FLORIDA ‘ The state association that oversees attorneys is claiming that shield laws do not apply to students and that the University of Florida’s student television station should be required to turn over the tape of an interview.
The Florida Bar wants the copy of a taped interview in which an attorney allegedly made a statement out of court about pending litigation, an apparent ethics violation. The bar association is seeking the tape as evidence.
The station, WUFT, has argued the tape is covered by journalistic privilege laws, and refused to give it to the bar association. In turn, the association filed a request with a grievance committee of the Florida Supreme Court, in hopes that the court would require the station to give up the tape.
The bar association argues that journalistic privilege does not apply to student journalists. In the request the association filed with the supreme court committee it refers to a state statute that reads:
‘ ‘Professional journalist’ means a person regularly engaged in collecting, photographing, recording, writing, editing, reporting or publishing news, for gain or livelihood, who obtained the information sought while working as a salaried employee of or independent contractor for a newspaper, news journal, news agency, press association, wire service, radio or television station, network or news magazine.’
Terry Hynes, dean of the College of Journalism and Communications, said the request is still pending.