The Institute for the Study of the Judiciary, Politics, and the Media (IJPM) is a collaborative effort between Syracuse University's College of Law, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, and S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. IJPM is devoted to the interdisciplinary study of issues at the intersection of law, politics, and the media. The institute sponsors lectures, conferences, and symposia designed to foster discussion and debate between legal scholars, sitting judges, and working journalists. The institute provides research grants and seed money for scholars pursuing law-oriented projects that cut across traditional academic boundaries. The institute also oversees a cross-disciplinary graduate certificate program organized around a team-taught course offerings. To learn more about IJPM and its activities, please visit http://jpm.syr.edu/.
LAW, POLITICS & THE MEDIA eJOURNAL
Sponsored by Institute for the Study of the Judiciary,
Politics, and the Media (IJPM) at Syracuse University
"Strategic News Bundling and Privacy Breach Disclosures"
SEBASTIEN GAY, University of Chicago - Department of Economics
I examine how firms strategically bundle news reports to offset the negative effects of a privacy breach disclosure. Using a complete dataset of privacy breaches from 2005 to 2014, I find that firms experience a small and significant 0.27% decrease in their stock price on average following the breaking news disclosure of the privacy breach. But controlling for media coverage, this small decline is offset by an increase in the effect of a larger than usual number of positive news reports released by the firm on that day, which could increase the returns by 0.47% for every additional positive news report compared to their usual media coverage. I further find that disclosure laws have a significant and negative effect on the returns, even when news releases are used to alleviate the decrease. Moreover, a portfolio constructed with breached firms controlling for state disclosure laws outperforms the market over the 2007-2014 period, especially in the case of breached firms in mandatory disclosure states.
"Narrating the Stories of Leaked Data"
GIANLUCA MISCIONE, University College Dublin (UCD) - College of Business and Law
DANIELA LANDERT, University of Zurich
Journalism has always developed in close interplay with the available communication technologies. In recent decades, it has been undergoing major transformations in relation to information infrastructures like the Web. Especially user-generated content, aka Web 2.0 and social media, has posed new challenges to journalism (Boczkowski 2005; Conboy, 2007; Hermida & Thurman, 2008; Landert, 2014; D. Lewis 2003; S. C. Lewis, 2012; Newman, Dutton, & Blank, 2012; Ostertag & Tuchman, 2012). One of the latest developments consists in content-sharing platforms that allow sources to submit information anonymously, like Wikileaks. Over the past years, such platforms have been used for leaking large amounts of highly confidential data by whistleblowers such as Manning and Snowden (Benkler, 2011; Bruns, 2014, Chadwick and Collister, 2014, Miscione, 2014). These cases had far-reaching political consequences, and – we argue – they affected the practices of journalistic reporting.
Before the widespread use of the Internet, whistleblowers needed journalists to make information accessible to the general public. This is no longer the case, since online platforms such as Wikileaks aim at taking over this function. In our study we investigate how this new type of whistleblowing changes the interaction between whistleblowers, journalists and the audience. We show that the role of journalists has not necessarily diminished. Instead, it consists in facilitating the sense-making process of the audience.
Our central claim is that journalists play a crucial role in turning leaked data into narratives that have the power to influence the public and political sphere. Our study is based on an analysis of the Guardian’s coverage of two whistleblowing cases, the release of the Afghan War Logs, which were leaked by Manning, and the Prism files, which were leaked by Snowden. We study how the news reports explicitly refer to and integrate the leaked data, how they make the data accessible to the readers, and how they frame the events for the audience. In both cases it is evident that the released data do not speak for themselves, but that there is a need for someone to tell their story. By comparing how the Guardian covered the two events, we are able to show that there are different ways in which such a story can be told, and that these different narrations are related to the mode in which the leaked documents were released. In the case of Manning, all data were made public by Wikileaks in an unredacted form. One important aspect of the Guardian’s coverage of the Afghan War Logs was the explanation of how this immense mass of data could be accessed in a meaningful way by their readers. In contrast, Snowden’s files were released in small portions and each release was accompanied by (well-timed) media reports that explained their significance, as the Prism example shows. We suggest that these two different modes of managing data and narrating stories show a development in the practices of dealing with contemporary information infrastructures and the challenges they pose for public sense-making.
About this eJournal
Sponsored by: Institute for the Study of the Judiciary, Politics, and the Media (IJPM) at Syracuse University.
Legal systems operate in a complex environment of principle, political pressure, and media coverage. The goal of the Law, Politics, and the Media subject eJournal is to distribute abstracts of working papers and articles that promote a more integrated understanding of law, courts, and their environment. To this end, the eJournal seeks scholarship that addresses any combination of legal, political, and media-related themes in the analysis of legal institutions, beliefs, and practices. The eJournal is open to work from the social sciences, the humanities, and the legal academy. Papers and articles that focus on the United States, as well as scholarship that is comparative or international in scope, are welcome.
Editor: Keith James Bybee, Syracuse University
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Law, Politics & the Media eJournal
CHARLES G. GEYH
John F. Kimberling Professor of Law, Indiana University School of Law-Bloomington
Supreme Court Correspondent, Legal Times/Incisive Media
Gordon Hirabayashi Professor for Advancement of Citizenship; Director, Comparative Law and Society Studies (CLASS) Center, University of Washington - Department of Political Science
William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence & Political Science, Amherst College