Permission to re-post granted by Journalism History.
Nebraska Press Association v. Stuart(n1) began with the issuance of a court order that prohibited the publication of testimony and evidence presented at a preliminary hearing of a suspected mass murderer. With this judicial action, a press-bar contest ensued that hamstrung the media's reporting capabilities as it struggled for seventy-nine days under four gag orders to cover one of the most brutal murders in Nebraska history. Throughout the controversy, the Nebraska press chose to comply with the restrictive orders; and this article examines the effects of that choice. Specifically, it explores how the Nebraska press functional under the various restrictive orders, how closely the print coverage adhered to the restrictive orders, and how effectively the orders controlled the release of information deemed prejudicial by the judiciary.
Nancy Whitmore. “Nebraska Suppressed: How Gagging the News Media Intensified Pretrial Press Coverage of the Simants’ Murder Case,” Journalism History, Vol. 29, No. 3 (Fall 2003)