Journalists, Shield Laws and the First Amendment: Is the Fourth Estate Under Attack?

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Ulan C. Pracene
Novinka Books, Jan 1, 2005 - Political Science - 104 pages
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Absent a statutory or constitutional recognition of journalistic privilege, a reporter may be compelled to testify in legal, administrative, or other governmental proceedings. To date, thirty-one states and the District of Columbia have recognized a journalists' privilege through enactment of press 'shield laws', which protect the relationship between reporters, their source, and sometimes, the information that may be communicated in that relationship. The journalists' privilege is distinct from other recognized privileges, in that the privilege vests only with the journalist, not with the source of the information. This book provides an overview of general trends among the states individual statutes. It also presents the full text of the state shield statutes and the First Amendment.

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