Confidential sources

Judith Miller case to be re-enacted in D.C. circuit court

Ariel B. Glickman | Reporter's Privilege | News | February 14, 2017
News
February 14, 2017

A court decision that resulted in an 85-day jail stay for reporter Judith Miller will be re-enacted and re-examined this afternoon by a number of prominent attorneys and judges.

The Historical Society of the District of Columbia Circuit will host the examination of the oral argument in In re Judith Miller, a 2004 reporter’s privilege case heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The event, which is part of the historical society’s annual program highlighting a significant issue before the D.C. Circuit, will take place from 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. in the Ceremonial Courtroom on the sixth floor of the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse.

Bankruptcy judge changes his mind on Bloomberg order

Press Release | January 20, 2016
January 20, 2016

In a hearing today, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher S. Sontchi said he should have granted Bloomberg’s request to be heard on an expedited basis in objecting to his investigation of Bloomberg reporters’ sources. Bloomberg objected to the scope of the investigation of a possible violation of a confidentiality order in a bankruptcy case after the judge required 123 individuals involved in the case to file declarations about contacts with any Bloomberg reporters about the debtor in the previous 60 days.

Sontchi has now said he will hear Bloomberg’s objections to his initial order on Friday morning.

Bankruptcy court continues investigation into Bloomberg sources; two hearings scheduled for today

Press Release | January 20, 2016
January 20, 2016

A federal bankruptcy judge in Delaware yesterday denied a motion by Bloomberg News, without oral argument, to suspend an overreaching investigation into contacts between its reporters and the parties in a bankruptcy proceeding.

The court’s sweeping order demanded all parties reveal knowledge of any contacts with Bloomberg reporters over the previous 60 days, which could affect contacts unrelated to the three stories the court identified as containing certain information covered by a protective order.

Bloomberg immediately appealed to the federal district court, but the district court declined to act yesterday.

Reporters Committee leads coalition objecting to bankruptcy court investigation of Bloomberg sources

Press Release | January 18, 2016
January 18, 2016

A Delaware bankruptcy judge’s order demanding that more than 100 individuals in a case before him disclose all their contacts with any Bloomberg reporters in the last 60 days is overly broad and interferes with reporters’ First Amendment freedoms, the Reporters Committee argued in a letter to the judge on behalf of a media coalition.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher S. Sontchi issued the order last Thursday, demanding that a long list of individuals associated with the debtors and creditors in the bankruptcy of Molycorp, Inc., disclose within 5 days any contacts with Bloomberg reporters, or any knowledge of anyone else’s contact with those reporters.

In re Molycorp, Inc.

January 16, 2016

A Delaware bankruptcy judge demanded that more than 100 individuals involved in the bankruptcy proceedings concerning Molycorp Inc. disclose all their contacts with any Bloomberg reporters in the last 60 days, after he saw several articles that he felt contained information subject to a confidentiality order. The Reporters Committee argued in a letter to the judge on behalf of a media coalition that the order is overly broad and interferes with reporters’ First Amendment freedoms.

Court finds identity of leaker not relevant to murder trial, overturns order to journalist to disclose source

Kimberly Chow | Reporter's Privilege | News | December 16, 2014
News
December 16, 2014

An Illinois appellate court has reversed a trial court’s order that a reporter reveal his confidential source, shooting down the judge's conclusion that finding the identity of a leaker of a police document in a murder case justified compelled disclosure.

The Reporters Committee, joined by 38 other media organizations, filed an amicus brief in the case, People of the State of Illinois v. Bethany McKee, in April 2014.

Journalists, technologists discuss encryption at conference on digital security after Snowden

Hannah Bloch-Wehba | Newsgathering | News | November 10, 2014
News
November 10, 2014

Update: The complete conference video is now online.


“Edward Snowden is not a model for journalism,” James Risen said at a conference on digital security practices last Friday. “If it is, we’re going to have a lot of lawyers — and a lot of problems.”

From left to right, James Risen of The New York Times, Julia Angwin of ProPublica, Dana Priest of The Washington Post, and Christopher Soghoian of the ACLU discuss the use of encryption by journalists.

Free press groups petition Attorney General on behalf of journalist James Risen

Emily Grannis | Newsgathering | News | August 14, 2014
News
August 14, 2014

More than 100,000 people, including 20 Pulitzer Prize winners, signed a petition submitted to President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder today urging the administration to rethink its policy of subpoenaing journalists to reveal their sources.

Seven representatives of free press organizations announced the delivery of the petition at the National Press Club this afternoon and called on the administration to drop its threatened subpoena of New York Times reporter James Risen.

Risen has been fighting since 2007 to protect a confidential source he used in writing a book about the Central Intelligence Agency, and he joined the panel at the press conference today.

Sen. Wyden speaks out against new policy restricting access to intelligence sources

Bradleigh Chance | Newsgathering | News | June 18, 2014
News
June 18, 2014

On the Senate floor this week Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., praised new statutory protections for intelligence agency whistleblowers, but expressed concerns with a new policy created by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that punishes intelligence agency employees for talking to the press.

Wyden worked with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, to include the new whistleblower protections in a provision in the 2014 Intelligence Authorization bill, which passed unanimously Wednesday evening, but Wyden’s success with the bill is overshadowed by his frustrations with a new policy from the DNI.

Media organizations urge Senate to vote on federal shield bill

Cindy Gierhart | Reporter's Privilege | News | June 13, 2014
News
June 13, 2014

Spurred by a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court not to hear an appeal by New York Times reporter James Risen – which could result in Risen going to jail or being fined for not naming his source – media organizations stress that now is the time to pass a federal shield bill.

More than 70 news organizations – the Reporters Committee included – sent a letter to the Senate majority and minority leaders earlier this week, urging them to schedule a vote on the shield bill.