States


This thesis will explore the protections the United States Supreme Court has extended or denied to the processes of the media. The thesis first will explore the First Amendment protections granted by the Court for the publication and circulation processes of the media. The protections are given through the creation of derived rights, rights which are not specifically stated in the Constitution, but which give clearer meaning to what it can protect. Publication without prior restraint, anonymous publication, circulation, personal distribution of literature and the reciprocal right to receive are such derived rights. Chapter III will be a brief discussion of the importance of newsgathering. In it, the three necessary parts of newsgathering— the right to travel, to withhold sources and have access to information-will be introduced and outlined. Chapters IV, V, and VI will go into depth on those three parts, each part’s importance in the process and the failure of the Court, in each instance to extend derived right status to each. Chapter VII is an analysis of recent actions by the Reagan Administration which may narrow the functioning of the press; specifically, executive orders and directives by President Reagan will be discussed which can damage the free flow of information to the public and re-establish governmental secrecy. Chapter VIII is a conclusion which will analyze the connection between the three processes and what will happen to freedom of the press in the future.


Includes bibliographical references.


287 pages




Northern Illinois University

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Media Type