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Confidential sources

The blogger and the journalist

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

The Whale certainly created a splash in the last election. More accurately, it was investigative journalist Nicky Hager and his book Dirty Politics that created the splash. The Whale – controversial right-wing blogger Cameron Slater and his Whale Oil blog, whose emails were leaked to Mr Hager – copped most of the spray. […]

Is Whale Oil a journalist (3)?

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

Yes. Yes, he is. The High Court says so, as Whale Oil points out triumphantly. Like the good journalist he is, he even shows us the evidence: para 145 of Justice Asher’s judgment.
Mr Slater then goes on to demonstrate his journalistic chops by entirely failing to report the rest of the judgment. That includes the […]

We don’t need no stinking press regulation

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

The Herald’s lawyer, Alan Ringwood, argues that we don’t need any statutory press regulation in NZ. Don’t listen to Levenson, he says. We don’t need to go there. (Full article here).
I guess it’s not a news flash that the Herald’s lawyer would oppose statutory restrictions on the Herald. But I’m interested in his argument. It’s […]

Source of contention

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

When - if ever - should journalists be forced to disclose their confidential sources?
It’s been a hot issue lately. The Crown applied to court for an order requiring TV3 to provide identifying information of the Waiouru Army Medals thief after John Campbell’s anonymised TV interview with him. The Serious Fraud Office compelled the National Business […]

Irish Supreme Court protects source confidentiality

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

The Irish Supreme Court has allowed two journalists to refuse to answer questions that would have made them disclose their sources. Trinity College senior lecturer and blogger Dr Eion O’Dell welcomes the decision, but thinks it falls short of recognising a full-blown journalists’ privilege.

Media law tsunami in Canada

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

A wave of important media law cases is hitting the Canadian Supreme Court. One’s on qualified privilege and I’ve discussed it here. The others include cases on confidential sources and bail hearing publication bans.
I’m inclined to think that the guidance on free speech issues from the Canadian SC tends to be the most thoughtful, useful […]

Campbell in the soup?

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

You’ve probably heard that the police have asked the judge in the Waiouru Army medals case to order John Campbell and Ingrid Leary to answer questions that may disclose the identity of their source. (That source being, of course, one of the thieves, with whom Campbell famously performed his Clayton’s interview.)
The journalists have promised not to […]

Police raid TV3

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

It’s being reported that police are executing a search warrant in TV3’s premises.
As I’ve noted, given the case law, I’m not surprised that the police were able to obtain a warrant. An important factor for a judge in deciding whether to grant the warrant is the cogency of the evidence. Here it seems likely that TV3 have information about the identity of a confessed criminal. (NB It […]