Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2016

OCLC FAST subject heading

Freedom of the press


In a speech more than 150 years ago, author and British politician Benjamin Disraeli' proclaimed it "much easier to be critical than to be correct." Viewed in that sagacious light, this article surely traverses the low road, not the high one. It offers, in discussion-sparking spirit, a few slight criticisms of Professor Amy Gajda's conclusions and suggestions in her timely, meticulously researched and example-laden book, The First Amendment Bubble: How Privacy and Paparazzi Threaten a Free Press.

Specifically, Part I of this Article encapsulates the problems identified by Professor Gajda for journalism today - and, more broadly, troubles for a democratic society in which the press plays a pivotal, investigative role stemming from both public and judicial pushback to the scope of First Amendment press freedom. The First Amendment Bubble spans 260 pages of text, not including notes, so Part I merely condenses and skims the surface of Professor Gajda's thesis and analysis. Part II then summarizes and critiques some of Professor Gajda's thoughtful suggestions for mitigating, if not completely eradicating, the problems she pinpoints in The First Amendment Bubble. In the process, Part II identifies another 2015-published book - namely, long-time privacy advocate and attorney Jon Mills' Privacy in the New Media Age - as ideal companion reading for Gajda's book.

Finally, Part III concludes by offering some possible ideas for Professor Gajda's consideration if she continues to pursue this rich vein of scholarship. All of this, again, is proffered merely in the spirit of refining and pushing forward her already excellent contributions to the First Amendment free-press scholarly space.