In written testimony supporting changes to Colorado’s reporter’s shield law, Fox News reporter Jana Winter says being subpoenaed by Colorado theater-shooting suspect James Holmes was “a nightmare.”
But “the public also suffered,” she writes.
In the twelve long months that Holmes attempted to convince the District Court of Arapahoe County to order me to disclose the identities of my confidential sources, he succeeded in bringing ALL of my newsgathering efforts — on topics that had nothing to do with his case — to a halt. Dozens of individuals across the country who had previously worked with me to provide essential information on critical issues of public concern were suddenly unwilling to return my calls. Several of them specifically cited the proceedings against me in Colorado as the reason they no longer felt comfortable speaking to me. Sources with access to information that could have contributed meaningfully to the public’s participation in our democracy decided, as a result of Holmes’ subpoena, that the risk was simply too great for them to come forward. As a direct consequence, reports that I had been pursuing on issues of national security, terrorism, and government corruption never saw the light of day, and the public went uninformed.
Bernie Herpin, the Colorado state senator who proposed changes that would strengthen the state’s shield law, told Fox he expected other representatives from Colorado media outlets to testify at a committee hearing Wednesday.