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A. Newspaper articles

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  • 10th Circuit

    Newspaper articles are self-authenticating. See Fed. R. Evid. 902(6). Thus, if a party seeks to introduce articles for purposes of demonstrating that there has been significant publicity about a case (e.g., in support of motion to change venue), there is no need to have any witness authenticate that such newspaper article actually appeared in the paper.

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  • 1st Circuit

    Under the Federal Rules of Evidence, newspapers and periodicals are self-authenticating and require no extrinsic evidence of authenticity. Fed. R. Evid. 902(6). In the note to paragraph 6, the authors reason that “[t]he likelihood of forgery of newspapers or periodicals is slight indeed. Hence no danger is apparent in receiving them.” However, on the facts of a particular case, a court may require a reporter or a custodian of records to authenticate the material. Often this matter can be negotiated by the parties.

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  • 2nd Circuit

    Under Federal Rule of Evidence 902(6), newspapers are self-authenticating. This rule automatically authenticates that the article was published -- it does not authenticate the truth or accuracy of the contents.
    The truth of the contents of an article can be authenticated by stipulation. If the reporter or media entity is a non-party, a stipulation with one party might be opposed by a different party, in which case it may be necessary that the reporter or employee of the newspaper testify. If a representative of the subpoenaed media entity must testify, it is often best to put forth an individual who works in an administrative capacity so as to limit the scope of topics investigated during examination.

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  • 3rd Circuit

    Courts in the Third Circuit do not appear to have expressly addressed this point in a relevant context, although one district court has held that, notwithstanding that newspaper articles are self-authenticating pursuant to Federal Rule of Evidence 902(6), "there may still remain questions of authority and responsibility for statements contained therein" that may require testimony from the reporter or other person with knowledge. In re Vmark Software, Inc. Sec. Litig., No. Civ. 97-227, 1998 WL 42252, at *2 (E.D. Pa. Jan. 8, 1998) ("Vmark"); see also, In re Subpoena of Maykuth, 34 Media L. Rep. (BNA) 1476, 2006 WL 724241, at *3 (E.D. Pa. 2006).

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  • 4th Circuit

    Under Federal Rule of Evidence 902(6), newspapers and periodicals are self-authenticating; in other words, they are admissible into evidence without a writer, editor or other witness testifying to their authenticity.

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  • 5th Circuit

    Under the Federal Rules of Evidence, newspapers and periodicals are self-authenticating and require no extrinsic evidence of authenticity. Fed. R. Evid. 902(6). However, sometimes a court may require a reporter or a custodian of records to bring and to authenticate the material. Sometimes this is simply a matter of negotiation between the parties.

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  • 6th Circuit

    Newspapers are self-authenticating. Fed. R. Evid. 902(6). Therefore, a journalist should not be required to testify in court as to whether a particular article actually appeared in a newspaper. If the court nevertheless requires authenticating testimony, an administrative person should be qualified to give the testimony.

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  • 7th Circuit

    There is no statutory or case law addressing this issue.

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  • 8th Circuit

    No Eighth circuit case law addresses this issue in the context of the reporter's privilege.

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  • 9th Circuit

    There is no statutory or case law addressing whether newspapers or newspaper articles are self-authenticating.  In In re Stratosphere Corp. Secs. Litig., however, a district court noted that an author and publisher of a magazine article had refused to voluntarily authenticate the contents of the article. 183 F.R.D. 684, 684 (D. Nev. 1999) (denying plaintiffs’ motion to compel the testimony of the magazine author and publisher).

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  • Alabama

    Newspaper articles are self-authenticating under ALA. R. EVID. 902 (6).

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  • Alaska

    Under federal and state evidence rules, newspapers are generally considered self-authenticating, and in any event, if all that is sought is confirmation that a particular article actually appeared in the newspaper, a reporter is not needed—and generally should not be produced. In such instances, if the parties are not relying on self-authentication, a simple affidavit from the newspaper's librarian or records custodian will ordinarily suffice. If the parties are not willing to settle for this, it is a sign that what they really want is more than authentication.

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  • Arizona

    Ariz. R. Evid. 902(6) provides that newspaper articles are self-authenticating.

