Essay Title: 

the importance of confidential sources in journalism

March 17, 2016 | Author: | Posted in criminology, law

He established a rapport with the Black Panthers and had access to their confidential conversations with them When FBI asked him to provide the notes , Earl Caldwell , a correspondent for the New York Times , was the only journalist at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis when Dr . Martin Luther King Jr . was assassinated in 1968 . He established a rapport with the Black Panthers and had access to their confidential conversations with them (Montiel , 2005

When FBI asked him to provide the notes , he declined and took the mater to the Court . In 1970 [banner_entry_middle]

, the U .S . Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recognized the existence of a protection for the journalists under the First Amendment . It rules that Caldwell did not have to identify his sources unless the government could show the real need for his testimony and the proof that such information could not be obtained elsewhere . The government appealed against this in the Supreme Court . After long discussions , the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 against Caldwell . This is an example how the judges themselves were not sure about the provisions of the First Amendment . His fight against the government led to the expansion of state shield laws protecting journalists (Montiel , 2005

The Caldwell case became the most famous one related to the First Amendment and freedom of press . It stressed on the need for federal law to protect the journalists from indictment and harassment . The state shield laws were expanded and associations were formed . After the Caldwell case , the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press was formed , which worked for preservation of journalistic rights under the First Amendment (Montiel , 2005

It has been noticed that in the cases related to the protection of journalists under the First Amendment , judges expressed different opinions . Hence , it is very much important… [banner_entry_footer]

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