Fox News reporter who won't reveal sources threatened with jail

Fox News | BuzzFeed | Courthouse News Service

Jana Winter won't reveal which law enforcement sources told her Aurora, Colo., shooting suspect James Holmes sent a notebook to a University of Colorado psychiatrist. And she may go to jail because of it.

The Fox News reporter's scoop last July is at the center of a fight between the reporter and Holmes' attorneys that's now playing out in an Arapahoe County courtroom, an unbylined report on Fox's site says. The judge who approved a subpoena for her sources -- who Holmes' attorneys claim violated a gag order by sharing details about the notebook -- has since stepped down, and at a hearing April 1 Judge Carlos Samour Jr. said the motion "presented her with a 'Hobson’s Choice,' " the Fox report says:

If forced to testify, Winter would either reveal her confidential sources in the nation's highest profile trial – perhaps destroying her career as an investigative reporter – or spend up to six months in jail, according to Judge Samour.

Hunter Schwarz notes Winter's case has received little attention except on Fox: "If she worked for mainstream newspapers or CNN, I think the case would have been covered," former New York Times reporter and Fox contributor Judith Miller tells him. "There's a certain reluctance because it's Fox News."

"Winter's attorney has stated in court that if she is put on the witness stand, Winter will not answer questions related to the identification of her sources," Fox's report says. "She would rather go to jail – for doing her job."

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


Related News

Email IconGroup 3Facebook IconLinkedIn IconsearchGroupTwitter IconGroup 2YouTube Icon