Question: Do Journalists Have The Right To Protect Their Sources?

What laws protect journalists?

Shield lawShield law, in the United States, any law that protects journalists against the compelled disclosure of confidential information, including the identities of their sources, or the forced surrender of unpublished written material collected during news gathering, such as notes..

Can journalists break the law?

Even though the journalists are on good ethical ground, they still don’t have a right to violate the law.”

What are the sources for a reporter?

Examples of sources include but are not limited to official records, publications or broadcasts, officials in government or business, organizations or corporations, witnesses of crime, accidents or other events, and people involved with or affected by a news event or issue.

Do journalists have special rights?

The idea behind reporter’s privilege is that journalists have a limited First Amendment right not to be forced to reveal information or confidential news sources in court. … Journalists rely on confidential sources to write stories that deal with matters of legitimate public importance.

Do all 50 states have shield laws?

A shield law is legislation designed to protect reporters’ privilege. … Currently the U.S. federal government has not enacted any national shield laws, but most of the 50 states do have shield laws or other protections for reporters in place.

Can news crews film on private property?

questions—focusing on whether, generally, it’s lawful for journalists to record police activity in public, to enter private property to gather news, to record a conversation without a party’s consent, and to record a person where he or she has a reasonable expectation of privacy.

There is no federal shield law As of 2018, 49 states and the District of Columbia had enacted some form of shield law. Congress has attempted to pass a federal shield law since 2005, named the Free Flow of Information Act. In 2017, efforts were renewed with another bill, co-sponsored by U.S. Rep.

Does a journalist have to reveal their source?

Federal shield statute. … Roughly 30 states have passed statutes, called shield laws, allowing journalists to refuse to disclose or testify about confidential or unpublished information, including the identity of sources. The statutes vary significantly from state to state in the scope of their protections.

Are there any circumstances under which reporters should be required to reveal or protect?

A reporter/journalist can protect and keep confidential a confidential source unless the government can prove:1) That there is probable cause to believe the reporter has info that is relevant to a specific violation of the law.

Can journalists be subpoenaed?

When journalists were subpoenaed in federal court, they claimed they were shielded from testifying about confidential sources by the so-called “reporter’s privilege.” They did so despite the fact that in 1972, in Branzburg v. Hayes, the Supreme Court held that no such privilege is available under the First Amendment.

Why do journalists argue that freedom of the press requires that they protect confidential sources?

Proponents of protecting confidential sources argue that journalists need a well-established legal privilege, similar to the attorney-client privilege or doctor-patient privilege, to protect them from being forced to reveal confidential information in court.

Why is it important to a reporter to be able to protect the name of a source?

Journalists rely on source protection to gather and reveal information in the public interest from confidential sources. Such sources may require anonymity to protect them from physical, economic or professional reprisals in response to their revelations.