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  1.    #1  
    http://www.cnn.com/

    THANK YOU, Judith for being a true reporter!
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  2. #2  
    Quote Originally Posted by mediasi
    http://www.cnn.com/

    THANK YOU, Judith for being a true reporter!
    I understand your point of view but the special prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald made a good point:

    link
    ...at a time when journalists seek a reporter's privilege akin to the attorney-client privilege, they ought to recognize that an attorney can be compelled to testify if his client communicates to the attorney for the purpose of committing a crime or fraud. ... Third, journalists are not entitled to promise complete confidentiality -- no one in America is."
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  3.    #3  
    You may agree with that, but I'd rather have a flow of information:

    http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/07/06/ny...nt/index.html/
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  4.    #4  
    I'd also add that if they want to take away a Journalist's right to agree to confidentiality, you can forget about a majority of the prime news we receive. The bulk of good stories first stems from "off the record" communication. Without that (which WILL be affected by the testimony of the other reporters) you can forget about the public being in the know on key issues. It's that type of communication that leads a reporter to even investigate a story.

    Pamela
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  5. #5  
    Reporters are just like the rest of during the investigation of a crime

    Imagine that.
  6.    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by 1911sforever
    Reporters are just like the rest of during the investigation of a crime

    Imagine that.
    Huh?
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  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by mediasi
    I'd also add that if they want to take away a Journalist's right to agree to confidentiality, you can forget about a majority of the prime news we receive. The bulk of good stories first stems from "off the record" communication. Without that (which WILL be affected by the testimony of the other reporters) you can forget about the public being in the know on key issues. It's that type of communication that leads a reporter to even investigate a story.

    Pamela
    In this day and age, I don't see how you or I could NOT get information to a reporter anonymously if we wanted to. The real argument (IMO) is that without knowing who gave you the info, its harder (not impossible) to verify its authenticity.

    I mean, its not like there is no right to protect your sources (because there is)...its just that there are going to be times that you will not be able to hide behind those 'rights' in order to break the law. (I think we can both agree that whomever revealed the name of the CIA agent was wrong and should be punished.)
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  8.    #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho
    In this day and age, I don't see how you or I could NOT get information to a reporter anonymously if we wanted to. The real argument (IMO) is that without knowing who gave you the info, its harder (not impossible) to verify its authenticity.

    I mean, its not like there is no right to protect your sources (because there is)...its just that there are going to be times that you will not be able to hide behind those 'rights' in order to break the law. (I think we can both agree that whomever revealed the name of the CIA agent was wrong and should be punished.)
    Unfortunately it's not that simple. First, there's always the question of whether or not the reporter should reveal everything they hear? There's certainly reasons behind many things I got from "anonymous" sources I never ran (some to prevent the obstruction of justice). Just because I had the info doesn't mean I had to run it.

    However, there are two ways to view things, and the problem here is, revealing a source has great consequences indeed - to the reporter (it very well may ruin Matt's career, the publication and the world of journalism. If we aren't willing to protect our source, then we shouldn't use their information in our story. It's as simple as that - you agree to confidentiality and if there's concern about maintaining it down the road, then don't print the info unless you can find another source on the record.
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  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by mediasi
    Unfortunately it's not that simple.
    Sigh...it never is.

    Quote Originally Posted by mediasi
    First, there's always the question of whether or not the reporter should reveal everything they hear? There's certainly reasons behind many things I got from "anonymous" sources I never ran (some to prevent the obstruction of justice). Just because I had the info doesn't mean I had to run it.
    I agree...and the news organization can run into trouble (although they are more protected than the average 'joe' if they print something that is untruthful.) But...if you get info on a story that has enough facts to indicate that what the person is saying is more likely true than false, cant those tidbits break the story open to you by rattling other sources (while the original source is still completely anonymous?)

    Quote Originally Posted by mediasi
    However, there are two ways to view things, and the problem here is, revealing a source has great consequences indeed - to the reporter (it very well may ruin Matt's career, the publication and the world of journalism.
    It seems a little bit of a stretch that this one reporter and one story are going to ruin the world of journalism by having to reveal its source

    Quote Originally Posted by mediasi
    If we aren't willing to protect our source, then we shouldn't use their information in our story. It's as simple as that - you agree to confidentiality and if there's concern about maintaining it down the road, then don't print the info unless you can find another source on the record.
    Maybe that is the only solution...I don't know.

