San Francisco Chronicle publishes Israel Balderas’ op-ed on press freedom fight

The assistant professor of journalism urged readers – San Franciscans and all Americans – to “remain vigilant in defending the First Amendment.”

Israel Balderas, assistant professor of journalism, recently penned an op-ed piece in the San Francisco Chronicle that examines the alarming implications of two subpoenas issued by San Francisco City Attorney David Chiu earlier this year.

Israel Balderas in a suit jacket
Israel Balderas

In the May 22 article, titled “A press freedom fight is brewing in San Francisco that could impact all Americans,” Balderas argued that Chiu’s subpoenas, which demand confidential editorial information from U.S. News & World Report about its “Best Hospitals” ranking methodology, represent a clear threat to press freedom and the First Amendment. He also emphasized that this issue extends far beyond California, as it could have a chilling effect on press freedom nationwide.

“I urged San Franciscans and all Americans to remain vigilant in defending the First Amendment and the crucial role of a free press in our democracy,” the journalism professor said.

An Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist-turned journalism educator, Balderas is also an attorney who has provided pro bono support focused on First Amendment protection for newsgathering. At Elon, he predominately teaches Media Law and Ethics, with his teaching and research agenda focusing on government regulation of expression and newsgathering.