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Legal

NEWS

Good Night, and Good Luck

The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer PBS Aired: Oct. 06, 2005 Excerpt: JEFFREY BROWN: Well, what is it exactly that you're trying to say about journalism as Murrow practiced it? GEORGE CLOONEY: I don't know a reporter that doesn't want to break a big news story. It is constantly the battle between commerce and news, or keeping … Read More
NEWS

Who Holds the Media Accountable?

By Cliff KincaidAccuracy in Media (AIM.org)Oct. 05, 2005 Excerpt: The media's complicity in the FBI's misconduct in the Hatfill case demonstrates why reporters are not entitled to a special federal media shield law to protect their government sources. Such a law would enable the media to protect the identities of the government agents who were behind … Read More
NEWS

Commentary: Confidential Sources Run Deep

By Adam HimmelbergerThe Daily Campus (University of Connecticut)Oct. 4, 2005 Excerpt: The plight of Miller has brought the debate for a federal shield law once again into the spotlight to prevent journalists from going to jail for refusing to break their professional oath and release a confidential source's identity. The journalism major inside of me … Read More
NEWS

Lawsuit claims Honolulu City Council held secret meetings

The Associated PressOct. 04, 2005 Excerpt: Eight journalism and open-government organizations filed a lawsuit yesterday alleging the Honolulu City Council held secret meetings on council business in violation of Hawaii's open-meetings law. The lawsuit alleges council members discussed a reorganization plan in private talks before holding a public meeting. The reorganization resolution was passed July … Read More
NEWS

News Director Report

By John PrestonWBKO-TV (Bowling Green, Ky.)October 2005 Excerpt: We as journalists recognize the enormous legal risks to ourselves if we choose to report information we receive from an un-named source. If that information turns out to be false, we open ourselves (and our employers) up to a whole plethora of libel and fraud charges. Even if … Read More
NEWS

Defending Judith Miller�s Indefensible Choice

By Jim NaureckasExtra! (newsletter of Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting)September/October 2005 Excerpt: No reasonable person believes that a journalist's right to protect their confidential sources is absolute. If a government official told a reporter -- after obtaining a promise of strict confidentiality -- that he was a serial killer planning to strike again, who would argue … Read More
NEWS

Every 35 Years, a Journalist Goes to Jail

By Nathan SiegelHartford CourantOct. 04, 2005 Excerpt: Journalists can take some comfort in knowing that every time this crisis has erupted, the jailing of journalists has been the catalyst for changes in the law that protected a subsequent generation of reporters. [...] Time and again Americans have made clear that confidential newsgathering is an important … Read More
NEWS

In our view: Don't fall for terror ploy

Editorial Daily Herald (Provo, Utah) Oct. 03, 2005 Excerpt: It seems nowadays that terrorism is a convenient bogeyman to trot out whenever one is in danger of losing a political argument. It's a handy ploy. After all, who wants to be seen as a terrorist sympathizer? There's no evidence to suggest that reporters have hamstrung … Read More
NEWS

In our view: Congress should pass shield law

Editorial The Joplin Globe (Joplin, Mo.) Oct. 03, 2005 Excerpt: A federal shield law makes sense as a suitable approach to protecting the public’s right to know by protecting a reporter’s confidential sources. Such a statute would give whistle-blowers the cover of anonymity to tell their tales of government wrongdoing, malfeasance or mismanagement … Read More
NEWS

Shield this reporter

EditorialSan Francisco ChronicleSept. 20, 2005 Excerpt: The politics here aren't the point. It's the principle. [Jailed New York Times reporter Judith] Miller is neither a cop nor a prosecutor. She's a reporter who needs to shield her sources in order to do her job. By putting this belief into action, she's paying a months-long sentence of … Read More
NEWS

House Hearings Target Leakers

By Walter PincusThe Washington PostSept. 24, 2005 Excerpt: The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has begun a series of hearings on unauthorized disclosures of classified information that may lead to legislation providing more effective ways to prosecute leakers, according to the panel's chairman, Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.). Hoekstra said in an interview that he … Read More
NEWS

Offer journalists same protection government employees have

By Michael GiudicessiThe Des Moines Register (Des Moines, Iowa)Sept. 27, 2005 Excerpt: In today's context of increased efforts to compel journalists to reveal confidential sources about White House leaks or to share unpublished information about crimes or injuries, the existence of a universal right to "everyman's evidence" is made fiction by the practice of the federal … Read More
NEWS

Shield Law: The law is the problem...

EditorialWPTZ-TV (Burlington, Vt./Plattsburgh, N.Y.)Sept. 23, 2005 Excerpt: Late last month Vermont's Supreme Court said WCAX-TV had to turn over unaired videotape from last year's riot on the UVM campus. The goal: to catch as many of the rioters as possible. Under current Vermont state law, it's hard to fault that ruling. That's the problem. Read More
NEWS

Uncharted Terrain

By Rachel SmolkinAmerican Journalism ReviewOctober/November 2005 Excerpt: A number of news organizations, including the two at the center of the Plame case –- Time magazine and The New York Times -– are consulting with attorneys and investigative reporters to find ways to guard sources' identities if notes and e-mails are subpoenaed. The reviews of standard journalistic … Read More
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