Reporter’s Privilege Quiz

Many journalists argue that the law recognizes a First Amendment-based privilege that protects them from legal actions that threaten the integrity of their effort to gather and disseminate news. The subpoena is one legal action that poses such a threat. Common sense and experience suggests that some sources will refuse to share sensitive information with journalist if they are viewed as an extension of a law enforcement or prosecutory agency. Journalists argue, and many state legislatures have agreed, that reporter's privileges encourage the active and vital exchange of information necessary to keep the public fully informed about the world in which they live. But, as the growing number of journalists who have been jailed by courts for refusing to disclose their confidential sources attests, not everyone agrees.