Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

News Release

November 08, 2004
Media Forum to Discuss Views on Keeping Confidential Sources Confidential

Should the public care if reporters go to jail for protecting confidential sources? This timely issue will be explored by some of the most prominent and outspoken journalists and attorneys who have weighed in on the issue, during a special Media Forum on November 30, 2004 from 7:00 to 8:30pm at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles.

Sponsored by the law school’s Donald E. Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute, the program will feature: John Carroll, Editor, Los Angeles Times; Steve D. Clymer, Chief of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney’s Office; The Honorable Raymond C. Fisher, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; Michael Kinsley, Editorial and Opinion Editor, Los Angeles Times; Jim Newton, author and former California Government and Politics Editor, Los Angeles Times; Kelli Sager, Partner, Davis Wright Tremaine and Counsel to major media organizations; and Brian Sun, Partner, Jones Day and Counsel to Dr. Wen Ho Lee in his Privacy Act litigation.

The next several months hold the very real prospect that reporters for some of the country’s most prominent and respected news organizations will be jailed or fined for refusing to divulge the identity of their sources: A grand jury in Washington wants to know who outed an undercover CIA operative. A nuclear scientist seeks to discover who in government leaked confidential personnel information to destroy his career. A prosecutor investigates the money trail between charities and possible terrorist organizations. In all of these cases, reporters have been or may be ordered by courts to tell who their confidential sources were. Should the public care if they go to jail for refusing? Will newsgathering be chilled if the press can’t guarantee anonymity of sources? When should the needs of the justice system or our national security take precedence? Is there some middle ground here, or is this an intractable conflict between government and the press? In a roundtable discussion moderated by Institute faculty, this Media Forum will explore these and other important questions with some of the leading judges, journalists and lawyers in the field.

The program, which provides CLE credit, will be held at the Southwestern campus at 3050 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles. Parking is available for $5.

There is no cost to attend, however, reservations are requested through the institute office.