Shields Up

Friday, November 06, 2009


This month, the White House and the Senate reached a compromise that makes it likely the nation will pass a federal shield law. CW Anderson, a blogger for Harvard's Nieman Journalism Lab, talks about who the law will cover, and the compromises journalists have made to get it enacted.

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Comments [3]

Emacee from Philadelphia

The host and guest both seemed to take as given that a shield law is a good thing and (by extension) use of anonymous sources is a good thing. OK, maybe it makes a reporter's life easier but the idea of presenting anonymous and unsubstantiated gossip as news troubles me. Academics and researchers have to document their sources so anybody can go back and check their facts and their conclusions (academics also claim first amendment protection); why shouldn't reporters? Instead the news media say "trust us." They, in turn, elect to trust somebody who won't stand behind what they say. There is a lot of opportunity for abuse here. I say, no anonymous sources at all. Besides, if somebody really wants to leak a story, all they have to do is make an anonymous phone call (from a throw-away cell phone) or anonymous email. Then let the reporter do some actual legwork and get facts that can be substantiated the old-fashioned way.

Nov. 16 2009 11:52 AM
Steven H. from London, UK

How do you define a professional journalist? Not someone who says 'less exceptions'.

Nov. 10 2009 06:26 PM
Kwabena W. from District of Columbia

Wow!* My god, Ms. Gladstone. As I was listening to you describe what happened in the Josh Wolf case in California, I could only believe that you had rehearsed this portion of the interview. Not only did you remember what happened, you expressed it clearly in flowing sentences without hesitation.

My respect for you as a journalist/host/editor has increased...again.

*I rarely use exclamation points.

Nov. 07 2009 09:30 AM

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