Monday, August 25, 2008

Shield law not a bad idea

I have not always been convinced that shield laws, which exempt journalists from having to reveal sources and other stuff (raw notes, etc.) to prosecutors and grand juries. It made me a little uncomfortable that it could be seen as a special privilege other Americans don't have. But I also know, if only occasionally from experience, that sometimes you can't get information unless you promise confidentiality to a source. And often whistleblowers won't blow the whistle unless they get confidentiality. Unnamed sources can be overused, of course, but a grand jury shouldn't have the power to make you break that promise. Here's the Register's editorial on the subject.

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