Letters: Wednesday, May 04, 2005
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Jailing Journalists

To the editor: Your story about shield laws in some respects seemed superficial (“Broken Shield,” April 20, 2005). Rights and protections in a free society are gained by people willing to go to jail and suffer for those rights and to complain loudly as they are hauled off. Dr. Martin Luther King, for one, did that.
What did reporters do before the 1972 Supreme Court Branzburg decision, which gave them, supposedly, First Amendment protection? What did The New York Times and Daniel Ellsberg do in the Pentagon papers case?
As a remedy, I would instead suggest that courts be stripped of their authority to issue contempt of court rulings on this subject. The question should be put to juries, and reporters and the media work to make their case to the public.


David Olson, Arlington

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