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  • Arkansas

    Under the Arkansas Rules of Evidence, newspaper articles are deemed to be self-authenticated so that no extrinsic evidence of authenticity is necessary to prove that the article is what it purports to be. Ark. R. Evid. 902(6).

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  • California

    Newspapers are generally self-authenticating in California under Evidence Code § 645.1, which provides that:

    Printed materials, purporting to be a particular newspaper or periodical, are presumed to be that newspaper or periodical if regularly issued at average intervals not exceeding three months.

    Cal. Evid. Code § 645.1. Consequently, if the party issuing the subpoena is only interested in the contents of the article, the reporter’s testimony may be unnecessary. Typically, however, the subpoenaing party desires more information than is available in the article itself – even if it is only the reporter’s testimony that the article was true and accurate as published – and will insist on the reporter’s testimony.

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  • Colorado

    Rule 902 of the Colorado Rules of Evidence provides that newspapers and periodicals are self-authenticating for the purpose of establishing that an article or statement was published. CRE 902(6); see also People v. Morise, 859 P.2d 247, 250 (Colo. App. 1993). However, any statements contained in the article -- when offered as the truth of the matters stated in the article -- are hearsay. Id. Where there is a dispute over authenticity, the editor, reporter or custodian of records can authenticate the fact that the material was published.

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  • Connecticut

    Newspapers are not self-authenticating. A librarian, archivist or other administrator can appear in court to do so, but not as a replacement of the one expressly subpoenaed without the consent of the issuing party or court order.

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  • D.C. Cir.

    Newspapers are self-authenticating under Rule 902(6) of the Federal Rules of Evidence.  The statements within them, however, may be inadmissible hearsay.  Wright et al., 31 Fed. Prac. & Proc. Evid. § 7140 (“Even assuming authenticity is established, that does not mean that the item is necessarily admissible since admissibility issues other than authenticity may still be raised under the Evidence Rules”).  Thus, a subpoena for a journalist’s testimony about an article’s contents, if upheld, would likely not be satisfied by the submission of a copy of an article alone.

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  • Delaware

    Newspapers and periodicals are self-authenticating. D.R.E. 902(6).

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  • District of Columbia

    Because the District’s courts often follow the Federal Rules of Evidence, newspapers most likely are considered self-authenticating.  See, e.g., Fed. R. Evid. 902(6).  However, the statements within newspaper articles may not be admissible as evidence.  See 31 Wright et al., Fed. Prac. & Proc. Evid. § 7140 (“Even assuming authenticity is established, that does not mean that the item is necessarily admissible since admissibility issues other than authenticity may still be raised under the Evidence Rules”).

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  • Florida

    Newspapers are self-authenticating in Florida state courts under the provisions of the Florida Evidence Code. See § 90.902(6), Fla. Stat. (2016). Thus, a reporter is not required to testify as to the authenticity of a newspaper article before it can be admitted into evidence.

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  • Georgia

    Georgia law does not recognize newspapers as self-authenticating, but parties to litigation in almost all cases stipulate to their authenticity. Failure to stipulate without a good faith basis to dispute authenticity is potentially sanctionable. The Georgia Court of Appeals has ruled that a reporter can be compelled to testify at a criminal trial to authenticate articles, provided the subpoena does not seek testimony about substantive, confidential, or unpublished information or about the content of the articles. See generally In re Morris Communications, 258 Ga. App. 154 (2002).

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  • Hawaii

    Under Rule 902(6) of the Hawai'i Rules of Evidence, newspapers are self-authenticating.

     

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  • Idaho

    In Idaho, the recipient of a subpoena will often attempt to seek agreement that testimony limited to confirmation of the fact of publication of a newspaper story, and confirmation of the accuracy of the information contained in the story, will suffice to comply with the subpoena. Such an agreement avoids the need to testify concerning confidential or unpublished information. Based upon the nature of the privilege as recognized by Idaho courts, it is unlikely that an Idaho court will ever apply the reporter's privilege to protect a media witness from having to appear in response to a subpoena, or from having to, at a minimum, confirm the fact of the publication of a news story and the accuracy of the information contained in the story.

