08__presentation__journalistprivilege_newsed

08__presentation__journalistprivilege_newsed - Reporters...

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    Reporter’s privilege Right of reporters Not to testify in court Not to testify before a grand jury Not to hand over evidence Not to reveal identities of confidential  sources To be protected against newsroom  searches
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    Branzburg v. Hayes  (1972) Facts: three different reporters, 4 companion  cases. Branzburg (Louisville CJ) watched  people manufacture drugs.  In all these  cases, the information was subpoenaed by  grand juries. Issue:  Do reporters have a First Amendment  privilege to refuse to reveal their confidential  sources and information to a grand jury?
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    Press arguments If reporters reveal their sources, their sources  will dry up. Protection of sources is critical to  newsgathering. Will create a chilling effect on the media. Police will abuse this power, be lazy and  make the media do their work for them.  Responding to subpoenas is time-consuming  and costly. We are the watchdogs of, not participants in,  the judicial process. 
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    Branzburg v. Hayes Ruling: No, there is no First Amendment- based privilege. 5-4 decision (4-1-4). Rationale: 1 st  A rights of journalists are the  same as those of every other person. 1 st  A is  an individual right, not an institutional right,  and journalists don’t have additional rights  that regular folks don’t have. No evidence that  sources would dry up. Confidential sources  are a problem only when a crime is involved.  Legislative bodies could pass laws to protect  reporters.
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    Branzburg reinterpretation
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  • Spring '08
  • HOFEDGES

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