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UPDATE: GEORGIA

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  1. Protecting Sources and Materials
A state court judge in Atlanta decided in early August not to hold The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in contempt of court…

A state court judge in Atlanta decided in early August not to hold The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in contempt of court for refusing to disclose confidential sources related to stories about Richard Jewell, at least until an appeal of the order can be heard.

The newspaper’s attorneys had told the judge that they would not disclose the information as ordered and requested that any contempt citation be delayed until after an appeal. The judge, who earlier had held that the sources must be disclosed and that the decision would not be stayed pending appeal, recognized that court rules of procedure were unclear on whether an appeal was allowed before trial, and so delayed action until the appeal is resolved.

No individual reporter has been ordered to reveal a source for a particular story. Rather, the newspaper has been ordered to disclose all sources related to the stories on Jewell.

Jewell was named in the newspaper and by many other media organizations as a suspect in the bombing in Centennial Olympic Park during the 1996 Olympics. Jewell was never charged, and the FBI later announced that Jewell was not a suspect. (Jewell v. Cox Enterprises; Media Counsel: Peter Canfield, Atlanta)