Rules dating journalist
If the person doesn’t, she’s subject to a contempt finding, which means a judge could put the person in jail, or fine her, or both.
The penalty’s chief purpose is not to punish—it’s to extract compliance. The most famous is the attorney-client privilege that exempts an attorney from testifying against a client about confidential communications.
If my inbox is any indication, those cases have prompted a surge of interest in shield laws and the practice of compelled disclosure. When can a government official require a reporter to disclose sources or information? What types of sources or information are protected?
Is there a big difference between a subpoena and a search warrant?
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They all stem from the belief that there’s a public interest that justifies the exclusion of testimony by certain people against others. A federal judge has ordered Glenn Beck to disclose the names of confidential sources he used in his reporting that a Saudi Arabian man was involved in the Boston Marathon bombing.The man sued Beck for defamation after he was cleared of any involvement.Some privilege schemes are narrow and apply only to full-time employees of professional news outlets, while others are broad and extend to bloggers, filmmakers, freelancers, book authors, and student journalists.In other words, some are inclusive and others are exclusive.
However, the court’s opinion was joined by five justices, one of whom wrote separately to say there could be future cases in which it would make sense for a journalist to be privileged.* Because that was the vote needed to decide the case, some lower courts have invoked the separate opinion to recognize a First Amendment privilege. In some places, journalists can claim a privilege based on the state constitution, and in other places, journalists can claim one based on state common law.