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Orange County Register: Judith Miller should have had a shield

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question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 10:42 AM
Original message
Orange County Register: Judith Miller should have had a shield
Thursday, July 7, 2005

Judith Miller should have had a shield


If we had sensitive information, we'd certainly be confident in confiding in a journalist who stuck to her end of the bargain and refused to divulge confidential information, regardless of the demands of federal prosecutors. That's the point of such confidentiality: In the interest of news-gathering and providing the public with crucial information about the governments, journalists need to occasionally promise their sources that they will never reveal their name.

The courts have traditionally recognized the importance of news gathering in a free society, and have therefore treated such promises with respect. Most states have shield laws that protect reporters from facing jail for protecting the confidentiality of sources, and the current situation reminds us of the need for a similar federal law.

The lack of such a federal shield law is why Ms. Miller is behind bars.

We're disturbed by the heavyhanded actions of the federal prosecutor and the judge. "There is still a realistic possiblity that confinement might cause her to testify," Judge Thomas Hogan said, according to the Associated Press. Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald argued, "Journalists are not entitled to promise complete confidentiality - no one in America is."

That's good reason, then, for Congress to move forward on a federal shield law introduced by U.S. Reps. Mike Pence, R-Ind., and Rick Boucher, D-Va. It would provide an absolute privilege for the name of sources, but only limited coverage for the information itself. The bill interprets the term reporter broadly, so that anyone involved in reporting, as opposed to professional journalists only, would have protection. The bill is supported by Freedom Communications, the Orange County Register's parent company.

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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 10:48 AM
Response to Original message
1. gee whiz if the
writer of this article would have done as much research into ms miller maybe they would not be so eager to defend her. from what i have read she deserves no protection as a journalist or reporter.of course i never received a degree in journalism like she did....
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stopbush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 11:07 AM
Response to Original message
2. BS. There is no shield law that protects anyone from
involvement or knowledge of criminal activity.

1. A crime was committed
2. Miller knows who committed the crime
3. End of story
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