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Utah Supreme Court Approves Reporter-Source Shield Rule

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  1. Protecting Sources and Materials
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The Utah Supreme Court approved a reporter-source privilege after a three-year discussion of the issue by court officials, lawmakers, prosecutors and journalists. The shield rule protects reporters from being compelled to divulge confidential sources, except where necessary to “prevent substantial injury or death.” The rule also protects unpublished work, such as a reporter’s notes, drafts, outtakes, photographs and research materials. “The rule protects whistle-blowers and allows them to come forward,” said attorney Jeff Hunt, who represented a media coalition. “It also prevents lawyers from using journalists as one-stop shopping for all their information needs.” (1/25/08)