Journalist’s privilege

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Refers to giving them the right not to disclose their sources of information. Incase of a case hearing they are exempted from giving out any information based on their sources. There are several advantages as well as disadvantages of journalist’s privilege.

Press freedom facilitates for quality and standard works, in that the journalist is able to get detailed information from various sources without having the fear that they will be forced to disclose sources of their information. If journalists are to fully play their role in government they must rely on confidential information as stipulated by Riddler. (1) Failing to disclose sources helps to protect the lives and social welfare of the informants in that they are protected from being recognized as the ones who disclosed such information.

Among the negatives, information given without having anyone responsible may lead to lies, which may simply be used to defame the person in question. This has a negative effect on that person’s life as it may cost him his freedom, fame, job or even life. This is so because one freely gives information bearing in mind that he will not be identified.

Another issue is that sometimes very important information may be nullified incase there is urgent need for concrete evidence and the source refuses to be disclosed whatsoever. Sometimes such information will be rejected despite it being very important and relevant information otherwise it is acceptable on given circumstances especially those that concern matters of national security, to have the reporters testify (Riddler 1). The government has all the same tried to balance the conflicting aspects of it by implementing subpoena protection for reporters.