Idaho does not have a shield statute. Attempts to invoke the protections of the reporter's privilege have been based on constitutional and common law grounds and Idaho courts have developed a very unsettled relationship with the reporter's privilege. In the earliest consideration of the privilege following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Branzburg v. Hayes, 408 U.S. 665 (1972), the Idaho Supreme Court rejected the privilege, stating that no such privilege had been recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court in Branzburg. Caldero v. Tribune Publishing Company, 98 Idaho 288, 562 P.2d 791 (1977). Some years later, the Idaho Supreme Court expressly disavowed its prior rejection of the privilege and held that such a privilege did exist, in certain circumstances, based in part upon the federal constitution, in part upon the Idaho constitution and in part upon common law. In re Wright, 108 Idaho 418, 700 P.2d 40 (1985). In its most recent examination of the privilege, the Idaho Supreme Court has again indicated a hostility toward the privilege and strictly limited the ruling in Wright, and indicated that future consideration of the privilege will turn heavily on the facts and require a strong showing of a potential "chilling effect" in order for the privilege to be recognized. State v. Salsbury, 129 Idaho 307, 924 P.2d 208 (1996).
The first edition of this work was written by Ronald E. Bush