Right to Refuse to Give Evidence

Also called the reporter's privilege, the right to refuse to give evidence are the laws guaranteeing that a reporter can't be compelled to give evidence in a court of law about his sources or confidential information. This right is part of the system of media shield laws.

This right is sometimes criticized for putting reporters above the law, but the courts have said that the interests of society are served by, and more important than, demanding evidence from reporters. It gives the media the ability to stay independent and work as objective watchdogs. The biggest problem is that if a reporter is required to testify, potential sources of information are scared off, feeling that the information they could give the media would not be kept confidential.

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