But experts in law and journalism are nonetheless at odds over whether the spectacle of reporters testifying about people who gave them information in confidence sends the wrong message, to the public and to potential sources. Some say it may do lasting damage to the bonds of trust built between sources and journalists over several decades.
“Every time I hear about one of these reporters going in to speak about their sources, my stomach drops to my shoes,” said Jane Kirtley, a professor of media ethics and law at the University of Minnesota. “We’re in a crisis on this. I’m absolutely terrified about how this is going to turn out for media credibility.”
You know, there have been some other threats to media credibility in recent years. I just can’t think of them right now, but ….
Wen Ho Lee
Running five-minute reports on the weather
Editing tapes of First Ladies so that it sounds like they’re admitting to felonies
Loving portraits of the Bush twins’ visit to fundraisers and absolute silence on the fact that the girls are immature lushes who wouldn’t know a responsible action if it slapped them in the face with a bag of nickels
Basically ignoring the mounting casualties in Iraq
The Dean Scream
Yeah, that’s some of them. But no, it’s testifying about sources who’ve lied to them in order to destroy an innocent woman’s life, that’s the real “ethical” scandal.