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Journalist ordered to jail for protecting sources

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  1. Protecting Sources and Materials

    NMU         CALIFORNIA         Confidentiality/Privilege         Jan 21, 2000    

Journalist ordered to jail for protecting sources

  • Refusing to reveal the identity of sources could land the editor and publisher of a weekly newspaper in jail for five days.

An editor and publisher of a California weekly newspaper was ordered by a state trial court last week to spend five days in jail for contempt of court after refusing to reveal his sources. Tehoma County Superior Court Judge Noel Watkins delayed the effectiveness of the sentence until Jan. 21, when Tim Crews, editor and publisher of the Sacramento Valley Mirror in Artios, has been ordered to return to court for questioning.

The contempt order arose when Crews refused to name two sources for a story relating to a theft charge against California Highway Patrol officer Dewey Anderson. Anderson has pleaded not guilty to felony and misdemeanor charges relating to an allegedly stolen firearm, according to the Associated Press.

Crews reported in the Valley Mirror that he was informed by officers that Anderson had stolen a handgun and that he was read portions of a written report concerning Anderson. The trial court found that the need of Anderson’s defense attorneys to know the identity of Crew’s sources outweighs Crew’s protection under California’s shield law.

(California v. Anderson)

© 2000 The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

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