National Public Radio, under new leadership after the departure of a top executive who shared the public heat for the firing of Juan Williams for a moment of candor a year ago, is now under the beginnings of a new siege for telling an opera program producer it would no longer carry her show after she spoke up as a demonstrator at a D.C. area Occupy gathering. One critic in particular calls the move hypocrisy, given NPR’s apparent tolerance in the past for political opinions voiced by several of its top news stars. A question still awaiting an answer: How clearly are those in any contractual relationship with NPR told that their speech, petition and assembly rights must be put on hold?
About The Editor
Terry Francke has a 39-year history of helping journalists, citizens and public officials understand and use their First Amendment and open government rights. With CalAware, Francke has authored comprehensive and authoritative guidebooks to California law on access to government meetings and public records and the news gathering and publication rights of journalists. Focusing on these issues in public forum law, he supervises CalAware's legislative and litigation initiatives; conducts workshops on legal compliance; helps design public records audits; supports local sunshine ordinance drafting efforts; writes CalAware Today, a blog on current developments and proposals in the law and best practices; and answers countless queries by phone and e-mail from citizens, journalists, public officials and employees, and lawyers. Francke previously served 14 years as executive director and general counsel to the California First Amendment Coalition, after a 10-year post as legal counsel for the California Newspaper Publishers Association. He has served as an advisory panel member to the National Center on Courts and the Media; taught journalism law at the Department of Communication at Stanford University; and served as an expert contributor to the 1994 major revisions to the Ralph M. Brown Act and the 2004 ballot proposition making open government a basic right of citizens under the California Constitution. Francke is a 1967 graduate of the University of Notre Dame and a 1979 graduate of McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific. Prior to his legal career, Francke worked as a weekly newspaper editor and in military and local government public affairs positions.
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