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Confidentiality of sources pape1

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Running head: CONFIDENTIALITY OF SOURCES 1
Confidentiality of Sources Paper
Tameka KellsEbanks
BSCOM/415
July 15, 2019
Dr. Nicole Kragt

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CONFIDENTIALITY OF SOURCES 2
Confidentiality of Sources Paper
The 1970s marked a significant shift on the journalist rights and a new dimension,
altogether, in the longstanding row of the ethics and law related to activities of the press. Before
this period, the juries did not allow themselves to find common protection in the constitution,
when the matter was on the confidentiality of new sources or where the journalists had refused to
satisfy subpoenas. Indeed, they were held in contempt of court when they refused to disclose
their confidential sources. The law also stipulated steep penalties to them alongside the press,
which they were affiliated. Recently, however, a new turn of the events have been experienced as
courts have lessened their stand on the disclosure request, by factoring in the demands of the
First Amendment. Some juries are of the opinion that subpoena may indeed obstruct the free
flow of information from secret sources, apparently denying the public from access to
information. The objective of this paper is to discuss the protection of the sources by revisiting
Branzburg v. Hayes, Confidentiality, and Shield Laws. This focus will aid in understanding the
legal implication in the use of traditional and new media as well as how confidentiality and
Shield laws apply to journalism and ethics around the disclosure of confidential sources.
Branzburg v. Hayes
In some cases, journalists have secured some protection of the new sources, but it should
be noted that they have no absolute protection. The law stipulates that following issuance of a
subpoena, if a person declines to divulge the confidential sources to the grand jury, then the court
holds such person, alongside the press they work for, in contempt of the court and is ordered to
pay steep monetary fines and serve jail terms alongside the fine.

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Running head: CONFIDENTIALITY OF SOURCES Confidentiality of Sources Paper Tameka KellsEbanks BSCOM/415 July 15, 2019 Dr. Nicole Kragt 1 CONFIDENTIALITY OF SOURCES 2 Confidentiality of Sources Paper The 1970s marked a significant shift on the journalist rights and a new dimension, altogether, in the longstanding row of the ethics and law related to activities of the press. Before this period, the juries did not allow themselves to find common protection in the constitution, when the matter was on the confidentiality of new sources or where the journalists had refused to satisfy subpoenas. Indeed, they were held in contempt of court when they refused to disclose their confidential sources. The law also stipulated steep penalties to them alongside the press, which they were affiliated. Recently, however, a new turn of the events have been experienced as courts have lessened their stand on the disclosure request, by factoring in the demands of the First Amendment. Some juries are of the opinion that subpoena may indeed obstruct the free flow of information from secret sources, apparently denying the public from access to information. The objective of this paper is to discuss the protection of the sources by revisiting Branzburg v. Hayes, Confidentiality, and Shield Laws. This focus will aid in understanding the legal implication in the use of traditional and new media as well as how confidentiality and Shield laws apply to journalism and ethics around the disclosure of co ...
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