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Friday, November 30, 2007

! Tom Carr Subpoenas Seattle Times Reporters to Reveal Confidential Sources

Remember the outrage when the Bush administration demanded that New York Times reporter Judith Miller reveal her confidential sources? Many noted that jailing reporters and coercing information from them might be common in many oppressive parts of the world but not in America. What kind of government would demand that a free press reveal its confidential sources?

The City of Seattle. Liberal, progressive, enlightened, freedom-loving Seattle.

Seattle City Attorney Tom Carr has taken a page out of the Bush play book and subpoenaed three Seattle Times reporters demanding that they reveal their confidential sources. Read all about it.

Accountable government requires confidential media sources. How is it that open-government proponents like us are in favor of confidentiality? Simple. Often whistle blowers know information about government misconduct but fear retaliation for coming forward. If the whistle blowers can get the information out to a reporter and can be assured of confidentiality, they are much more likely to tell what they know.

Here is an explanation of how confidential sources are vital to reporting stories the public needs to know in order to keep government accountable.

P.S. Tom Carr is Governor Gregoire's pick to chair the Sunshine Committee. Shining sunlight on government is a whole lot harder when reporters are forced to testify about confidential sources.