Articles about "Shield laws"


Government says Sotloff video is real

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Steven Sotloff video is real: National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden says a video showing the journalist’s execution by Islamic State “is authentic.” (AP) | Sotloff “began many of his articles with personal anecdotes and sprinkled his reporting with mundane details like the precise price of bread, reminding readers that faceless forces like Syria’s civil war and Egypt’s military coup were fundamentally altering the lives of real people, in divergent but no less devastating ways.” (The Atlantic) | President Obama: “His killers try to claim that they defend the oppressed but it was Steven who traveled across the Middle East risking his life to tell the story of Muslim men and women demanding justice and dignity.” (Politico) | Time Editor Nancy Gibbs: Sotloff “gave his life so readers would have access to information from some of the most dangerous places in the world.” (Time) | “It appears from chatter on ISIS forums that the initial video release was an unintentional leak from within ISIS circles” (Vocativ)
  2. Fred Ryan meets Washington Post newsroom: The news organization’s new publisher declined to say how he got the job, said “a key for Wapo is winning the morning.” (@erikwemple) | Washington Post reporters figure out how he got the job: He told Jean Case he was interested, and she introduced him to Post owner Jeff Bezos. (WP) | Ryan “likewise preferred to remain vague about his vision for the Post, saying it was too early to get into strategy specifics.” (Capital)
  3. News orgs ask oversight board to investigate effects of government surveillance: Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, 24 signatory news organizations “have asked the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) to investigate whether journalists’ confidential sources and other newsgathering is being compromised by widespread national security surveillance programs.” (RCFP)
  4. AOL content shakeup: Susan Lyne steps down from running brand group. Luke Beatty will “get the tech, automobile and entertainment brands,” Kara Swisher reports, and Maureen Sullivan will continue to run “ and the various lifestyle and money content brands.” Also: “no shockeroo, Arianna is still in charge of Arianna.” (Re/code) | “When I asked if the brand group is being scaled back as AOL invests more on the ad-tech side of the business, another AOL spokesperson on the call jumped in, saying that even though AOL has shut down some existing sites (and it spun out hyperlocal news effort Patch), it’s investing more in its existing brands.” (TechCrunch)
  5. Florida International University credentials Miami Herald reporter after all: David J. Neal “attended Saturday’s 14-12 loss to Bethune-Cookman with a ticket and sat in the stands, but did not write a game story or post-game blog, as he would have were he credentialed.” (Miami Herald) | “What good is a football team nobody covers? Chances are, FIU didn’t want to find out.” (Deadspin)
  6. Boston Globe launches site covering Catholicism: “The problem with the Vatican as a beat is it’s too far away, too weird, and utterly unlike any institution people cover,” John Allen says. “It’s hard to penetrate and it’s expensive to have someone who has the luxury to focus full time on that beat.” (Nieman)
  7. Dept. of Irony: Study about how misinformation spreads becomes the star of a poorly informed story. (CJR) | Related: The Huffington Post is running a multipart series on V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, who claims to have invented email. “Huffington Post is either not disclosing a paid-for series of posts (which would be a massive ethical breach) or they’ve been taken for a ride.” (Techdirt)
  8. New York’s shield law protects another journalist: Wall Street Journal reporter Gregory Zuckerman won’t have to deliver his notes to Sue Ann Hamm, who is divorcing Harold Hamm. (Village Voice) | The Hamm divorce “appears it will be the most expensive divorce in history.” (CNN)
  9. Newspaper front of the day, selected by Kristen Hare: The South Florida Sun-Sentinel fronts the murder of Steven Sotloff, who was from Pinecrest, Florida. (Courtesy the Newseum)


  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: Fred Ryan has been named publisher of The Washington Post. Previously, he was president of Allbritton Communications Company. (Poynter) | John Reiss is now executive producer of “Meet the Press.” Previously, he was executive producer for “Hardball with Chris Matthews.” (TV Newser) | Emily Bazelon will be a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine. Previously, she was a senior editor for Slate. (New York Times) | David Weigel is joining Bloomberg Politics. Previously, he was a political reporter for Slate. (Slate) | Chuck Culpepper will be a college football reporter for The Washington Post. Previously, he was a staff writer for Sports on Earth. (The Washington Post) | Susan Lyne will join AOL’s venture division to run the Build Fund. Previously, she was CEO of AOL’s brand group (Recode) | Craig Silverman will be a fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University. He is an adjunct faculty member for Poynter. (Poynter) | Zach Wolf is now managing editor for digital at CNN Politics. Previously, he was managing editor for news at Politico. (Fishbowl DC) | Job of the day: Women’s Wear Daily is looking for a copy editor. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves:

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Colorado legislators refuse to strengthen legal protections for journalists

Associated Press | Fox News

A Colorado state senate committee Monday rejected Sen. Bernie Herpin’s proposed changes to Colorado’s shield law. Herpin drafted the changes in response to the story of Fox News reporter Jana Winter, who a New York court ruled didn’t have to testify in the trial of accused theater shooter James Holmes.

Herpin’s bill would have set a higher bar for courts to subpoena journalists. Three Democrats voted against the bill and two Republicans voted for it, AP’s Ivan Moreno reports.

