by Mike Masnick
Mon, Jun 8th 2009 10:09pm
There have been a bunch of lawsuits lately testing the boundaries of various "shield laws" that protect journalists from having to give up information on sources. There was one recent case that found that even comments on online newspaper articles could be protected by shield laws, as those commenters represented a source. However, a professor in Montana is suing to try to find out the identity of some commenters on a local news article (found via Citizen Media Law Group). The professor had recently lost a lawsuit, and believes that one of the commenters was on the jury -- and that particular comment (which was posted before the case was decided) suggested he had done independent research and believed information (that was false) in making his decision. So, in seeking a new trial, the professor wants the identity of the commenter in question. Attorneys for the professor claim that the juror admitted to writing the post in an affidavit, though the juror now says he did not. Either way, apparently the strong shield laws in Montana mean that the newspaper probably won't have to give up the info.
If you liked this post, you may also be interested in...
- Just How Wise Is It When Marco Rubio Promises To Swear Off Factual Information From Wikileaks?
- Judge Rejects 'Rioting' Charge Against Journalist For Reporting On Protestors, But Prosecutor Still Looking For New Charges
- Prosecutors Changing Charges Against Reporter To 'Rioting' Because Her Coverage Was Sympathetic To Protestors
- Why Is North Dakota Arresting Journalists For Doing Journalism?
- NBC Delayed Story About Trump's Access Hollywood Recording Over Fear That He Might Sue