Tuesday, December 14, 2004

How does the Taricani case change journalism, if at all?

In mid-November, Rhode Island television reporter Jim Taricani was convicted of contempt of court for not revealing a source close to a trial of former state government employees, and was sentenced on December 9 to six months of house arrest by a judge. He is not permitted to do any reporting during this time, and his employer, WJAR, also informs that he is to have no access to the Internet.

This week, the Society of Professional Journalists made a
statement about Taricani's situation, as they are very concerned about the use of confidentiality in journalism going forward.

The lingering question about whether confidentiality was promised should serve as a cautionary reminder for all journalists about the potential pitfalls of promising confidentiality in return for information.

Doug Fisher, who knows Taricani personally, states his case.


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