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Ex-reporter subpoenaed in lawsuit against university

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  1. Protecting Sources and Materials
A former reporter in Georgia was told last week she must reveal her sources as part of an ongoing lawsuit brought by a professor against…

A former reporter in Georgia was told last week she must reveal her sources as part of an ongoing lawsuit brought by a professor against his former employers at Grady College.

John Soloski, a former dean and journalism professor, was investigated in 2005 for comments he was alleged to have made to a female employee. According to The Red and Black, a school newspaper, Kelly Simmons, who was then a reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, reported on that inquiry.

Shortly after, the university announced that Soloski had violated its harassment and discrimination policy; Soloski was fired, whereupon he sued the school, alleging breach of contract, fraud and invasion of privacy, among other things.

According to court papers, Soloski subpoenaed Simmons for her sources because her Atlanta Journal-Constitution report forms the foundation of his privacy claim. Simmons and the newspaper requested that the subpoena be dismissed under Georgia’s reporters’ privilege, said The Red and Black, but the district court denied the request.

"We are looking forward to appealing the order," said Tom Clyde, her attorney.