Phoenix Newspapers Inc. v. Hon. Reinstein

January 30, 2017

John D’Anna, a reporter for The Arizona Republic, wrote a story several years ago based upon two interviews he had conducted with Father Joseph Terra, a victim of aggravated assault. D’Anna received a subpoena from the criminal defendant, requiring D’Anna to appear in court and produce all notes and materials related to the interview. D’Anna and Phoenix Newspapers, Inc. (“PNI”) filed a motion to quash the subpoena. The trial court denied PNI’s motion to quash, but the Arizona Court of Appeals overturned the trial court’s decision, finding that reporters have a First Amendment qualified privilege against the compelled disclosure of information obtained during newsgathering. The Arizona Supreme Court then accepted review. The Reporters Committee filed an amicus brief in support of D’Anna and PNI, arguing in support of recognition of a reporter’s privilege under Arizona’s two media-related statutes, the Media Subpoena Law and the Arizona Shield Law, and its constitution.