On 25 March 2021 the CEOs of Facebook, Twitter and Google were before Congress about their handling of misinformation and online extremism following the 6 January Capitol riots. The, Guardian, CNBC and  BBC also reports.

On 29 March 2021 the trail against Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd began. The BBC has analysis of developments in the case.  CNBC considers the defence’s cross examination of a medical expert “ineffective”. Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo stated the way Floyd was restrained by Chauvin was “certainly not part of our ethics and values”.

On 1 April 2021 the US Supreme Court ruled that the FCC can loosen local media ownership rules. It was found that the repealing or modifying of ownership rules was “not likely to harm minority and female ownership”. Reuters reports as does Bloomberg and the New York Times [£].

On 9 April 2021 the White House announced that President Biden is to sign an executive order creating the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States. The Commission will analyse and report on Supreme Court reform. The Volkoh Conspiracy has an insightful post on court packing in this context. The Blog also covers the announcement here.

Ongoing debate about the status of Justice Breyer have arisen with some groups such as Demands Justice asking for the Supreme Court Justice’s retirement, Forbes reports.

The Business Insider has commented that to fight fake news the US media must push for Big Tech to pay for journalism. The Insider also considers that a recently released intelligence report has tied media outlets to Russian efforts to influence the 2020 presidential election.

CBC News considers media disengagement in an article: how the US media lost the trust of the public.

Klien Moynihan and Turco LLP have considered the impact of social media regulations on influencers in the UK and US.

The Eurasia Review has a piece on image framing by US media outlets and what Asian countries can learn from US media coverage.

Variety explores the exposure of US media companies to China given the imminent winter Olympics.

In the Courts

In the Supreme Court the case of Google v Oracle came to a head with the Court finding that “Google’s copying of the Java SE API, which included only those lines of code that were needed to allow programmers to put their accrued talents to work in a new and transformative program, was a fair use of that material as a matter of law”. JD Supra has coverage of the case as does CNN and CNBC. Rebecca Tushnet’s Blog has some pointed thoughts on the case.

Harden v Hillman – a sole black member of jury in a case about a police officer allegedly body slamming a black man because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. This juror revealed that white jurors wrote off the plaintiff as a crack addict and referred to his lawyers as “the Cosby Show”. The Sixth Circuit concluded that although courts cannot consider evidence of jury deliberations the Supreme Court has made an exception for evidence of racial bias- this was to be applied to civil as well as criminal trials.

Hill v Helsep – former Rep. Katie Hill has had her case suing the Daily Mail, Redstate.com and her ex-husband over the publication for nude photos of her, dismissed. The Volkoh Conspiracy has analysis of the outcome. 

This Round up was complied by Suneet Sharma a junior legal professional with a particular interest and experience in media, information and privacy law.