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  • Illinois

    There are no Illinois cases that discuss authenticating the materials.  Cf. People v. Palacio, 240 Ill. App. 3d 1078, 1091-92, 1102, 607 N.E.2d 1375, 1383, 1389-90 (1993) (holding Statute did not apply to defendant’s trial subpoena asking only that reporter “confirm the conversation [he] had already written about in his column and, perhaps, to answer questions about [a] conversation with the prosecutor beyond what [he] wrote in his column,” since it did not call for disclosure of any sources.  However, court held that “special witness doctrine” applied and that defendant “could have asked the prosecutor whether he would stipulate to the accuracy of [reporter’s] column” which “would have eliminated any need for [reporter’s] testimony”).

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  • Indiana

    Newspapers are self-authenticating. Ind. R. Evid. 902.

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  • Iowa

    Under the Iowa Rules of Evidence 5.902(6), printed newspapers and periodicals are self-authenticating.

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  • Kansas

    There is no statutory or case law specifically addressing the issue of whether newspapers are self-authenticating. If a court requires testimony authenticating a copy of the newspaper in issue, a librarian or archivist should be able to furnish the needed testimony consistent with the requirements of state law.

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  • Kentucky

    Reporters are not required to testify that a particular article actually appeared in the newspaper. Newspapers, books and periodicals are self-authenticating. Ky. R. Evid. 902(6).

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  • Louisiana

    La. R.S. 45:1455 provides that "it shall not be necessary for the news media organization, the reporter, the custodian of records, the photographer, or the representative thus subpoenaed to appear or testify in response to the subpoena . . . to confirm the publication or broadcast of specified materials, if the reporter, custodian of records, photographer, or other representative of the news media organization delivers by registered mail or by hand, before or at the time specified in the subpoena, an affidavit . . . together with any documents or records described in the subpoena to the clerk of the court or other tribunal, or . . . with respect to a deposition subpoena, to the party requesting the issuance of the subpoena." The affidavit shall state the name of the proceeding and docket number; the name of the affiant and business title; the dates of publication or broadcast records searched and the dates of publication or broadcast of the documents or records actually produced; a statement that the documents or records produced were published or broadcast by the news media organization; if requested, a statement summarizing the circulation or broadcast audience of the news media organization; if requested, a statement describing the placement of an article within a publication; and an itemization of the costs of complying with the subpoena. La. R.S. 45:1455(B).

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  • Maine

    Newspaper articles are not self-authenticating, but can be authenticated by a librarian or archivist with appropriate qualifications.

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  • Maryland

    Maryland Rule of Evidence 5-902 establishes that newspapers are self-authenticating. The rule provides "[e]xcept as otherwise provided by statute, extrinsic evidence of authenticity as a condition precedent to admissibility is not required with respect to . . . [p]rinted materials purporting to be newspapers or periodicals." Md. R. Evid. 5-902(a)(6) (2017).

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  • Massachusetts

    Only newspaper articles deposited in libraries are self-authenticating. M.G.L.A. 233 § 79D. Other newspaper articles must be authenticated in court.

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  • Michigan

    Michigan Rule of Evidence 902(6) provides that newspaper articles are self-authenticating. Therefore, it is not necessary for a newspaper person to appear in order to authenticate newspaper reports.

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  • Minnesota

    Newspaper articles are self-authenticating under Minn. R. Civ. Proc. 902(6).

    In an unpublished order in United States v. Ford, Crim. No. 4-92-112 (D. Minn. 1992), the court quashed a criminal defendant's subpoena against two newspapers that sought copies of "all articles" that had appeared in the newspapers over a three-week period relating to the shooting of a police officer and "relating to racial tensions stemming from the shooting." The court held that the defendant's attorney could find the articles through her own research, and that it was improper to shift that burden to the newspapers. It stated,

    Appearances by the newspapers are not necessary to authenticate the articles, to the extent they have evidentiary value. Fed. R. Ev. 902(6). Insofar as defense counsel seeks to have the newspapers make the search and selection concerning the articles, the subpoenas shift the burden of trial preparation from defense counsel onto the newspapers; no matter what the extent of the newspapers' resources may be relative to the criminal defendant, this sort of burden-shifting is an unfair imposition upon innocent third-parties.

