Why Have Some States Passed Shield Laws?

Which states do not have shield laws?

Mississippi has no shield law, but does recognize a qualified privilege.

There are no reported state cases dealing with reporters’ privilege and confidential sources, so the extent to which Mississippi recognizes the privilege is not clear..

What should I not tell a journalist?

5 things NOT to say to a journalist“No comment.” Never say “no comment.” Even if you don’t have anything you can share, explain why you’re not able to share much now. … Don’t repeat negative words or statements. … Providing personal opinions. … “Can we keep this off the record?” Unfortunately, it’s not always a real thing. … Jargon.

Can journalists break the law?

Even though the journalists are on good ethical ground, they still don’t have a right to violate the law.”

Why are shield laws important to the freedom of the press?

First, because individuals who might provide confidential or sensitive information to journalists are unlikely to do so unless their anonymity can be guaranteed, shield laws are essential to the practice of investigative journalism and thus to the existence of a free press, which is guaranteed by the First Amendment.

Does California have a shield law?

The reporter’s shield law contained in the California Constitution prohibits a publisher, editor, reporter, or other person connected with or employed by a newspaper, magazine, or other periodical publication, or by a press association or wire service, from being held in contempt for refusing to disclose the source of …

Why do reporters keep their sources confidential?

Journalists rely on source protection to gather and reveal information in the public interest from confidential sources. Such sources may require anonymity to protect them from physical, economic or professional reprisals in response to their revelations.

Can a journalist reveal their source?

JOURNALISTS must protect their confidential sources if the Press is to safeguard the interests of society. … Even so, courts do attempt to force journalists to reveal their sources.

Is it illegal to have a shield?

The California shield law applies to both the source of information (“confidential sources”) and to “unpublished information” such as notes, out-takes, unpublished photographs and tapes. … On the other hand, when the prosecution seeks information in a criminal law, the shield law is absolute.

Are reporters allowed on your property?

In order for a reporter and camera crew to be able to obtain footage, they must enter the property in a lawful way and then ask the occupier of the property for permission to film. Only once permission is given can they start filming.

Are bloggers protected by shield laws?

Blogging and Journalism: Extending Shield Law Protection to New Media Forms. News-oriented bloggers have contributed much to the public sphere in recent years. … Under Von Bulow, bloggers would be shielded from disclosing confidential sources and information when they function as journalists.

Does Missouri have a shield law?

Missouri continues to be one of the minority of states that has not adopted a shield statute for reporters.

Why do journalists argue that freedom of the press requires that they protect confidential sources?

Proponents of protecting confidential sources argue that journalists need a well-established legal privilege, similar to the attorney-client privilege or doctor-patient privilege, to protect them from being forced to reveal confidential information in court.

What is the purpose of a shield law?

Shield laws are statutes that provide journalists either an absolute or qualified privilege to refuse to disclose sources used or information obtained in the course of news gathering.

What are journalists not allowed to do?

Roughly 30 states have passed statutes, called shield laws, allowing journalists to refuse to disclose or testify about confidential or unpublished information, including the identity of sources. The statutes vary significantly from state to state in the scope of their protections.

How do shield laws and immunity differ from privileges?

Shield laws allow journalists to refuse to disclose sources, information. Shield laws usually provide either an absolute or qualified privilege, although California’s statute has been interpreted to create immunity against a finding of contempt rather than a privilege per se.

What laws do journalists have to follow?

When writing a story, all journalists must consider both legal and ethical issues. Laws are in place to restrict journalists from reporting things which may damage or harm other people or organisations. Ethics means doing what is ethically and morally right, regardless of what the law might say.

Do all 50 states have shield laws?

Currently the U.S. federal government has not enacted any national shield laws, but most of the 50 states do have shield laws or other protections for reporters in place.