Journalists' Privilege to Withhold Information in Judicial and Other Proceedings: State Shield Statutes
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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Absent a statutory or constitutional recognition of journalistic privilege, a reporter may be compelled to testify in legal, administrative, or other governmental proceedings. To date, 33 states and the District of Columbia have recognized a journalists privilege through the enactment of press shield laws, which protect the relationship between reporters, their source, and sometimes, the information that may be communicated in that relationship. Another 16 states have adopted a journalists privilege through court decisions Wyoming is the only state without a legislatively or judicially adopted journalists privilege. The journalists privilege is distinct from other recognized privileges, in that the privilege vests only with the journalist, not with the source of the information. This report provides a brief overview of the state shield statutes and then sets forth the full text of each.
- Information Science
- Sociology and Law