    See J. Borger, Resisting Subpoenas for Published or Broadcast Information, 12 Commc'ns Lawyer, Spring 1994, at 10 (ABA).

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  • Mississippi

    Miss. R. Evid. 902(6) provides that, "[p]rinted material purporting to be a newspaper or periodical," are self-authenticating.

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  • Missouri

    The general practice in the state is for a "custodian of records" to testify if needed in court to authenticate any business record. This may be done by affidavit rather than by appearance of a person pursuant to R.S. Mo. Section 490.692.  If a subpoena is served that relates to such matters, the counsel for the media often can simply facilitate the production of such an affidavit to prevent the need for a witness to testify in court.  Often it is important to distinguish a "custodian of records" for the material as someone separate from the reporter/photographer in order to limit the information available through a deposition, if one is required (ie: the custodian of records is likely to know far less about the article than the reporter who wrote it, but that reporter is not the "custodian of records" for purposes of authenticating the publication of the article in the paper).

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  • Montana

    Montana allows fairly easy authentication of evidence such as newspaper articles.

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  • Nebraska

    Absent agreement among the parties to the litigation, the article must be authenticated by a live witness. That can be the reporter who wrote the story, an editor with appropriate knowledge, or a librarian or archivist. If all parties agree (which often happens), foundation for the article can be presented via affidavit (the affidavit itself is hearsay, thus requiring the agreement of the parties to waive objection).

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  • Nevada

    There appear to be no Nevada cases addressing whether newspaper articles are self-authenticating or who can authenticate the material. NRS 52.145 provides that "printed materials purporting to be newspapers or periodicals are presumed to be authentic."

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  • New Hampshire

    There is no statutory or case law addressing this issue, however, it is unlikely that a reporter or editor would be required to testify in order to authenticate a newspaper article. Ordinarily, it would be expected that before the trial or hearing, the parties would stipulate as to the admissibility of certain exhibits, which would likely include the article or the newspaper.

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  • New Jersey

    Newspersons cannot be compelled to testify solely as to the authenticity of a newspaper article. The court can take judicial notice of the article and publication under the evidence rules, in particular Rule 201 of the Rules of Evidence.

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  • New Mexico

    The reporter’s privilege would not protect a journalist from having to testify that a particular article actually appeared in the newspaper. See Rule 11-514(A)(2), (B)(2) NMRA; NMSA 1978, § 38-6-7(A), (B)(5) (1973). On the other hand, a librarian or a records custodian could as easily give such testimony if it were up to the newspaper to designate an appropriate witness; and in any event, “[p]rinted material purporting to be a newspaper or periodical” is self-authenticating. Rule 11-902(6) NMRA.

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  • New York

    Where a valid subpoena is testimonial (i.e., it provides that a specific person must appear), the subpoenaed person must be produced. CPLR § 2305 (a). Where a valid subpoena calls for documents or things (i.e., a subpoena duces tecum), the question of compliance posed to newspaper publishers in less clear. No New York cases have addressed the interplay between the general requirements of CPLR § 2305(b) (see above) and CPLR § 4532 (providing that newspapers and "periodicals of general circulation" are self-authenticating).

    Pursuant to CPLR § 4532:

    Extrinsic evidence of authenticity as a condition precedent to admissibility is not required with respect to printed materials purporting to be newspapers or periodicals of general circulation; provided, however, nothing herein shall be deemed to preclude or limit the right of a party to challenge the authenticity of such printed material, by extrinsic evidence or otherwise, prior to admission by the court or to raise the issue of authenticity as an issue of fact.

    Accordingly, as an evidentiary matter, CPLR § 4532 frees publishers from having to produce testimony from employees verifying the authenticity of a newspaper or periodical article (subject to an opponent's opportunity to challenge authenticity). Although a party issuing a subpoena duces tecum may still technically insist on compliance with CPLR § 2305 (b) to demand that the subpoenaed party produce someone to identify the newspaper and testify as to its origin, purpose and custody, this requirement seems particularly inapposite in the context of a self-authenticating newspaper, especially when the publisher is a third party and has been subpoenaed to produce a newspaper to establish the fact of publication. Moreover, as a practical matter, especially where the newspaper publisher is a non-party, the parties are likely to stipulate that the newspaper article is authentic so that there will be no need for the publisher to produce an employee to testify.

