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40 votes

Are there rules about "off the record" in journalism?

It might maybe be enforceable under contract law. One party offers something of value (information) under the condition that they get something of value (non-disclosure). Obviously there has to be ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
23 votes

Are there rules about "off the record" in journalism?

To the best of my knowledge, there are no laws requiring a reporter to abide by the rules of "off the record". There is a widely agreed code of professional ethics which says that the ...
David Siegel's user avatar
11 votes

Are there any US laws protecting journalistic sources?

There's no law against him saying the paper should name the source, nor is there any law against directly asking the paper to name its source. The president was at a campaign rally, and his speech is ...
bdb484's user avatar
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11 votes
Accepted

Are there any US laws protecting journalistic sources?

Where the President explicitly tells a newspaper that they should reveal their sources. Is this not illegal in the US? It is not illegal. Well, it would be a U.S. Attorney, rather than the President ...
Nate Eldredge's user avatar
9 votes

Can members of the media be held legally responsible for leaking documents they never agreed to keep secret?

It depends on the nature of the documents. This law specifies that it is illegal to disclose or publish etc. classified information concerning the nature, preparation, or use of any code, cipher, or ...
user6726's user avatar
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7 votes

Can editorial bias be considered medical advice?

No. Practicing medicine involves providing medical advice or providing treatment particular to an individual person's situation.
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 220k
6 votes

Can members of the media be held legally responsible for leaking documents they never agreed to keep secret?

While there are narrow exceptions, the general rule is that a member of the media who receives leaked material that the media member did not solicit is free of legal liability. On June 30, 1971, the ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 220k
3 votes

Does parliamentary privilege have unintended consequences for journalism?

Consequence? Yes. Unintended? Not so much. Source Sources of Parliamentary Privilege In new-south-wales, Parliamentary Privilege derives from Article 9 of the Bill of Rights 1688 (no, 1688 is not a ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 213k
3 votes

Is it ethical or legal for journalist to request info from school district staff against their own rules?

In a legal sense, if you are posing as a journalist, you can ask anything of anyone, and it's up to them to answer your questions or provide you with photos or documents. If they provide you with ...
BlueDogRanch's user avatar
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2 votes
Accepted

Is a journalist who uses sex to get information considered a prostitute?

Since you're posting on Law, I will assume that you are interested in the legal definition of prostitution. This depends entirely on the jurisdiction, which you have not specified very precisely (...
phoog's user avatar
  • 37.8k
2 votes
Accepted

DMCA and First Amendment: When can a commentator be compelled to reveal their method of content acquisition?

A copyright or DMCA violation could be civil or criminal, and each has different rules. In a criminal case, the 5th Amendment applies. A person cannot be compelled to incriminate himself. The ...
D M's user avatar
  • 7,213
2 votes
Accepted

How could the NYT obtain emails?

There is no law against receiving such information, or publishing it. Bartnicki v. Vopper establishes that even if information was obtained illegally (e.g. hacking email), if the publisher does not ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
2 votes
Accepted

Is it legal to publish an edited version of an article without a disclaimer?

Newspapers typically have some public statement to the effect that they reserve the right to edit letters to the editor, though you may have to dig for it. Some papers inform authors of rewordings in ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
2 votes

Can a journalist publish emails sent to him/her by a diplomat at a foreign country's embassy, obtained while undercover, without infringing copyright?

It is not unusual that newspapers publish private correspondence without clearing copyright with the author. One example The Guardian: WikiLeaks embassy cables. AFAIK, no journalist or editor has ...
Free Radical's user avatar
  • 3,222
2 votes

When is it OK for law enforcement/intelligence-gathering agents to go undercover as journalists?

They are all detailed in the report linked to the news article. relevantly (p.8): Undercover Operation involving FBI employees posing as members of the news media Undercover Review Committee review ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 213k
2 votes

Legal precedent/history for the supposed charges against Julian Assange

The PressGazette has a brief but illuminating article which gives information on : ...over 64 journalists arrested in the UK between April 2011 and October 2014) including 25 former News of the ...
Rory Alsop's user avatar
2 votes

Is publication of classified information enough for a journalist to be compelled to reveal sources?

No There are many ways for classified information to be disclosed that do not involve a violation of the law. For example, classified information could be left in a filing cabinet which is sold at ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 213k
2 votes

Is it illegal in the United States for a journalist to take photographs of a letter of correspondence with a foreign official?

What, if anything, legally constitutes "giving in confidentiality" a letter of correspondence penned by a foreign official, to someone else, by the President of the United States? Can such a thing ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 220k
2 votes
Accepted

Is it legal to paraphrase a paid Wall Street Journal article in its entirety and publish the paraphrased article for free?

U.S. law says in 17 U.S.C. 102(b) In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or ...
George White's user avatar
  • 12.8k
2 votes

Can a customer of a business make a recording of an employee on the business’s privately premises?

The customer must stop recording australia The customer is on the store’s premises and an agent of the store has told them to stop. If they continue recording in spite of this they are now ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 213k
2 votes

Are there rules about "off the record" in journalism?

There are no laws protecting reporter-source privilege in the United States. Most are professional standards and the punishment for breaking is receiving the reputation of being untrustworthy with ...
hszmv's user avatar
  • 23k
1 vote
Accepted

Can editorial bias be considered medical advice?

No, that is not Practicing Medicine Writing about medical topics, or expressing opinions about such topics is not practicing medicine. No US state so defines it. This is true whether the writing is ...
David Siegel's user avatar
1 vote

Legal precedent/history for the supposed charges against Julian Assange

United States v Ivanov appears to be directly relevant The fact that a person is, or claims to be as in Assange’s situation, a journalist does not give them the right to ignore the law. It is against ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 213k
1 vote

Daily Caller, Bob Menendez-possible prosecution of online news provider?

While neither international jurisdictional issues nor the First Amendment would invalidate a U.S. law criminalizing this conduct, it isn't entirely clear if there is a criminal statute in existence ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 220k
1 vote

Daily Caller, Bob Menendez-possible prosecution of online news provider?

Libel and slander provides for civil remedies, not criminal remedies, and are not a natural right. The paying of others to slander and lie may run afoul of US laws. The RICO Act comes to mind. US ...
paulj's user avatar
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1 vote

Can a journalist publish emails sent to him/her by a diplomat at a foreign country's embassy, obtained while undercover, without infringing copyright?

The fact that the emails were obtained through deception would count against the journalist on the first prong of a fair use analysis, i.e. the nature of the copying. Bad faith copying was part of the ...
bdb484's user avatar
  • 60.6k
1 vote

Is it ethical or legal for journalist to request info from school district staff against their own rules?

I'd consult a lawyer on that one. There's a possibility it could be tortious interference, although I don't think it is. The caselaw is going to vary somewhat by state, although there may be First ...
D M's user avatar
  • 7,213
1 vote
Accepted

Copyright, fair use, and "news" sites copying articles from each other

The pattern that you are probably referring to is well over the line of "fair use", especially when articles appear in multiple outlets with vast amounts of verbatim copying. There is no way for a ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k

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