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Reporters Punished For Not Revealing Their Sources

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posted on Aug, 19 2004 @ 10:43 AM
This is an atrocity. Just when you thought rights and liberties couldn't get stripped anymore this has to happen....

WASHINGTON (AP) - A judge's decision to punish five reporters for refusing to identify their sources for stories about nuclear scientist Wen Ho Lee threatens to chill vital newsgathering at a time of increased government secrecy, advocates say.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson on Wednesday held the reporters in contempt and fined each of them $500 a day until they reveal their source. He said the information was needed for Lee, a former nuclear weapons scientist once suspected of spying, to litigate his privacy lawsuit against government officials.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

$500 a day is extremely excessive!

posted on Aug, 19 2004 @ 11:26 AM
I never know how to react to these stories about confidential sources.

True that without confidentiality some people would not come forward and that in some cases (like deepthroat) you can understand that the source's life is in danger.

However, if the source is in no real danger then why not lend greater credibility to the story by identifying them? Seems to me that if all news was from "confidential" sources then there would be a major lack of credibility (even more than now!

I guess the principle of keeping a source confidential needs to be protected for thoses cases where there is peril, but maybe a judge should be allowed to review the situation in camera and decide if there is a valid reason for not revealing the source?

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