rules and ethics governing journalists revealing sources. The writer explores cases in which journalists were ordered to reveal sources and refused. The writer also examines the protections that journalists have from revealing sources and argues that it is those protections that provide the ability to bring the public the news. There were five sources used to complete this paper.
The freedom of the press has provided a powerful cloak of protection in the interest of getting the news out to the public, however in recent years some of the elements of that freedom have come under scrutiny as issues of justice and security have come into play. Journalists who bring the news to the public often develop confidential sources who are willing to tip a journalist off to things that are happening that the public would wish to know. These sources may be high placed political figures, law enforcement officers, or others who could not provide the information to the media if their identy was to be attached to that information. The journalist takes the information that the source provides and then locates people who can go on the record about the issue and writes the story. The issue of revealing sources has always been a controversial issue in the world of mass communication however, in light of recent terrorist events, journalists getting caught making stories up and other things that have brought the industry into the public eye the question of revealing sources has become more heated. While there will always be the occasional problem that is created by a journalist’s refusal to reveal his or her sources the right not to reveal them must be supported. Without that right the press will ultimately fail to break open wrongdoings that the public has the right to know about thereby removing much of the power that the American public holds over its elected officials and others.
The topic first came to my attention when I read about several journalists being threatened with jail if they did not receive their sources. I initially believed they should reveal them until I looked into the wide reaching ramifications of having them do that. If journalists are not allowed to protect their sources many of the sources will refuse to come to them in the future with information. This will mean that things the pubic has a right to be made aware of including political corruption and criminal activities will no longer become public and it will be allowed to continue and expand. The end result will be disastrous.
Recent events in the area of journalistic freedom to not reveal sources hit the news again when the Supreme Court refused to hear the case of several journalists who were ordered to reveal sources in a case that ultimately resulted in a multi-million dollar settlement to the man who claimed to have had his privacy unearthed when sources revealed information to the journalists and they refused to provide the names of those sources.
The settlement erased civil contempt of court citations against reporters for refusing to disclose who leaked them information about an espionage investigation of Lee, who was fired from his job at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico (Sherman, 2006).”
In recent years America has seen an increase in the number of journalists that have been slapped with subpoenas that demand they reveal their confidential sources in various stories.
Many times the demand stems from a journalist finding out about political corruption by way of a leak form a confidential informant who has first hand knowledge but cannot publicly speak to the problem.
These sources provide information about espionage, payoffs, illegal activities and other matters that are of interest to the public and hurt those who are involved in the cover-ups.
For reporters who cling to the claim that the First Amendment shields them from subpoenas and protects the identity of their confidential sources, contempt orders, hefty frees and a jail bed await (Dreiling, 2004).”
During the 1972 Supreme Court case, Branzburg v. Hayes, it was ruled that journalists did not have the right to refuse to respond to demands from a grand jury. Since that ruling journalists and their organizations have continued to refuse to reveal sources even when faced with jail terms for that refusal (Dreiling, 2004).
When that decision occurred a total of 49 states moved to provide shield laws for journalists who did not wish to reveal their sources for their stories, however there is no federal shield law which means when a journalist uncovers a story about federal corruption or problems and is ordered to reveal the leak or source that tipped them off they have no protection against punishment if they refuse to reveal. However, if they do start to reveal sources, then future informants are going to be hesitant to alert the media when corruption takes place (Dreiling, 2004).
News organizations such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, Dow Jones and Company, Gannett Company, Bloomberg and Fox News are asking courts to recognize a reporter’s privilege. Without such privilege, news organizations worry that subpoenas will be used to harass journalists and intimidate government workers (Dreiling, 2004).”
Since the events of 9-11 courts have gotten less lenient about journalists claiming that the first amendment protects them from revealing sources. Even in cases that do not involve terrorism journalists are being incarcerated for refusing to cooperate with the demand to know who their sources were. Last October a New York Times reporters and a Time magazine reporters were both jailed for their refusal to tell a federal grand jury who tipped them off to the fact that the wife of a former U.S. ambassador was a covert CIA
Operative on weapons of mass destruction.
The two journalists were not only jailed for their refusal to tell who their source was they were also each fined $1,000 a day until they were willing to tell (Dreiling, 2004).
That order was held until an appeal can be heard.
Part of the problem involves the legality of a government official leaking information to the press that should have fallen under their confidentiality agreement. The leaks are at times criminal offenses on the part of the official who provided the information and the demand to have the journalist reveal that name is so that person can be charged. If the journalist doesn’t reveal the source there is no way of knowing it if was in fact a government official or other person who had a confidentiality agreement. It is ironic that journalists are jailed for not helping someone jail an official who helps bring corruption to public light.
