Study Questions

1. What are three ways that the government must prove in court in order for the journalist to testify?

  1. the requested information is relevant to specific investigation
  2. the government has a compelling need
  3. there is no alternative way to acquire the information

2. Are the current bills adequate?

No. Most journalism organizations acknowledge the bills are not perfect. Far from perfect, really. But having some protection is better than none at all.

3. What is a “qualified” privilege?

It’s a balance, and the government needs to have a good reason to force journalists to cough up their notes or sources. Because case law has not been particularly strong, many states have passed shield laws to provide further protections for journalists.


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