Thursday, July 07, 2005


Preparing For The Fall

In September, in addition to my normal LibraTech duties, I'm also teaching broadcast journalism to grades 9-12. So this blog will help me plan out the year, with stories like Judith Miller Going to Jail for not revealing and protecting her sources.

I don't want to discourage my students from entering the field of journalism. But Miller's recent court ruling has left a dark cloud over the field of reporters today. How will they be able to do their job? What should educators teach to budding journalists? To reveal their sources... sometimes?'s a great incentive, "plan on going to jail as a livelihood if you venture into the news 'business'?" That should bring in the numbers.

"Critics point out that even presidents must bow to the Supreme Court. But presidents are agents of the government, sworn to enforce the law. Journalists are private citizens, and Ms. Miller's actions are faithful to the Constitution. She is defending the right of Americans to get vital information from news organizations that need not fear government retaliation - an imperative defended by the 49 states that recognize a reporter's right to protect sources." (courtesy New York Times)

Whether or not we like the press, or agree with their reporting is irrelevant. We need them to tell the truth for citizens of the world. And my fear is that this ruling will become the norm for journalists.

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