Reporters must reveal grand jury leak sources

I listened to a conversation this morning about this article. Here is the crux of the matter – A federal judge has ruled that two reporters must reveal the sources of grand jury testimony. The reporters, their lawyers and SF Chronicle want to keep their source(s) confidential. Their argument is that the overall good for the public must prevail over the judge (or judicial system) wanting the source(s) to be revealed. Though I do not agree with this particular line of argument of the lawyers, I still think that the reporters should not be coerced to reveal their sources – even if the source(s) happened to leak grand jury testimony. Otherwise, where is the protection for the fourth estate?


  1. Anonymous said August 17, 2006, 3:26 am:

    Gamesh, interesting controversy. I don’t understand the legal nuances of this. But i thought that a journalist need not disclose the source unless it is exculpatory – that is, it is a criminal that the journalist is protecting by hiding under this sources are confidential idea. My knowledge, stems from a Law & Order episode where a journalist ultimately discloses a source. Not sure how authentic Law & Order is. But i do know that they do a lot of research on legal aspects.

  2. Anonymous said August 17, 2006, 10:13 am:

    You are right Sukumar. A journalist typically does not have to disclose his source. But things are different in this case since a grand jury testimony was leaked.