Tag Archives: free speech

Locating A Public Sphere On The Arab Street

This week’s images from Tahrir Square in Cairo give a passionate urgency to the metaphor of the Arab street. Since 9/11, American media have used the phrase widely as shorthand for Arab public opinion. But a researcher at York University in Toronto says its meanings are more nuanced. As it’s used in American media, the term often is associated with Irrationality, volatility, and violence. In Arab media the usage is more affirmative, suggesting “main street” or the will of the people. Arab media also apply it globally, speaking in turn about the American street. Why don’t we say that? I hear it as a metaphor for the public sphere, and the free discourse that sustains it. Where else would a flaneur locate it? Continue reading






Posted in public sphere | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Locating A Public Sphere On The Arab Street

Gabrielle Giffords reads First Amendment

On the second day of the 112th Congress (January 6, 2011), Congresswoman Giffords read aloud on the House floor the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.






Continue reading






Posted in public sphere | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Gabrielle Giffords reads First Amendment

Future of Journalism Is Nonprofit & Online

Are nonprofit, online newsrooms the future of journalism? I’ll bet on it. On The Media discusses it this week: Small, web-only, not-for-profit newsrooms are springing up around the country and scooping much larger dailies with nuts-and-bolts reporting. Voice of San … Continue reading






Posted in media | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Barney Rosset and the Tropic of Cancer

One of my First Amendment heroes, Grove Press publisher Barney Rosset, received a lifetime achievement award today from the National Book Foundation. Rosset published the first American edition of Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer, and he fought all the way … Continue reading






Posted in books, free speech, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Barney Rosset and the Tropic of Cancer

‘Grapes Of Wrath’ And The Politics of Book Burning

Clell Pruett burns a copy of The Grapes Of Wrath in Kern County, California in 1939. [Source: Kern County Museum/NPR] You don’t need Savonarola or Heinrich Himmler to ignite the pyre for banned books. The spark could start with a … Continue reading






Posted in books | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments