by Mike Masnick
Mon, Sep 23rd 2013 3:49pm
The war on journalism isn't coming from just the federal government. Over in Illinois, a judge has fined Joseph Hosey, an editor for the AOL-owned hyperlocal news site, Patch, $1,000 plus court costs, plus $300 per day for refusing to reveal his sources on a certain story. This is pretty important. Having a journalist reveal sources basically ends that reporter's career as a serious investigative reporter because no source will trust that their information will be secret again. By definition, having the government require someone to do so certainly seems like a First Amendment violation, as it's a clear restriction on the freedom of the press. In addition, while we're skeptical of journalism shield laws (and how they can be used to exclude journalists, rather than include them), Illinois does have a shield law. Thankfully, Patch is appealing this ruling.
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