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Open & Shut

A collection of notable quotations From the Fall 2008 issue of The News Media & The Law, page 40. “This…

A collection of notable quotations

From the Fall 2008 issue of The News Media & The Law, page 40.

“This is unacceptable. What is the policy they have for the press when they’re clearly marked, clearly identified? … We were there to document what was taking place, not to be arrested.”

—Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now!, on her arrest outside the Republican National Convention in St. Paul

“As our world becomes more and more interconnected, we need new laws to ensure that Americans’ First Amendment rights won’t be hindered by more restrictive, foreign mandates,”

—Rep. Steven Cohen (D-Tenn), whose bill on Libel Tourism passed this fall in the House


“We have seen a lot of times where [agency officials] said, well, that is too sensitive, that is classified, and then we will look and in another forum they have publicly released it…So it is not a precise science.”

— Justice Department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine, at a congressional hearing

“Indeed, in the digital age a newspaper or reporter receiving information in this fashion is no different from anonymous tips provided to newspaper reporters telephonically or in written form,”

— the Alton Telegraph in a motion arguing that the Illinois shield law protects newspapers from having to reveal the identities of people who comment on their Web sites


“This was public-interest reporting of the highest magnitude. This was information that the public was entitled to. The protection of confidential sources is often the only way of bringing important information to the public.”

— Attorney Hershel Fink, who represents Detroit Free Press reporter David Ashenfelter, on a former federal prosecutor’s efforts to compel the journalist to testify in a lawsuit against the Justice Department

“The problem is not only that the potential danger used to justify the prior restraint is not sufficiently compelling in light of a host of Supreme Court decisions overturning injunctions against publications that posed much graver threats to protected interests…The other problem is that less restrictive alternatives are available to protect plaintiffs’ fair trial rights.”

— Court of Appeal State of California, vacating a lower court order barring the Orange County Register from reporting on a lawsuit against its parent company