Media Law Handbook
Journalist's Privilege
12 results total, viewing 1 - 12
Because news reporters frequently cover events that result in criminal prosecutions or civil litigation, reporters often are subpoenaed to provide testimony or other evidence.  Since 1972, when … more
The state’s shield law, which is found at N.C. Gen. Stat. § 8-53.11, provides journalists broad protection against subpoenas for testimony or the disclosure of notes or other documents … more
The protection applies to any person or company engaged in “gathering, compiling, writing, editing, photographing, recording or processing information that is disseminated by any news … more
North Carolina’s broad shield statute covers nonconfidential as well as confidential information, as illustrated by the trial court decisions cited above and in endnote 5.  It protects … more
No.  Because the shield statute creates a qualified privilege, not an absolute one, a court can compel a reporter to testify or produce documents if the party seeking the testimony or documents … more
Journalists subpoenaed in federal court in civil cases are protected by the state shield law only in cases where N.C. substantive law applies (such as civil cases in which the federal court’s … more
Federal judges in all three districts in North Carolina – the Western, Middle and Eastern districts – have recognized and applied a qualified privilege for news reporters.  The … more
The U.S. attorney general has adopted strict policies limiting the issuance of subpoenas by U.S. Attorneys to members of the news media and to telephone companies for telephone records of members of … more
Although there is necessarily some give and take between reporters and their sources, reporters should be cautious about discussing their news gathering activities or previously published … more
The federal Privacy Protection Act protects journalists against most searches of newsrooms by law enforcement officials.  The law generally prohibits federal, state and local law officials from … more
Every N.C. journalist should have a copy of the state’s shield law and be well aware of what it does and does not protect.  You also should know your employer’s policies regarding … more
Don’t promise confidentiality casually or needlessly.  Many sources expect an agreement that a comment will not be attributed to them by name in an article, but they do not expect a … more