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TV station asks reporter to reveal confidential sources

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  1. Protecting Sources and Materials
One of those things we hate to see: a TV station that apparently doesn't "get it" when it comes to…

One of those things we hate to see: a TV station that apparently doesn’t "get it" when it comes to how the news media works. The Associated Press reports that:

A South Texas public television station has refused to turn over financial documents to the Valley Morning Star unless a reporter reveals confidential sources, the newspaper reported Saturday.

Reporter Bruce Lee Smith on Friday tried to pick up financial documents he had requested from KMBH television and radio, run by RGV Educational Broadcasting Inc. as the local Public Broadcasting System affiliate.

When Smith arrived at the television studio, he was told KMBH officials would release the documents only if the reporter signed a letter in which he agreed to disclose confidential sources who provided background information to him about the station’s finances and operations.

The station did not comment on the AP report, but let’s hope that more reasonable heads prevail, or that it was all a misunderstanding, and that a broadcaster really doesn’t expect a reporter to reveal sources in a "bargain" to get information that should have been released anyway.