    I know this is a little OT but I dont understand why people are not upset over the fact that Robert Novak decided to publish the story in the paper? I dont want it to turn political...but it seems to me that if I knew a national security type of secret...then it would probably be more responsible that I bring it to the attention of the FBI or the CIA instead of publishing a story on it? (IMHO).
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  10.    #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho
    It seems a little bit of a stretch that this one reporter and one story are going to ruin the world of journalism by having to reveal its source
    Speaking from experience - it takes, usually, a long time to get a source to truly trust you. Trust from "tipsters" and others doesn't come the first day on the job. For some, it never comes. It takes a lot of time, just like any "good" relationship.

    When you're a reporter, you're usually NOT trusted until you prove otherwise.

    Now that a reporter has agreed to divulge confidential info, quite a few key folks are going to get nervous and start pulling back, which means there's information (tips, etc.) which would normally be given to trusted reporters that will be held back. This will happen for a while until the story has faded into oblivion, and that will take time. This will especially happen to NY Times reporters, because of the pub's agreement to release the notes. There will be cause for concern for those "back end" informants.

    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho
    I know this is a little OT but I dont understand why people are not upset over the fact that Robert Novak decided to publish the story in the paper? I dont want it to turn political...but it seems to me that if I knew a national security type of secret...then it would probably be more responsible that I bring it to the attention of the FBI or the CIA instead of publishing a story on it? (IMHO).
    News like this sells - me? I probably would have held the info completely until there came a time it needed to be heard. Now, if they knew other pubs had it, they'd want to be first, but the simple fact is, it's a problem.

    Note, though, that in most cases, it's not the reporter who makes the decision. I had plenty of stories and key quotes canned by editors - the decision is theirs.

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  11. #11  
    Yes, but this is not exactly in the spirit of protecting the whistle blower. She is actually protecting, from what I can tell, the bad guy in this situation. The victim has already been damaged.
  12.    #12  
    I disagree. She's protecting "herself." She was told something in confidence, so she's sticking to her guns. She may not give a wit about her source.

    Pamela
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  13. #13  
    But this is not an instance of information benefitting society but needing protection for coming forward. This is an action of using the press to attack a whistle blower who came forward with factual information regarding the Nigerian yellow cake myth.
  14.    #14  
    Yes, but in her case it's protection of her own reputation (and hopefully her own conscience). There were plenty of times I was threatened with legal action (1 time jailtime), and even worse if I didn't divulge info (either to an entity or individual) and I never did. I was willing to go to jail in lieu of compromising my own morals - and that was violating confidentiality with another party.

    Any reporter should not take an agreement of confidentiality lightly. I discuss quite a few things with my husband, but there are things I've never talked about and never will.

    Pamela
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  15. #15  
    It's an abuse of the spirit of "confidential sources". If this reporter wants to go to jail for protecting a criminal act, then so be it. I will not shed a tear here.
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by mediasi
    Huh?
    You really do work in the media, don't you?

    If I have information about the commission of a felony, and if during the course of the investigation I withhold information from the authorities, then I am subject to being charged as an accessory.

    Which makes perfect sense in this case, as well. The media ***** KNEW they were acting as a conduit...they were willingly complicit in the release of what some claim to be classified information.

    Now then, I wonder when Senator Leheay is going to be indicted?
  17.    #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas
    It's an abuse of the spirit of "confidential sources". If this reporter wants to go to jail for protecting a criminal act, then so be it. I will not shed a tear here.
    I think some may be missing the point. I'm not shedding any tears. I respect her for taking the jail time. I would have done the same.

    Pamela
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  18.    #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by 1911sforever
    You really do work in the media, don't you?
    Not anymore. But yes, I was a criminal justice reporter.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1911sforever
    If I have information about the commission of a felony, and if during the course of the investigation I withhold information from the authorities, then I am subject to being charged as an accessory.
    That depends on WHAT that information is and how it affects the case. Are you saying Woodward and Bernstein should have also gone to jail?

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  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by mediasi
    That depends on WHAT that information is and how it affects the case. Are you saying Woodward and Bernstein should have also gone to jail?
    Woody and Bernie may have received info which could be contrued as breaking the law to deliver however it was for the purpose of revealing a serious crime(s) in the highest levels of office.

    In this case, the "informant" did no good in providing the information and more than likely did so out of revenge against a whistle blower.

    On a side tech note, if the one reporter reveals this source, is the other one allowed out of jail?
  20.    #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas
    On a side tech note, if the one reporter reveals this source, is the other one allowed out of jail?
    No, they shouldn't be. When your jailed for contempt you serve your time. She wouldn't get out just because the other revealed the info. She has to testify on her own behalf.

    Pamela
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