Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Journalists and disclosure of sources

So, Scooter Libby was sentenced to 30 months in prison and ordered to pay a $250,000 yesterday for his role in the Valerie Plame affair.

Here's a CNN account of what happened. The CNN report also helpfully gives out a timeline of key events in the investigation of the case. You can also read Time's timeline.

In another article, Time gives us an idea of the effect of the Libby trial on the press.

"(Patrick) Fitzgerald's investigation has set a precedent that will encourage other prosecutors to seek testimony from the press, forcing other journalists to betray their sources. Journalism and the public interest will suffer. It is dispiriting that the Supreme Court refused to hear our plea. But in the absence of a favorable court decision, Congress should pass a shield law to protect journalists and their sources. Reporters Without Borders publishes a press-freedom index, based on responses from media organizations and other experts around the world. The U.S. ranked 53rd out of 168 countries last year, trailing embarrassingly behind Bosnia, Namibia and the Dominican Republic. Without relief from continued assaults on the press, we shall fall further toward Russia (147) and last-place North Korea.

Read the article "How Libby's Trial Hurt the Press " by Norman Pearlstine here.

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