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ERIC Number: ED166695
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
Pages: 31
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Newsmen's Privilege.
Rohrer, Daniel M.
In response to recent court decisions limiting reporters' rights to confidentiality, this paper considers whether a shield law would increase or decrease the flow of information desired in the investigation of a crime and what constitutes the public's right to know. It argues that since many reporters obtain stories by relying on the confidentiality of sources, the threat of forced disclosure thwarts access to information. Without such assurances of confidentiality, many important stories might not have been written. Among the stories mentioned in this regard are Lincoln Steffens' report on big city corruption, Ida Tarbell's report on oil trusts, and the reports about Watergate. The paper quotes a number of sources, among them the "London Times," the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, and Theodore H. White, concerning the problems of not protecting reporter confidentiality, and it discusses the implications of several court decisions. It also explores the possible conflict between Sixth Amendment guarantees to a fair trial and First Amendment guarantees of a free press. (TJ)
Publication Type: Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Study prepared at Boston College