Democratic Sen. Lucia Guzman, who voted against the bill, said Monday that she needed to weigh the interests of the courts in some cases to get information from journalists, as well as the need to have a free press.

“It’s been a very difficult one for me,” she said.

Previously: Citing Jana Winter, Colo. lawmaker proposes strengthening state’s shield law | Jana Winter: The ‘public also suffered’ from subpoena Read more

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Jana Winter: The ‘public also suffered’ from subpoena

Fox News

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. Read more


Citing Jana Winter, Colo. lawmaker proposes strengthening state’s shield law

Fox News

Colo. state Sen. Bernie Herpin has proposed changes to Colorado’s reporter’s shield law, citing the case of Fox News reporter Jana Winter. New York’s highest court ruled in December that Winter didn’t have to travel to Colorado to testify in the trial of James Holmes, who is accused of carrying out the mass shooting at an Aurora movie theater.

“If you are going to be a strong supporter of the Second Amendment like I am, you have to be a strong supporter of the First Amendment — especially when it comes to the press,” Herpin told Fox. “They act as a watchdog for the people. And if confidential sources are worried about being named, they aren’t going to come forward.”

Winter in Centennial, Colo., in April 2013 (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, File)
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Workers with American Fence remove the fence from around the Century theater in Aurora, Colo., on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

Fox reporter Jana Winter doesn’t have to testify in Colorado

New York State Court of Appeals

There exists “no principle more fundamental or well-established than the right of a reporter to refuse to divulge a confidential source,” New York’s State Court of Appeals said in an decision Tuesday. The 4-3 decision means Fox News reporter Jana Winter will not have to travel to Colorado to testify in James Holmes’ murder trial.

“We therefore conclude that an order from a New York court directing a reporter to appear in another state where, as here, there is a substantial likelihood that she will be compelled to identify sources who have been promised confidentiality would offend our strong public policy — a common law, statutory and constitutional tradition that has played a significant role in this State becoming the media capital of the country if not the world,” Judge Victoria A. Graffeo wrote in the majority opinion. Read more


N.Y. court to consider whether Fox News reporter should testify in Colorado

Times Union | Associated Press | Business Insider

The New York State Court of Appeals will take up the case of Fox News reporter Jana Winter Tuesday afternoon. At issue is whether Winter, who covered the theater shootings in Aurora, Colo., should be compelled to give up her source of a notebook from accused shooter James Holmes. Holmes’ attorneys want Winter to travel to Colorado to testify; she will go to jail rather than do so, one of her attorneys tells Robert Gavin of the (Albany, N.Y.) Times Union.

A New York appellate court this summer upheld a subpoena for Winter that another New York judge signed earlier this year. Read more

Press membership card (Depositphotos)

Study attempts to define journalists — should we define acts of journalism instead?

PBS MediaShift | Free Press

Media lawyer and University of Dayton assistant professor Jonathan Peters and Edson C. Tandoc Jr., of the Missouri School of Journalism tried to answer the question “Who is a journalist?” through a new study. The two “culled a variety of sources that conceptualize a journalist, and they analyzed each one to identify its elements.” In the study (which you can read here), the authors write they “do not offer a normative definition, but we do offer normative comments on the descriptive definition.” Such a description is timely, they write, as the U.S. considers a reporter’s shield law.

They consulted three “domains” — academic, legal, industry — for commonalities in definitions of journalism, among them federal laws about professions, state shield laws and the criteria of journalism organizations like the National Association of Black Journalists and the Regional Reporters Association. Most centered around activities, output and what they call the “social role” of journalists (e.g., being a watchdog). Here’s the definition they came up with: Read more


Patch reporter ordered to reveal source or face jail, fines

Chicago Sun-Times

Patch reporter Joseph Hosey must give up the source of police reports about a grisly murder he covered or face jail, Will County Circuit Court Judge Gerald Kinney ruled Friday.

SouthtownStar/Sun-Times reporter Casey Toner reported on Twitter that one of the attorneys pressing for this ruling told the court “he didn’t think ‘any legitimate journalist should fear the outcome of this.’” Read more


Patch will appeal judge’s order to turn over confidential source

Joliet Patch | Chicago Sun-Times

Patch editor Joseph Hosey won’t reveal who gave him police reports about a gruesome murder in Joliet, Ill., Hosey’s lawyer Ken Schmetterer told a judge in Will County, Ill., Tuesday.

Judge Gerald Kinney on Aug. 30 ordered Hosey to give his source up. Hosey and Patch Media plan to appeal the order, Dennis Robaugh reports.

“Some experts, including media lawyers, said Hosey most likely would not be jailed after being found in contempt of court,” Becky Schlikerman writes in the Chicago Sun-Times. “Rather, it’s a procedural motion to give the appellate court jurisdiction.” Read more


Senators can’t agree on who’s a journalist


U.S. Senators “couldn’t agree on the definition of ‘journalist’” during a hearing on a proposed shield law Thursday, Kate Irby reports. That could muddle the prospects of such legislation.

The bill defines a journalist as a person who has a “primary intent to investigate events and procure material” in order to inform the public by regularly gathering information through interviews and observations. The person also must intend to report on the news at the start of obtaining any protected information and must plan to publish that news.

But senators disagreed on how to define journalists, since some thought the bill’s definition wasn’t specific enough.

Read more