    In the event that CPLR § 2305 (b) is deemed to require a newspaper publisher to produce a person to testify, the language of the rule would apparently permit anyone with sufficient knowledge to identify the document and explain its origin, purpose and custody, including not only editors and reporters but also administrators and archivists with the requisite knowledge. If the newspaper is subpoenaed to prove its content, the reporter or publisher could be called to testify.

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  • North Carolina

    Newspapers and periodicals are self-authenticating under the North Carolina Rules of Evidence, and the journalist is not required to testify in court that a particular article appeared in a newspaper or magazine. N.C. R. Evid. 902(6). Accordingly, there should be no reason for a journalist to have to appear in court for a party to put a newspaper article in evidence. Nonetheless, there is no explicit mechanism under the rule governing subpoenas for a journalist, acting unilaterally, to submit an affidavit in lieu of testimony. See N.C. R. Civ. P. 45(c)(2) (only permitting custodians of "public records" and hospital medical records to submit an affidavit in lieu of personal appearance).

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  • North Dakota

    Printed materials purporting to be newspapers or periodicals are self-authenticating. N.D. R. Evid. 902.

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  • Oklahoma

    Newspapers are self–authenticating under Okla. Stat. tit. 12, § 2902(6).  Under the rules of evidence as generally applied, the reporter would not be required to testify as to the identification or authenticity of an article he wrote or the newspaper document itself.  As a matter of experience, once media–generated materials are disclosed, a representative of the media rarely needs to testify.  The identity and authenticity of the material have rarely been an issue.

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  • Oregon

    The testimony of a newsperson is not needed to authenticate articles. Printed materials purporting to be newspapers or periodicals are self-authenticating. Oregon Evidence Code 902(6).

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  • Pennsylvania

    Newspaper articles are self-authenticating under Pennsylvania law. Pa. R. Evid. 902(6). Accordingly, there is no need for testimony that a particular article actually appeared in the publication.

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  • Rhode Island

    Pursuant to Rhode Island Rules of Evidence, Rule 902(6), printed materials purporting to be newspapers or periodicals are self-authenticating.

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  • South Carolina

    Newspapers and other periodicals are self-authenticating documents. Rule 902(6), SCRE.

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  • South Dakota

    There is no pertinent case law on this issue.

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  • Tennessee

    There is no statutory or case law on this issue. Newspapers and periodicals are generally self-authenticating in court. Tennessee Rule of Evidence 902(6).

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  • Texas

    Pursuant to Texas Rule of Evidence 902(6), newspapers are self-authenticating.

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  • Utah

    There is no statutory or case law addressing this issue, although the Utah Rules of Evidence provide that newspaper articles and periodical articles are self-authenticating. Utah R. Evid. 902(6).

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  • Vermont

    Not addressed.

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  • Virginia

    Newspapers are generally not treated as self-authenticating.  Commonwealth v. Jones, 82 Va. Cir. 379 (Norfolk 2011) (refusing to apply privilege to quash subpoena to a reporter to testify about a jailhouse interview voluntarily given by a man charged with murder and noting that statements in a newspaper article would be hearsay if sought to be admitted at trial).

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  • Washington

    Washington's case law has not yet squarely addressed this issue.

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  • West Virginia

    A newsperson is not required to testify in court that a particular article actually appeared in the newspaper in order to authenticate the article. Pursuant to Rule 902(6) of the West Virginia Rules of Evidence, newspapers are self-authenticating and therefore testimony by the author/reporter is unnecessary to authenticate the article for admissibility purposes. If a reporter is subpoenaed for that purpose, the subpoena should be quashed easily.

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  • Wisconsin

    Printed materials purporting to be newspapers or periodicals are self-authenticating, and extrinsic evidence of authenticity is not required as a condition precedent to their admissibility. See Wis. Stat. § 909.02.

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  • Wyoming

    Newspaper articles are generally not self-authenticating, depending upon the purpose for which they are offered. Reporters have been asked to submit affidavits or testify in court regarding the accuracy of the information in the articles.

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