Keeping the News Domestic: Why a Toxic Environment for the American Press and Ready Access to Foreign Media Organizations Like WikiLeaks Compel the Rapid Adoption of a Federal Reporters’ Privilege

Ryan C. Stevens

Volume 66, Issue 5, 1463-84

In 2008, the U.S. Department of Justice subpoenaed James Risen, a Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times journalist, to testify against one of his confidential sources in a criminal proceeding against that source. After Risen fought the subpoena and it expired in 2009, the Justice Department renewed it in 2010. The saga that followed brought a mass of media attention to the debate over the idea of a testimonial privilege for news reporters. While debates over the reporters’ privilege have raged since the Supreme Court first denied the privilege in 1972, this Note examines the overlooked effect that WikiLeaks has on this decades old argument, and proposes a solution to the problem.

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