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View Diary: New Jersey judge recognizes bloggers are journalists (47 comments)

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  •  They can sue her for defamation, of course. (2+ / 0-)

    But this question is whether the government can force her to give up her sources.

    •  Exactly. She can name sources who wish to (0+ / 0-)

      Be named. Or run the risk of losing a suit. It's the check and balance part of the game.

      Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

      by dadadata on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 04:19:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As RCFP explains (0+ / 0-)

        "Courts are likely to take one of several approaches in attempting to balance the rights and interests of a defamation plaintiff with those of a reporter":

        Most often, the judge will simply preclude the journalist from relying on the anonymous source for any part of his or her defense. This prohibition includes a bar on merely telling the judge or jury that the reporter did in fact have sources for the information.

        Courts may also allow media defendants to offer evidence that supports a confidential source’s credibility without revealing its identity. This evidence, however, can only be offered to show a publisher’s state of mind and not to prove the truth of the matter asserted.

        Moreover, some courts have held that the introduction of such evidence waives a reporter’s privilege to refuse to disclose the identity of sources, even when the journalist can claim a very strong privilege under the state’s shield law.

        Some judges will assume at the outset of the proceeding, and instruct juries deliberating the case to presume likewise, that there was no source for the information attributed to an anonymous source.
        In the worst-case scenario, a court could issue a default judgment against an author or publisher who refused to reveal a confidential source.

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