Can you keep a secret? Legal and technological obstacles to protecting journalistic sources
Journalists should protect their sources. They should, above all, protect those sources (including whistleblowers), that have provided them with information in confidence. This principle is included in journalistic codes of ethics around the world. It is a precept that is frequently interpreted rigidly, and at times so rigidly that it can put journalists in direct conflict with legal requirements to disclose information. Should a journalist comply with the law but break the ethical rule, the journalistic community will frequently condemn such an act. The prevailing assumption, then, is that journalists should protect a source that has been afforded confidentiality, whatever the personal and organisational cost. This chapter considers whether this assumption is realistic. It surveys some of the contemporary legal and technological obstacles that journalists face in protecting their sources.
Citation : Danbury, R. (forthcoming) 'Can you keep a secret? Legal and technological obstacles to protecting journalistic sources. In: Price, S. (ed) Investigative Journalism: Global Perspectives, London:Routledge.
Research Group : Media Discourse Group
Research Institute : Media Discourse Centre (MDC)
- Leicester Media School