Arguments Against Shield Law

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Briefing Note for WA Attorney General, Michael Mischin: Shield Law and The Fifth Estate Issue: The debate over the effectiveness of shield law in defending journalist's right from disclosing anonymous sources, made prominent by the question of who identifies as a journalist in this digital age, and the growing fifth estate. Background: Shield law was put in place to protect the privilege of journalists in their choice to defend the confidentiality of their sources. This gives them special protection in court if they are being held contempt if they refuse to provide evidence. A journalist is an individual who collects and projects news through a range of communication tools. Over time, this definition has altered due to the rising standard…show more content…
Current Situation: Traditional styles of journalism are considerably changing. The establishment of shield laws are significant as it ensures the proper protection of journalists and subsequently, appealing to public interest in relation to the exposing of sources in certain circumstances. The debate that bloggers should be protected by shield laws is supported by the Greens and the WikiLeaks Party. Key Considerations: Shield Law protects those who identify as a journalist in this digital age. The efficiency of it relies on the judge as he/she decides whether the interests of justice overpower the need to protect the identity of the source. Shield laws are beneficial as it ensures the protection of journalists and the confidentiality of their sources. It is a need for journalists as the world would be much less informed if they could not protect the identities of their sources. The nature of journalism has changed due to the growing networks of communication citizen

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