News/Media Alliance Joins Brief in Support of Journalist Catherine Herridge in Subpoena Fight Over Confidential Sources

On June 27, the News/Media Alliance joined an amicus brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in support of journalist Catherin Herridge who has been ordered by the district court to identify her confidential sources. In Chen v. FBI, Chinese American scientist Yanpin Chen sued the FBI over leaked information about a counterintelligence investigation related to Chen and as part of that subpoenaed journalist Herridge in an attempt to uncover her confidential sources from her reporting on the investigation. The district court ordered Herridge to testify to identify her sources and held her in contempt when she refused. The brief, led by RCFP, and joined by numerous news and media organizations, urges the court to reverse the order to testify and the contempt order and argues that circuit law requires the court to consider the harm to public interest journalism from compelling journalists to disclose the identities of their confidential sources and that the court should recognized a reporter’s privilege as a matter of federal common law. Further, the brief points out as evidenced by the revised Department of Justice guidelines in 2022 governing the compulsory process of journalists’ confidential source information, there is a profound public interest in protecting confidential sources identities. Read more.


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