Communication Law Worksheet – CONTENT CARTEL


Communication Law Worksheet

1. Communication law is primarily about the First Amendment. What different types of speech can you identify that may have different protection under the First Amendment?

The First Amendment is primarily targeted to protect the freedom of speech. It protected different types of speech including pure speech, symbolic speech, and speech supported with actions. Pure speech means that
people can express their opinion and share their thoughts in front of the audience (American Government, 2016). Symbolic speech may include wearing certain clothes, signs, pictures, photos, or draft card burning (American Government, 2016). Speech that involves actions supposes citizens’ demonstrations, protesting, or meetings (American Government, 2016).

2. Name and discuss three of the First Amendment theories found in the text.

The First Amendment theories include absolutist theory, ad hoc balancing, and preferred position balancing theory. According to absolutist theory, the government cannot censor the press despite everything. It means
that press have absolute freedom of speech (book). It allows the press functioning beyond the control of the government. Ad hoc balancing theory means that the court should deal with controversial problems and balance
freedoms of expression with other values (book). As a result, the court should determine what the freedom of expression means in each case separately. According to preferred position balancing theory, constitutional freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment are the basis for existence of a free society (book). Therefore, they should have the primary judicial protection in comparison with other constitutional values. This theory gives a preferred position to a freedom of expression.

3. What does prior restraint mean? Why is it important?

Prior restraint means a government’s censorship that prohibits speech before it takes place. There are two types of prior restraints: requiring from the speaker a permit to express his thoughts or prohibition people to
take part in communication and speak. Prior restraints limited the freedom of speech that protected by the First of Amendment, so both forms of prior restraints are unconstitutional under the First Amendment (book). It is
important to define the meaning of the prior restraint for preventing the government from censorship of people and press speech.

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