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View Diary: Media ignore threat to hold Fox News reporter in contempt for protecting source in Aurora shooting (131 comments)

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  •  I'm recommending this, even though I profoundly (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lotlizard, alice kleeman

    disagree with its thrust and jib.

    The public interest demands transparency above all else. If private sources fear that their revelations will harm their careers or land them in jail, they will be unwilling to supply transparency.

    Transparency is the ultimate value that trumps all others, including even the sanctity of a defendant's right to a fair trial (although it boggles the imagination to consider how revealing or not revealing a confidential source might violate a defendant's right to a fair trial).

    I used to be an investigative reporter in a previous life (once scooped the NY Times on a story of perfidy in academia :) and had to accept the fact that I might be jailed for contempt for refusing to reveal the identity of my sources.

    The sanctity of confidential sources goes with the investigative journalism territory, so to speak. Sort of like a doctor being asked to divulge confidential doctor-patient information or be jailed, or a lawyer being compelled to reveal attorney-client communications or risk jail. No self-respecting doctor or attorney would violate privilege, nor would or should any real investigative journalist.

    •  Transparency? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tod, daeros

      Transparency in governance, sure.  Transparency in personal medical records is not at all the same thing.

      "with rights come responsibilities." Wrong. Responsibilities continue to exist even if you abdicate your rights.

      by happymisanthropy on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 08:40:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Have You Noticed...... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kevskos, mikejay611

      Have you noticed how the one group who consistently believe that reporter's rights are more important than everybody else's is reporters themselves?  Conflict of interest much?

      Most lawyers understand that there are exceptions to the attorney/client privilege. If the issue is fully and fairly litigated and the final authority rules that the privilege does not apply in a certain case most attorneys would respect the ruling.

      If it were me I would adopt a shield law that was stronger or weaker depending on a couple of things. Did the disclosure advance the public's right to know and public accountability or was the leak to a reporter designed to evade, not advance, public accountability?  Did the source have a credible threat of retaliation from government or industry worthy of protection?  The more it looks like Daniel Ellsberg the more protection. The more it looks like Scooter Libby the less protection.

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