Legal Issues in Journalism. By Caralyn Greif and Gina Guarini. Legal Terms:. Defamation : communication of false statements about a person that injure the reputation of or deter others from associating with that person
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Legal Issues in Journalism
By Caralyn Greif and Gina Guarini
Legal Protection for Journalists
Journalist rights are deliberately one of the foremost rights of the US Constitution. But though journalists are protected under the first amendment, those rights are too open to interpretation. Therefore, additional laws must be put into place.
The first state shield law was enacted in Maryland in 1896 after a reporter, John Morris from The Baltimore Sun, was jailed for refusing to reveal a source for a Grand Jury.
Washington Post reports that First Amendment crises like this have been happening like clockwork every 35 years
Still, there is currently no national shield law, only different variations of shield laws in each individual state. Some forms of which include:
Federal entity cannot require a covered person to provide testimony or reveal documents related to information “obtained or created by that person while engaging in journalism” UNLESS
Privacy Protection Act (PPA) (1980)
Kohler, David “Forty Years After New York Times v. Sullivan: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”