At the time of submission of this summary, there are no reported decisions from Mississippi's appellate courts regarding the reporters' privilege, qualified or otherwise. The authors were limited to selected orders from state trial courts which discuss the reporters' privilege, although with limited legal analysis. The majority of these orders recognize a qualified privilege for reporters and apply a three-part test forwarded by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Miller v. Transamerican Press, Inc., 621 F.2d 721, 726 (5th Cir. 1980). Only two reported cases from the federal courts in Mississippi apply the reporters' privilege. Brinston v. Dunn, 919 F. Supp. 240 (S.D. Miss. 1996); McKee v. Starkville, 11 Med. L. Rptr. 2312, No. EC-82-36-NB-D, (N.D. Miss. Jan. 27, 1985). The analysis below relies upon these limited trial court orders and cases from Mississippi's federal district courts.
Readers should recognize that these trial court orders and federal decisions carry no precedential value for state courts and should not be relied on as such. Instead, they provide the tenor which one may expect from state courts in Mississippi when applying for protection under the reporters' privilege. As these selected trial court orders rely upon the three-part analysis forwarded by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and federal district courts in Mississippi, it would be reasonable to look to Fifth Circuit precedent in formulating an argument in favor of enforcing the reporters' privilege.
The following are various trial court orders gathered by the authors and referred to throughout this summary: Linda Brune v. City of Jackson, No. 3:99cv77 (S.D. Miss. 2001); Alfred Stubblefield v. City of Jackson, No. 3:93cv279 (S.D. Miss. 1995); Charles R. Pope v. Village Apartments, Hinds County Circuit Court, No.92-72-436CV (Jan. 23,1995); State v. Byron de la Beckwith, Hinds County Circuit Court, No. 90-3-495CR H (July 28, 1993); Mary Doe v. Maurin-Ogden Mgmt. Corp., Hinds County Circuit Court, No. 90-64-502 (Feb. 8, 1991); State v. Hand, Tallahatchie County Circuit Court, No. CR89-49-C (T-2) (July 31, 1990); In re Grand Jury Subpoena, Hinds County Circuit Court, No. 38,664 (Oct. 4, 1989); City of Jackson v. Crawford, Municipal Court of Jackson, Mississippi, No. 88-0219 (May 20, 1988); State v. Young, Hinds County Circuit Court Crim. No. 825 (Mar. 16, 1988); McKee v. Starkville, 11 Med. L. Rptr. 2312, No. EC-82-36-NB-D, (N.D. Miss. Jan. 27, 1985); Hersdorffer v. Mississippi Publishers Corp., Hinds County Circuit Court, No. 29,251 (Apr. 7, 1983); Hawkins v. Williams, Hinds County Circuit Court, No. 29,054 (Mar. 16, 1983).