Rules dating journalist
Many states recognize similar privileges for medical doctors, therapists, religious advisors, and spouses.They all stem from the belief that there’s a public interest that justifies the exclusion of testimony by certain people against others.
If journalists are, or are seen as, investigative arms of the government or private interests, then the public might lose faith in their reporting and be loath to trust them with information. What’s the actual legal source for a journalist’s privilege? , that the First Amendment doesn’t allow a journalist who has witnessed criminal activity to refuse to testify about it before a grand jury.
Journalist and filmmaker Mark Boal, who wrote and produced , has asked a judge to block a subpoena threatened by military prosecutors who want to obtain his confidential or unpublished interviews with US Army Sgt. A state judge has ruled that a reporter must testify at a murder trial about her jailhouse interview with the man accused of killing Anjelica Castillo, the toddler once known as Baby Hope.
The judge said the interview included the only statements the man made about the crime other than those in his police confession.
Regardless of whether a privilege exists, sometimes it’s possible under procedural rules to quash an order to disclose information.
For example, rules of civil procedure can impose restrictions on subpoenaing a witness who resides, say, more than 150 miles from where a suit is pending. They often prohibit duplicative testimony, so if other witnesses testify to the same facts, a journalist could argue that her testimony is duplicative. For example, after the New Mexico shield law was invalidated, the state supreme court enacted a rule giving journalists a privilege in state courts.