Should a Reporter Reveal Confidential Sources?

This article is more than 18 years old.

This week's show featured the 18th Great Debate organized by Boston University's College of Communication. This year's question was "Should the Law Protect a Reporter from Having to Reveal Confidential Sources?"

Members of the team arguing for the affirmative included New York Times reporter Judith Miller, Robert A. Bertsche, a journalist turned lawyer who is a renowned defender of journalistic privilege, and BU student David Rini, a communications studies senior.

Reporter Judith Miller was held in contempt by a federal judge last October for refusing to name her sources to prosecutors investigating the disclosure of the identity of a covert C.I.A. agent. Miller, who faces up to 18 months in jail, gathered material for a story about the agent but never wrote it.

The team arguing the negative included attorney Joseph diGenova, a former U.S. Attorney who served as a special prosecutor and counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives; criminal law attorney Victoria Toensing, a former deputy assistant U.S. attorney general; and BU student Nick Barber, a broadcast journalism junior.

This program aired on November 21, 2004.

Robin Lubbock Twitter Videographer, Photographer
Robin Lubbock is a videographer and photographer for WBUR.



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