Many experts believe that the issue of a reporter’s privilege is quickly headed back to the Supreme Court as more cases arise that are on a federal level.
Within that controversy will most likely include whether journalists can seek out information with the pre-promised protection of confidentiality to the informant. In the case against the Seminole in which civil laws suits were filed following stories about a tribal investigation that the paper conducted one exhibit introduced to the trial was a memo sent by the reporter to the person he needed the information from.
A understand the position this letter puts you in, but I’ve only the interest of the tribe at heart,” Goldstein’s letter reads, in part. “I’m aware that you may be in possession of certain documents that could help our pursuit of the truth…if copies of those documents were to arrive in an envelope that has no return address on it, the truth will get out and there will be no trace.. (Flowers, 2000).”
FEDERAL SHIELD TIME
The time has come to pass a federal shield law (Pass, 2006). Some of the most significant corruption has been uncovered at the federal level over the years and the journalists who break those stories deserve to be protected in the same way that state and local level journalist are protected. When Nixon was exposed it was because a journalist was given information that lead to that story being revealed. When Clinton was exposed it was because someone provided a lead to a journalist who took it from there and uncovered the truth.
If journalists are not protected from revealing their sources at all levels of government or legal areas they will no longer be able to obtain the tips that allow them to uncover wrongdoings.
Dreiling, Geri L (2004) First Amendment protects journalists and that the majority… National Catholic Reporter.
____(2006) EDITORIAL: Pass Federal Shield Law From: Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.)
Flowers, Charles (2000) Newspaper Lawsuit Still on the Griddle
Kellman, Laurie (2005) Senate considers protecting reporters who won’t reveal
Peele, Thomas (2006) Reporters claim privilege to protect source
Sherman, Mark (2006) Supreme Court Turns Down Reporter Appeal
Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?
Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.
Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.
Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.
While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.
Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.
In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.
Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.
We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!
We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.
Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.
We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.
Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.
There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.
Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.
We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.
You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.
We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.
You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.
Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.
You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.
The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.
PLACE THIS ORDER OR A SIMILAR ORDER WITH US TODAY!!!
We provide professional writing services to help you score straight A’s by submitting custom written assignments that mirror your guidelines.
Get result-oriented writing and never worry about grades anymore. We follow the highest quality standards to make sure that you get perfect assignments.
Our writers have experience in dealing with papers of every educational level. You can surely rely on the expertise of our qualified professionals.
Your deadline is our threshold for success and we take it very seriously. We make sure you receive your papers before your predefined time.
Someone from our customer support team is always here to respond to your questions. So, hit us up if you have got any ambiguity or concern.
Sit back and relax while we help you out with writing your papers. We have an ultimate policy for keeping your personal and order-related details a secret.
We assure you that your document will be thoroughly checked for plagiarism and grammatical errors as we use highly authentic and licit sources.
Still reluctant about placing an order? Our 100% Moneyback Guarantee backs you up on rare occasions where you aren’t satisfied with the writing.
You don’t have to wait for an update for hours; you can track the progress of your order any time you want. We share the status after each step.
Although you can leverage our expertise for any writing task, we have a knack for creating flawless papers for the following document types.
Although you can leverage our expertise for any writing task, we have a knack for creating flawless papers for the following document types.
From brainstorming your paper's outline to perfecting its grammar, we perform every step carefully to make your paper worthy of A grade.
Hire your preferred writer anytime. Simply specify if you want your preferred expert to write your paper and we’ll make that happen.
Get an elaborate and authentic grammar check report with your work to have the grammar goodness sealed in your document.
You can purchase this feature if you want our writers to sum up your paper in the form of a concise and well-articulated summary.
You don’t have to worry about plagiarism anymore. Get a plagiarism report to certify the uniqueness of your work.
Join us for the best experience while seeking writing assistance in your college life. A good grade is all you need to boost up your academic excellence and we are all about it.
We create perfect papers according to the guidelines.
We seamlessly edit out errors from your papers.
We thoroughly read your final draft to identify errors.
Work with ultimate peace of mind because we ensure that your academic work is our responsibility and your grades are a top concern for us!
Dedication. Quality. Commitment. Punctuality
Here is what we have achieved so far. These numbers are evidence that we go the extra mile to make your college journey successful.
We have the most intuitive and minimalistic process so that you can easily place an order. Just follow a few steps to unlock success.
We understand your guidelines first before delivering any writing service. You can discuss your writing needs and we will have them evaluated by our dedicated team.
We write your papers in a standardized way. We complete your work in such a way that it turns out to be a perfect description of your guidelines.
We promise you excellent grades and academic excellence that you always longed for. Our writers stay in touch with you via email.