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Alabama governor signs bill removing ‘free speech zones’ from public universities, prompting concerns about First Amendment implications. (See PEN America’s recent report on the state of campus free speech in the United States, which includes a table of state-level legislation.) Study shows that Google made over $4 billion in profit from news searches and Google News. TV anchor who voiced objections to management’s directives now faces possible termination. The Guardian updates its style guidance as anti-abortion laws are passed around the country, encouraging editors to avoid medically misleading terms like ‘heartbeat bill.’ -Nora Benavidez, Director of U.S. Free Expression Programs

The most pressing threats and notable goings-on in free expression today


Alabama Governor Signs Campus Free Speech Bill into Law
The bill would prohibit public universities from establishing “free speech zones,” which supporters of the bill say effectively limit freedom of speech to designated areas. Opponents argue that college administrators should be empowered to balance protections for free speech with safety concerns, and determine who accepts invitations to speak at their institutions.

Google Made $4.7 Billion From the News Industry in 2018, Study Says
That $4.7 billion is nearly as much as the $5.1 billion brought in by the US news industry as a whole from digital advertising last year—and the News Media Alliance cautioned that its estimate was conservative. David Chavern, the president and CEO of the Alliance, believes the journalists who create that content deserve a cut.

A TV Meteorologist Objected to Management’s ‘Code Red’ Orders. Now He Might Be out of a Job.
Joe Crain was not seen delivering the weather on Thursday morning on WICS NewsChannel 20 in Springfield, Ill., and his bio has since been removed from the company site. Sinclair declined to discuss Crain’s employment status Friday afternoon. Thousands have taken to social media to express their support for Crain.

Why the Guardian Is Changing the Language It Uses to Describe Abortion Bans
“We want to avoid medically inaccurate, misleading language when covering women’s reproductive rights,” the Guardian’s U.S. editor-in-chief, John Mulholland, said. The Guardian style guide already encourages editors to use “anti-abortion” over “pro-life” for clarity, and “pro-choice” over “pro-abortion.”

Opinion: Deepfakes Are Coming. We Can No Longer Believe What We See.
“So far, this technology doesn’t seem to have been used in American politics, though it may have played some role in a political crisis in Gabon earlier this year. But it’s clear that current arguments about fake news are only a taste of what will happen when sounds and images, not just words, are open to manipulation by anyone with a decent computer.”


China Blocks Washington Post, Guardian Websites
The two news sites were among the last major English-language outlets that had not been blocked and were still regularly accessible without special software to get around the firewall. The move comes as China clamps down on the internet even more in the wake of the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

Journalist, TV Channel Head Arrested in India
A freelance journalist, an editor of a TV channel (Nation Live), and its owner were arrested over content that was considered an objectionable post about Uttar Pradesh’s Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. The arrests have sparked debate on social media about freedom of expression.

Palestinian Journalist Facing Deportation
A Palestinian photojournalist arrested by Israeli police is due to hear whether he will be deported. Rights groups say Mustafa al-Kharouf is being punished for his work but officials argue he is in occupied East Jerusalem illegally.

Protests Continue after Russian Journalist Released Pending Trial
The surprise decision to move Ivan Golunov to house arrest pending trial was seen as a minor victory, but supporters have now insisted on a full investigation into the officers who arrested and beat him, as well as continued protests until the government drops the charges against him.

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