Journalistic Shield Law

The SFGate has an editorial about the need for a Federal Shield Law for reporters, to protect their sources.

FREEDOM OF the press is under assault in this country.

The battle centers on whether journalists can be compelled — under threat of incarceration — to reveal the identity of anonymous sources.

In our view, any journalist worthy of the title should be willing to go to jail, if necessary, to honor a confidentiality agreement with a source — as many have. Trust is the foundation of the source-reporter relationship, which is a cornerstone of news gathering.

No where is this enumerated as a Right. If someone is accusing an individual, multiple people, or an entity, the accused actually have the Right to confront witness against them, at least when it comes to criminal prosecutions (Amendment VI).

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.

In my opinion, why should anyone be allowed to anonymously accuse anyone with wrong doing? Why should journalists be immune to the Rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights? Think about it. Would you want someone who is making allegations against you to be protected? I wouldn’t. Our Right to face our accuser(s) is part of the Constitution. Being able to protect a source is not. I choose the Constitution.

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