- Reynolds National Center for Courts & Media
It has been a privilege for the Donald W. Reynolds School of Journalism and Center for Advanced Media Studies to have hosted the Reynolds Center for Court and Media (RNCCM). With the move of the Center back to The National Judicial College, we look forward to collaborating as the NJC continues the valuable work of the Center. It is critical that dialogue continue on the inherent conflict between a free press and an independent judiciary, as well as supporting the responsibility both have in protecting the fundamental freedom of speech. There remains much to do as judges and members of the media perform their respective roles in safeguarding American democracy and freedom.
William F. Dressel, President
The National Judicial College
Alan G. Stavitsky, Dean
Donald W. Reynolds
School of Journalism
The Reynolds National Center for the Courts and Media is a national center for research and scholarship on the interaction between the courts and the media, particularly the conflicts between free speech rights under the First Amendment and the fair trial rights of the Sixth Amendment. By providing a forum for debate and discussion of the inherent tension between an independent judiciary and the freedoms of speech and of the press, and Center’s goals are to propose solutions to these inherent conflicts, and to help judges and journalists develop insight into their respective roles in safeguarding American democracy and freedom.
The Center is funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.
In its research, publications and programs, and through its affiliations with the National Judicial College and the Donald W. Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, the Center works with a wide variety of individuals with roles in the courts and the media, as well as observers of their interactions. These include judges, court clerks, court information officers and current and future attorneys; current and future journalists, editors and other creators of media content; and academics, organizations and other observers concerned with these issues.
By working with these various stakeholders, the Center hopes to give the judiciary a better understanding of and appreciation for the vital role played by the media in establishing an informed citizenry, while also allowing journalists and other content creators to better understand and appreciate the judiciary’s ethical and legal obligations to ensure the fundamental fairness of court proceedings.
More journalists also need to realize that their First Amendment freedoms exist because judges interpret the Constitution to protect freedom of the press. And more judges need to realize that their independence rests on the public’s confidence in the fundamental fairness and integrity of the judicial system; a trust that is directly dependent on the information the public receives from the media.
As part of this effort, the Center is pleased to announce the creation of the Reynolds Courts and Media Law Journal, which will publish legal and scholarly articles on the interaction of the courts and the media, and the impact and implications of this interaction.
By helping to reduce the conflict between the independent judiciary and the free press, the Reynolds Center seeks to promote and reinforce both of these crucial pillars of our democratic society.