Journalism Student Protected By California Shield Law
from the journalism-in-action dept
Earlier this year, we wrote about a journalism student who witnessed a murder while doing a photojournalism project. While police were trying to get information from him, he invoked California's shield law for journalists, allowing them to protect "sources." The case is complex on a number of different levels -- from the fact that the kid is a student, not a full-time journalist, to the fact that the information on the murder wasn't directly a source from whom he was learning info, but something he just witnessed. The other complicating factor is the idea that the student could put his life in danger by revealing what he saw. Either way, a judge has ruled that, indeed, California's shield law protects this student and he does not need to reveal what he saw. The police are not happy, and referred to the student as a "coward," which seems a bit harsh.